All weather forecasts are hinting towards this year’s Glastonbury festival being a wet one, a shame but it’ll be the last one for two years, so we’re just going to have to get on with it. Despite what you may think of the three headliners’ musical ability, no-one can deny the fact that U2, Coldplay and Beyonce are all enormous global superstars. They will put on mammoth shows, and you’d hope they appreciate the festival’s unique ethos. But which bands are set to make us at The 405 forget the torrential pain caused by Wellington boots, and the fact that we’re standing knee-deep in trench conditions?

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Grouplove – The Park, 12.30pm

One of our favourite new bands this year, the LA five-piece celebrate the release of their debut album ‘Never Trust A Happy Song’ by making their debut on Worthy Farm, on one of the less crowded stages with fewer flags (and umbrellas!) blocking your view. Their upbeat and joyous pop will be a great start to the weekend and you’d imagine ‘Colours’ will foster the first hands-in-the-air singalong moment of the festival, it could be defining.. That new single ‘Itchin’ On A Photograph’ is just as festival-anthem friendly can points to what is sure to be a blissful 30 minutes.

B.B. King – Pyramid Stage, 4.30pm

One of the most influential guitarists of all time is making a teatime appearance on the domineering Pyramid Stage. 85 years young and over 15,000 performances down, it is a credit to the man he is still going so strong. ‘Blues Boy’ will be sure to wow the masses with his complex playing and that famously gruff voice. And who knows, maybe he’ll be back for a collaboration a little later on?

Bright Eyes – Other Stage, 5.35pm

Conor Oberst has a chequered history with the Eavises, but they’ve long forgiven him for 2005’s ill-advised outbursts and he returns to the Other Stage for the first time since 2006. Although ‘The People’s Key’ has received mixed reviews, this possible farewell tour has been widely recognised as one of Bright Eyes’ best. Drawing extensively from their back catalogue alongside the newer material, Conor has been up for it and has been showing a more amiable side that transcends positivity into both bandmates and crowds alike.


Jimmy Eat World, Other Stage, 6pm

Sticking out like a sore thumb on Saturday’s lineup, the Arizonans will be sure to bring some much-needed pop-punk sensibility to Somerset. A band that knows how to work festivals, we’ll all sing to ‘The Middle’ and dance to ‘My Best Theory’ in unison. It’ll be a fun hour of perfect melodies and should ensure a fantastic atmosphere to get people in the mood for the night’s shenanigans.

Battles, John Peel Stage, 9pm

Their appearance near the top of the John Peel Stage raised a few eyebrows when announced, but the fact is they’re one of the very few bands playing in the tent the great man would actually have had some time for. Playing in the darkness (the atmosphere’s always better at night), their hysterical and experimental sounds will ensure a party vibe and plenty of awkward dancing.

Wild Beasts, The Park, 11pm

Going up against Coldplay, Big Boi and The Chemical Brothers amongst others, it’s a tough draw for the Kendal lads. But if there’s any band that can rise to the challenge, it’s them. They have a habit of doing things the tough way and giving those songs from ‘Smother’ a debut festival outing should raise enough people’s curiousity. Always a strong live band, with those piercing vocals and luscious melodies colliding into a swelling climax, now it’s time for them to move to the next level. Although personally, I just hope ‘The Devil’s Crayon’ remains in the set.


My First Tooth, Acoustic Stage, 12pm

The first ever Alcopop! signings to play Glastonbury, and a huge favourite of The 405, we’re so thrilled that MFT have the opportunity to play their heartwarming tales in such a huge environment. A gentle start to the last day of the festival – the impossible to dislike ‘Lexy Lay’ and ‘Sleet And Snow’ will be sure to win them a whole new bunch of fans. Of course, the band’s enthusiastic stage presence will also gain them plaudits. One not to be missed.

Paul Simon, Pyramid Stage, 4.30pm

Every year, there is a ‘legendary’ act who plays on Sunday afternoon. 2011 sees none other than Paul Simon take on this mantle, and it will be nothing but a travesty if he doesn’t live up to the billing. Having had such a strong and varied career, he certainly has enough material to fall on and his affable and jovial personality will ensure the tiring audience’s spirits are kept up for what should be a highly entertaining and inspiring 75 minutes.

Vessels, BBC Introducing Stage, 7.30pm

Only a short set but bound to be something a bit special, the Leeds post-rockers have built their reputation on rousing live performances and this is sure to rank as one of their finest moments. Handpicked by the BBC to headline the Introducing stage, they’ll offer something a bit different and will be sure to impress/deafen any passers-by with their hard-hitting experimental noise.

Of course, it is a cliché but all too true – there is far more than just the music at Glastonbury. If none of the bands take your fancy, go to the Green Fields, watch a circus act (I’ve seen the same guy hammer a nail through his nipple the past two years, will I make it a hat-trick?), enjoy Lost Vagueness after hours and just talk to people – both workers and fellow punters. And more importantly, enjoy it – it’s going to be a very long wait until the next one.