Glastonbury Festival 2023: A Preview | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, May 19th, 2024  

Glastonbury Festival, Manic Street Preachers, Slowdive, Arctic Monkeys, Guns N’ Roses, Elton John

Glastonbury Festival 2023: A Preview,

Jun 16, 2023 Photography by Tom Widd Web Exclusive
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Glastonbury Festival is back, and this year they’ve gone nuts on the huge names! Not only have they booked major headliners Arctic Monkeys and Guns N’ Roses who are sure to please the traditional indie and rock-leaning Glasto crowd, the whole weekend will be brought to a close by ultimate Sunday legacy act Elton John who is currently in the midst of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road final tour – and that’s just on the Pyramid Stage! Take a look at the Other Stage and we’re being treated to Lana Del Rey and Queens Of The Stone Age, whilst West Holts boasts Loyle Carner and Rudimental. The newly titled Woodsies (formally the John Peel Stage) has Hot Chip, Christine And The Queens plus Phoenix and The Park Stage will be bringing on Fatboy Slim and Alt-J.

If that wasn’t enough there’s a bumper number of key players scattered amongst the lineup, including Lizzo, Lewis Capaldi, Blondie, CHVRCHES, Lil Nas X, The War On Drugs plus more than just a few hints that mystery band The Churnups is, in fact, none other than Foo Fighters. Even Royal Blood are turning up – although we all know the piss-poor Death From Above 1979 copyists think they’re much better than they actually are! Were this any lesser festival, many of those huge names casually scattered around the site would likely top the bill. But this is what many consider the world’s greatest annual music event and Glasto has likely benefitted from the backlog caused by COVID, with many big bands and colossal artists eager to be squeezed on just to get paid once again.

Whilst this all sounds good on paper, it does run the risk of the weekend becoming a bit of a retro fest as a fair few of the aforementioned names don’t have any new material coming out or haven’t dropped a record for years, relying more on their history and greatest hits collection rather than being a vital force right now. Thankfully, if you look carefully there are plenty of cutting-edge artists to choose from and it’ll be well worth checking up on – especially alt-popstar Caroline Polachek, the brilliantly bizarre Jockstrap, grungy Americana outfit Wunderhorse, wonderfully bratty art rockers Los Bitchos, crucial breakthrough band The Last Dinner Party and intricate Welsh folk ensemble Adwaith.

Never one for peace and love vibes, I’m personally looking forward to more savage sounds and electronic beats. Thankfully there’s plenty of premium post punk to check out, including Viagra Boys whose latest LP Cave World was one of the best records of last year, and Food For Worms by shame which is one of my top choices for 2023. And who can resist sampling a bit of classic shoegaze courtesy of Reading’s finest Slowdive? Plus, The Chemical Brothers, Max Cooper, Daniel Avery and Helena Hauff will see revellers raving away late into the night.

There are plenty more of my own personal favourites making an appearance, and I’m spoilt for choice with Editors, The Big Moon, Warpaint and Working Men’s Club all turning up, and I can’t wait to finally catch art rock provocateurs Sparks who are currently enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. But it’s the mighty Manic Street Preachers I cannot wait to see – especially with rumours of a new record on the way. Famed for their uncomfortable relationship with Worthy Farm (who can forget Nicky Wire calling for a bypass to be built over the “shithole” and the infamous “Toiletgate” incident?), let’s hope for a blistering set filled with belligerent Blackwood sneering and sloganeering!!

Phew! That’s an insane number of must-see performances! That’s not to say we’ll see them all. When the Glasto madness kicks in, who knows where we’ll end up, especially when the extremes in weather could cause either life-threatening heatstroke or floods of endless mud. And the inevitable clashes are made even worse due to the significant rise in attendees, seeing stages dangerously overcrowded for the more popular acts. But the Eavis family are certainly spoiling us with a plethora of awesome acts in 2023 and it’s showing every sign of being a truly banging year. And we’ll be back with our full review - just as soon as we’ve recovered!!!

The full line-up and schedule for Glastonbury 2023 can be found HERE.


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