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November 2018
Features

A (sort of) guide to Glastonbury 2016

Don't know what to see? Josh Williams has worked out at least one potential route through Glastonbury 2016.
Published: 9:39 am, June 22, 2016
A (sort of) guide to Glastonbury 2016
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – it’s Glastonbury! As the mud gets muddier, and the photos of it on your Instagram get scarier, it’s time to buckle down and decide who you want to see. No, Radiohead aren’t there. Neither are Daft Punk. Instead, you’re faced with a multitude of clashes or situations where your mate really wants to see Rat Boy but you’re quite happy with Skepta. Here’s Josh Williams' (sort of) guide to getting the best bang for your buck this year – with a few curios and surprises along the way.

Wednesday & Thursday



Every man and his dog is well aware of the standard festival fare; you rock up on the Wednesday or Thursday, drink yourself into oblivion before having a hangover so bad that you can’t face that Friday morning trek from campsite to arena in order to to see that band everyone’s excited about but in reality you think they’re a bit naff. At Glastonbury, it’s not quite like that. If this is your first, you may want to have a quick look at the map to realise how absolutely massive it is.



Sorry, wrong image.

Glastonbury 2016 map

Got it? Excellent. In a site that huge it’s not exactly surprising that almost as soon as the gates open on Wednesday morning, the festival is lurching into life. If you fancy a group of pissed up lads “hilariously” shouting for covers of ‘Wonderwall’, you’re definitely in luck. At the Croissant Neuf Bandstand, there’s an acoustic open mic – perfect for anyone who decides that Glastonbury really needs to hear their acoustic cover of ‘Shutdown’.

(Just us - Ed)

In reality, despite the multitudes upon multitudes of things going on already around the site, it’s probably best you get your bearings. Glastonbury is huge. 1100 acres huge. So, enjoy yourself – wander around, find the best route to Shangri-La or Arcadia, figure out which that secret set may or may not be a Smiths reunion (it isn't). Speaking of the Smiths – for lack of the real thing, we’d highly recommend checking out The Smyths, a Smiths tribute band who have become Glastonbury favourites with their usual Sunday morning slot, except this year they’re on at 7pm Thursday night on William’s Green before two super-secret sets that, again, probably aren’t Radiohead.

Friday



Congratulations! You survived your first two days at Glastonbury! Now to figure out who to see. But never fear! Your friends at Dork are here! First of all, get yourselves to the Other Stage at 11am sharp to see James. Perfect to ease yourself in with huge singalongs to the likes of ‘Sit Down’ (although we wouldn’t actually recommend sitting down during, who knows what’s been in that mud?) and, erm, the other ones too. Following them is the Stockport quintet Blossoms at 12:30pm who will undoubtedly deliver their indie pop with glee.

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But after that, where next? You could stay at the Other Stage for Christine and the Queens (1:40pm) and Frightened Rabbit (2:50pm) or you could head over to the big old Pyramid Stage where at 1:45pm, Skepta will be appearing. Worth a shot if only to see the faces of the infamous camping chair and blanket brigade doing their best Seymour Skinner impressions. Not to mention, ‘Shutdown’ will have the entire crowd jumping. Straight after, Two Door Cinema Club make their return to Glastonbury (again, on the Pyramid Stage) at 3pm sharp. It’s been a while since we heard from the trio but we’ll definitely be intrigued to hear how their new material fares against the old favourites. If none of these options are to your tastes then you always have Rat Boy on the John Peel Stage at 2:10pm.

Regroup and head back to the Other Stage for Editors at 5:40pm followed by the ever so slightly louder Bring Me The Horizon (7:10pm), and Bastille (8:40pm) who will undoubtedly be treating the crowd to cuts from their forthcoming second album. On the John Peel Stage, you have a run of Half Moon Run (4:50pm), Jack Garrat and his magnificent beard (6:10pm) and Explosions in the Sky (7:30pm). Part of what makes Glastonbury the greatest festival in the world is that you’re spoilt for choice with Daughter on the Park Stage at 6:30pm (clashing with Editors & Jack Garrat in the process) and Savages at 9:30pm (Park Stage) clashing with Bastille and that night’s Pyramid Stage headliners Muse (more on them later!). A nice little curio will be Dance Bowie Dance, one of the many tributes to the icon over the weekend. Billed as “two hours of Bowie originals, remixes & edits” there is no doubt that tears will be shed at the Stonebridge Bar up in the Park from 6pm – 8pm.

Subbing the Pyramid Stage at 8pm are Foals who will quite easily step up to this massive slot with the likes of ‘What Went Down’, ‘Inhaler’ and ‘My Number’ sure to whip the crowd up into a frenzy. At this point, we face the headliner conundrum. Do you head to the Other Stage to watch Disclosure (10:30pm), make the trek over to West Holts to watch Underworld (10:15pm), wander on up to the Park Stage for Richard Hawley (11pm) or head over to the Avalon Stage to watch The Feeling (11:15pm) er, fill your little world right up? If you're after pure spectacle, you'd probably be best watching Muse lay waste to the Pyramid Stage at 10:15pm with enough ill-advised falsetto singalongs to make even the strongest of throats coarse.

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And yet do not go softly into the night; there’s still plenty to do and see. Our pick of the Friday nightlife would be at Genosys in the Block 9 area of the site at 12:30am for Hot Chip Remembers Prince. Why? Because if you’ve already cried at Dance Bowie Dance, you may as well have a wail to ‘Purple Rain’ as well.

Saturday



You’ve spent the night in Shangri-La and you’re suffering the mother of all comedowns but you’ve still got two days to go! Wake up in time to catch Shura on the Other Stage at midday and you’ll soon have shaken off any ills from the night before. Stretch your legs, grab some food and decide between Wolf Alice (3pm, Pyramid Stage) and Hurts (2:45pm, Other Stage). Both have reputations for exhilarating live shows but for us, Wolf Alice wins out just for the beastly riff in ‘Giant Peach’ along with the snarl of ‘You’re A Germ’. Last year they took on the rain and won on the Park Stage. Be (at the) pyramid, or be square.

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Straight up after that, you’ve got Madness on the Pyramid Stage at 4:30pm who will undoubtedly bring along some of the biggest singalongs of the weekend and have the entire crowd bouncing ready for The Last Shadow Puppets straight after them at 6:15pm. The lovechild of Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s friendship, they were talking up their Glastonbury appearance since before the album came out, so it’s definitely worth checking if they’ve lived up to the admittedly self-induced hype. Or, you could pop up to Stonebridge Bar in The Park for a DJ set from former Pulp men Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey under the name of Desperate Soundsystem from 6pm – 8pm, followed straight up by Peep Show’s Super Hans (8pm – 9pm). Yes, that one.

Super Hans

Of course if you decide to do that, you’ll miss out on The 1975 at 7:15pm on the Other Stage. Having released their second album with that Really Very Long title earlier this year, it’ll be interesting to see how the likes of ‘Love Me’ and ‘The Sound’ hold up to the Glastonbury crowd. But wait! If you want to see Tame Impala (8pm, Pyramid Stage) you’ll have to leave The 1975 around 20 minutes early to catch their entire set. You could go and see Will Young on the Avalon Stage at 8:15pm (shut up, Will is awesome - Ed) or the magnificent Chvrches at 8:45pm sharp on the Other Stage. Having released their second album ‘Every Open Eye’ last year, it’s been quite the year for the pop trio having headlined Ally Pally, and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow since then. The euphoric drop in ‘Clearest Blue’ is sure to be a Glastonbury moment. There’s no doubt that when it hits, the crowd will bounce like no tomorrow. Except there is a tomorrow and we’ve still got a headliner to go before we get there.

We have Adele (10:15pm, Pyramid Stage), New Order (10:30pm, Other Stage), James Blake (10:15pm, West Holts Stage), M83 (10:30pm, John Peel Stage) or if you fancy something different, you have Philip Glass’ Heroes Symphony (11:45pm, Park Stage – the Symphony is based on the Bowie album of the same name). Lots of choice, but there can only be one. We’re going for New Order on what could very well be the last time they play at Glastonbury.

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Post-headliner wise, there are a few options. You could watch the show in Arcadia. If it’s half as good as last year’s then you’re in for a bloody treat. Or you could try and find the Rabbit Hole - it’s a bit tricky though. Or, you could try and be at the Hell Stage in Shangri-La at 3am to watch Mark Ronson & Kevin Parker play a set together.

Sunday



It’s the last day of the festival! No need to cry though, there’s still plenty to do. If you fancy starting the day softly, you’ve got Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in conversation at 1pm in Left Field but you’ll have to leave early if you want to catch Hinds on the Park Stage at 2pm. If you fancy a massive singalong, definitely be at the Pyramid Stage at 4pm to catch Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Some ‘Mr Blue Sky’ will probably be very welcome. If you’re quick after ELO you can catch Band of Horses at 5:30pm on the John Peel Stage and if you’re not, you’ll definitely be able to see Of Monsters & Men at 7pm there. Course, then you'd be missing Beck on the Pyramid Stage at 7:15pm, which would make you absolutely bonkers. If you are, then head over to Sonic in the Silver Hayes area of the site for 7:40pm when Craig David’s TS5 will be playing, because who doesn’t want to see Craig David in 2016?

One last headliner, the all-important festival closer, the final dance, etc etc. Coldplay take to the Pyramid Stage at 9:30pm for those who like generally inoffensive radio friendly ‘rock’. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ star Cyndi Lauper takes to the Acoustic Stage at 9:30pm, whilst we will most definitely be watching LCD Soundsystem at 9:45pm on the Other Stage. ‘All My Friends’ will be a pretty special way to end the festival.

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If you’ve still got any energy left after all of that, and you’re up for one last night of hedonism then let your heart run free and see where the wind takes you. No, seriously. The best things at Glastonbury are found when you least expect it. Plus Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon at 1am in the Rabbit Hole sounds very intriguing.

Enjoy Glastonbury!

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