It's that time of year again people. Glastonbury: the most talked about, fawned over event of the British summer has only gained more notoriety in recent outings. The stalwarts grumble about its eclecticism and politics being watered down, they claim the music is gradually being homogenised - Mumford & Sons headlining, anyone? - thus attracting a new breed of attendees more attuned to Polo in the Park; Hugos and Poppys who see building their own quinoa salads at Whole Foods as solid preparation for five days of sanity-warping comedowns, Human Centipede-grade personal hygiene abuse, and the spooning of canned chicken onto Ritz crackers.

This year's headline bookings didn't exactly put anyone on their backside. Sure, 'Eez-Eh' will send Kasabian's assembled throng into meltdown worthy of a 90th minute winner in the World Cup final, there'll be decent fireworks but "unbelievably bad" music at Metallica, and Arcade Fire, well, they'll be quietly epic; and we'll be left nodding along like 100,000 lobotomised David Grays.

Away from the Pyramid Stage's glaringly obvious spectacles - not least Dolly's, um, assets - Glastonbury still offers up hordes of brilliant left-field options, and, most importantly - to me at least - young, hungry, about-to-break acts. As ever, the John Peel and BBC Introducing Stage are the primary beacons of shiny new talent - but the Park, Other, and Sonic stages all reveal hidden gems too this year. To be honest, it's far more fun to strap a few tins of supermarket grog to yourself and go exploring, but for those of you who crave direction amongst the must, the mud and the melee; my top picks from the undercard are right here.

However you play it this weekend, just remember to take it easy. There's tonnes on offer, and the bands tend to play more than once, so don't go breaking your neck to make it from stage-to-stage; you'll piss your mates off and they'll go do something way more fun without you.

Lastly, come say 'Hi', I've got loads of crackers and tinned goods and a carefully highlighted schedule - I'll be the guy near the entrance confiscating the shoes of anyone using the arse-clenching expression, "Glasters".

Ella Eyre

At a tender 20-years-old, she's already a dab hand with skyscraper-scaling choruses - see 'Deeper' if you don't believe me - and her live set is fast becoming an immaculate soul-pop show in the Katy B vein with the Londoner whirling her blonde 'n' brown mane around like a tumble dryer jammed on its highest setting. Latest cut 'If I Go' is a bona fide party-starter, regardless of how much cider has permeated your bloodstream by this point on Saturday.

Sonic, Saturday, 18.10


Tasked with opening the BBC Introducing Stage this year, fresh-faced Brit producer Andy Smith is unlikely to be feeling even a whiff of expectation. Formerly known as Luxury (no u, you see), Smith's already dropped a slew of effervescent club-ready hits, like 'J.A.W.S', on Disclosure's Method Records (see the Lawrence boys spinning it here) and fabled electronic boutique Greco-Roman, he's had his face strewn across the pages of Pitchfork, and torn Europe's top nightspots a new one with his bubbling blend of broiling house and razor-edged dance-pop. Count on two things at this year's Glastonbury; Lxury sending the early crowd fucking doolally, and the unmistakable scent of human piss infiltrating your tent long before Kasabian gurn us out on Sunday.

BBC Introducing, Thursday, 20.00

All We Are

Straight to business: your stamina is nothing short of fucking superhuman if you're able to crawl down to the Park Stage before the end of Liverpool's sugar-glazed multi-national trio All We Are's set. Yes, 11.30 is almost unfeasibly early-doors for a band of this quality, and those who haven't succumbed to the previous evening's arse-rending food-stall grub will be richly rewarded by the self-styled "BeeGees on diazepam" and their topsy-turvy, pheromone-oozing float-funk arsenal. 'Feel Safe' is nailed on to be this festival's morning-after-the-night-we-screwed-on-top-of-a-mess-tin anthem.

Park, Friday, 11.30


Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike to his mum, MNEK to the scores of electronic acts clamouring for him to slap a sultry verse or whomping, wobbling bass hook onto their latest tune. The Lewisham native is without a doubt the hottest, fastest rising new producer of 2014. He's guested on, written, and produced hits from Gorgon City, Sub Focus, Duke Dumont and Rudimental, among others; but it's his solo work that's really catching fire right now. 'Every Little Word' cements MNEK's burgeoning reputation as the Crown Prince of Booty Call Background Music, and with his album out later this year, I'm hoping for a glimpse of more new material. Whatever the weather, it'll be a tease in every possible sense of the word.

Sonic, Saturday, 14.30


Another precocious Liverpudlian with a gift for sensuous soul, Holly Lapsley Fletcher scrambled our brains at the turn of the year by way of 'Station', and its 'fake' male vocalist. "Dropped the pitch of vocals, no co-vocalist, aint nobody got tym fo dat," she proudly declares on the track's SoundCloud. Smart cookie, then eh? You betcha. And the fact she's about the same age as your little sis shames just about every sibling across the world in the achingly cool stakes. It's always interesting to see how grooves this spine-tinglingly intricate and painstakingly layered translate on the festival stage - but anyone who's making music this stirring and tricksy at her age certainly inspires plenty of confidence.

BBC Introducing, 14.15