Back for the first time since 2019, the greatest music show on Earth returns today, as Glastonbury gets under way.
Thousands of fans have pitched their tents, but armchair viewers can enjoy the action, too — and without having to brave the mud.
With a bumper line-up, there’s something for everyone.
Wolf Alice rise to the occasion in front of big crowds, and are sure to draw one to the Pyramid Stage this afternoon . . . if they can make it back from LA in time, with their original flight home having been cancelled. Here’s hoping they do: The Last Man On Earth, from last year’s chart-topping Blue Weekend album, is a Worthy Farm anthem in the making (4.45pm, BBC iPlayer).
They always take the weather with them, and revellers will be hoping the Antipodean rockers bring sunny skies to the Pyramid Stage today (8pm, BBC4). Frontman Neil Finn, fresh from touring with Fleetwood Mac, has turned Crowded House into a family affair, with sons Liam and Elroy now alongside him on guitar and drums. Hits such as Don’t Dream It’s Over are ripe with tuneful nostalgia.
Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis may never get his wish of seeing Led Zeppelin on the Pyramid Stage, but former frontman Robert Plant should at least air a couple of Zep classics when he resumes his partnership with bluegrass star Alison Krauss (8.30pm, BBC4). Plant has recently been singing Rock And Roll and The Battle Of Evermore. Krauss’s other-worldly voice is a thing of beauty.
Having scooped last year’s Mercury Prize with her dazzling debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, the Hammersmith singer gets to play, aptly enough, on the Park Stage (9.30pm, BBC4). Parks’ sensitive, poetic songs explore coming of age and unrequited love.
At 20, the Californian pop icon will become the youngest solo artist to headline Glastonbury (10pm, BBC2). She’s unlikely to be daunted, having delivered a triumphant set — wearing a baggy, two-piece outfit designed by Stella McCartney — on her first visit in 2019. Expect whispered vocals, laid-back beats . . . and a blockbusting Bond theme in No Time To Die.
Having wowed fans singing Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World, backed by Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, at the Queen’s Jubilee concert, Celeste should take a return to Glastonbury in her stride (7pm, BBC4). Barnstorming ballads are the forte of a British-Jamaican star who grew up listening to Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone.
Occupying the same spot as his brother Liam did three years ago — main support act on the Pyramid Stage — Noel Gallagher makes his Glastonbury solo debut just hours before his hero Paul McCartney takes to the stage. Backed by the High Flying Birds, he is expected to mix solo material with the Oasis classics Supersonic and Don’t Look Back In Anger (9pm, BBC2).
The jewel in this year’s crown. Having brought down the house on his previous visit in 2004, Sir Paul McCartney takes the greatest song catalogue in pop to the Pyramid Stage a week after his 80th birthday (BBC1, 10.30pm). Beatles classics Can’t Buy Me Love, Get Back and Hey Jude are all live mainstays, alongside Wings hits Band On The Run and Live And Let Die.
One of the stars of the kitchen disco phenomenon, Ware is finally bringing her dance fantasy, What’s Your Pleasure?, to the UK’s biggest stages (11pm, iPlayer). Dogged by sound problems, her disastrous appearance at America’s Coachella festival in 2018 was a career low point. This weekend should be more enjoyable for the sophisticated South Londoner.
Yorkshire indie-folk singer Rebecca Lucy Taylor wanted to ‘go pop’ on her own terms when she assumed the alter-ego Self Esteem. She’ll supply big choruses and thunderous drumming when she takes to the John Peel stage (3.15pm, iPlayer), while fans of emotional bedroom-pop ballads can enjoy former Disney Channel starlet Olivia Rodrigo (7pm, BBC1) and the UK’s Holly Humberstone (8pm, BBC3).
The coveted teatime Legends slot will see the former Supremes singer, 78, follow in the footsteps of Dolly Parton and Kylie, both of whom drew huge crowds (6.45pm, BBC1). In terms of sequin-clad quality and elegance, though, the real template here is Shirley Bassey’s appearance in 2007, when the grande dame of British showbiz arrived in wellies and a pink, feathered ball gown.
Despite Noel Gallagher’s outrage at Jay-Z topping the bill in 2008 — ‘I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury, it’s wrong,’ he said — rap has become a Worthy Farm cornerstone, with Kanye West and Stormzy both headlining. This year’s star attraction is Kendrick Lamar, a Pulitzer Prize winner, who’ll bring lyrical dexterity and an eclectic musical outlook to the Pyramid Stage (9.30pm, BBC2).
Pet Shop Boys
Showing comparative youngsters like McCartney and Ross how it’s done, American jazz great Herbie Hancock, 82, should delight the Pyramid Stage (8pm, BBC4), while the ‘galactic country’ of Kacey Musgraves is well worth a listen (also 8pm, BBC4). Lorde will deliver her sunshine pop (iPlayer, 7.30pm), while Elbow’s One Day Like This, another hit of the Jubilee, always guarantees a hearty singalong (iPlayer, 5.45pm).