It’s the most wonderful time of year! Music’s biggest weekend is once again upon usaand amidst all the hiking-boot testing and glitter buying (biodegradable please!), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Glastonbury’s frankly colossal line-up, not sure of exactly where to start.
Of course, many of us will be scheduling our days around the heavy hitters; wafting our feather boas for Lizzo, rocking out with Nova Twins or swaying with hands on heart to Lana Del Rey and Rina Sawayama. But in between those bigger sets, some of the best ‘I was there’ moments come from the smaller stages, the artists for whom Glastonbury 2023 could be a significant breakout live moment. Here are ten of our faves, well worth circling on your Clashfinder.
Charlotte Adigery and Bolis Pupal
Sunday, the Park Stage, 2pm
Blending funk, house and techno, it is frankly criminal that Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul are not the name on everybody’s lips. Thankfully for us, they’ll be bringing their live set to Glasto, guaranteeing good times with lyrical substance. Rarely do you see this kind of wry, immersive storytelling in electronic music; ‘THANKYOU’ was a fun-yet-biting critique of the way in which black artists are pigeonholed and patronised in the press, while Esperanto plays with concepts of wokeness and micro-aggression, wiggling over the kind of Miami beat that would make any NTS listener proud. The Park Stage can feel like a bit of a trek, but this set will make you glad you did it.
Say She She
Saturday, 11.30, West Holts Stage, 11.30am
Mark our words; Say She She are a band you’re going to want to get in on early. A Brooklyn-based collective of women artists, they are upfront about their love of Nile Rogers, a man who of course needs no introduction to Worthy Farm. Their glittery disco funk may feel like a throwback in some ways, but ‘C’est Si Bon’ or ‘Prism’ are firmly facing the future, tapping into the feel-good energy of a girly summery night out.
Saturday, Park Stage, 3pm
Glastonbury is all about trying new things, but if you’re not one for mind-altering substances, you could always go and see Jockstrap. The unpredictable, mind-melding nature of their songwriting structures holds their own hallucinogenic qualities, uniting fans of indie, jazz and electronica in a similar ethos to Georgia Ellery’s other outfit, Black Country New Road. They made our No.1 album of 2022 – the mesmerising ‘I Love You Jennifer B’.
Friday, The Levels, 4.30pm
At Glastonbury, you don’t have to wait until the wee hours for a decent slice of party music. Canadian house legend-in-the-making Jayda G will be hitting The Levels at a very respectable 4.30pm, conjuring up the kind of holiday feels that will surely bat away any lingering rain across the site. Will she dust off her epic ‘Anti-Hero’ remix for any swifties in the crowd? There’s only one way to find out…
Sunday, The Lonely Hearts Club, 4pm
Glastonbury can be incredibly overwhelming. If the crowds are all getting a little too much, you could do a hell of a lot worse than leaving the mainstages in favour of the Lonely Hearts Club, where Nottingham soul sensation Yazmin Lacey will be performing her blissed-out magic to a likely laid-back crowd. Her new record ‘Voice Notes’ is an absolute delight, drawing its strength from funk, soul, jazz and of course, some gorgeous live vocals.
Friday, BBC Introducing, 8pm
Fresh off the road from supporting Ed Sheeran, pop songwriter DYLAN is well-limbered for festival season, with Glastonbury promising to be one of her biggest engagements yet. If Fred Again or Royal Blood aren’t your bag, her set the BBC Introducing will be a warm, welcoming alternative, a safe space for her super-strong fanbase to gather and singalong to such fizzy bangers as ‘You’re Not Harry Styles’. Glastonbury is known for its special collabs; the petition starts here for a live recreation of ‘Every Heart But Mine’, complete with backing vocals from Rachel Chinouriri, Mae Muller, Sody, Cat Burns and Beren Olivia.
Friday, 1pm, West Holts Stage
Make some time on day one for Yaya Bey, whose R&B chill and luxurious voice made ‘Remember Your North Star’ one of the best albums of 2022, working her way through romantic trauma in order to realise her own worth. ‘Keisha’ is the perfect entry point for fans of SZA or Jamila Woods, and a likely set highlight, releasing that the problem very much is him, not you.
Friday, Left Field, 8.15pm
The presence of punk, rock and alternative maybe leaves a little to be desired on this year’s wider lineup, but you can rely on Cassyette to hold down the fort. ‘September Rain’ is full of noughties emo throwback feels, while 2023 single ‘BOOM’ mixes some rave amongst the riffs, the sonic equivalent of chugging three cans of Monster before hitting the dodgems.
Friday, The Lonely Hearts Club, 6pm
Alongside FLO (playing Woodsies on Friday at 2pm) Bellah is leading the charge for British R&B. Her open, accessible songwriting is perfect for girls in their twenties, having a dance while also laying down some important home truths about self-care and protecting one’s energy as you age into the next stage of maturity and hard life lessons. Swot up on her 2022 EP ‘Adultsville’; a fun, heartfelt blend of R&B and Afrobeats.
Girls Don’t Sync
Thursday, Glade Stage, 6pm
Saturday, The Levels, 9.30pm
An all-female DJ collective made up of Matty Chiabi, G33, Sophia Violet and Hannah Lynch, Girls Don’t Sync are your go-tos for a mix of high-energy dancehall, garage & funky blends, underwritten by their fundamental ethos of empowering, educating and welcoming more young women into the industry. They sadly won’t be bringing any of their workshops to this years event, but there’s plenty you can pick up by watching them perform, effortlessly gliding between moods, dance classics and newer tracks.
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