The Best Upcoming Acts Playing At Glastonbury 2019, Because It's Not All About The Headliners
Whether the music, the atmosphere, or the idea of spending a weekend in a field with your mates was the biggest draw for you when it came to getting Glasto tix, there were surely quite a few acts on that mega lineup that piqued your interest too. Each year, you wait patiently for the headliners to be revealed, and for those legendary slots to be filled, but a lesser-talked-about part of the weekend is discovering news acts. So, here are some of the best acts at Glasto 2019 you've never heard of, so that you can really make the most of everything going on at the festival, and discover some new faves.
While the bigger acts fill out all the bigger tents, Glasto is also a perfect opportunity to check out some of the names lower down on the lineup, who will soon be sure to make waves, and maybe even find themselves taking up the headliner slot in the years to come. Sure, seeing The Cure is certainly something to write home about, but so are the acts on the list below. Since the festival's far too big for you to wander around unprepared, here are some of my selections for where you should be heading this June.
1. Fatoumata Diawara
No amount of sunshine will make you feel as smiley and happy as an hour spent watching a set from Fatoumata Diawara. Known for being one of the most innovative and adventurous musicians of recent years, Diawara is an artist you will want to see before she begins selling out venues around the world. While she sings with a kind of power that can capture any audience, Diawara's songs are also easy listening enough to soundtrack any chill afternoon. Make sure to catch her set at the West Holts Stage on Sunday at 5 p.m.
2. Sons of Kemet
Sons of Kemet are the jazz band for those who thought they didn't like jazz. Relatively new to the scene, this London quartet were shortlisted for a Mercury Prize in 2018 for their scintillating album Your Queen Is A Reptile. One part radical history lesson, two parts foot-stomping, heart-pounding musical magicians, this album is one you'll have on repeat all summer, so you won't want to miss the Sons of Kemet set at The Park Stage on Saturday at 4.45 p.m.
3. King Princess
As her musical moniker suggests, King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) is prone to subverting gender norms in her songs. Something of a young musical prodigy, King Princess has been championed by the likes of Mark Ronson and Harry Styles, and is set to be one of pop's biggest rising stars. Expect to see her headlining festivals at a not-too-distant point in the future, but in the meantime, you can see her play The Park Stage on Friday at 4.45 p.m.
4. Dream Wife
If you like your guitar amps turned up to their highest volume then Dream Wife is the band you've been searching for. Following in the footsteps of the radical, raucous Riot Girrrl tradition, Alice Go, Rakel Mjöll, and Bella Podpadec have a setlist full of middle-finger-waving feminist anthems, and there's a good dose of hooky pop in there too. Find them at the Left Field stage on Friday night at 7.30 p.m.
5. Self Esteem
Once part of indie acoustic outfit Slow Club, Rebecca Taylor has since emerged as a one-woman act, Self Esteem. While her voice had previously been a little low and hushed, as Self Esteem, it roars over clever, deconstructed pop. She may well be one of the best and biggest shows of the whole weekend. See for yourself as she plays the Pussy Parlure on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
6. Goat Girl
Born into London's post-punk scene, Goat Girl are one of the most notable bands to have emerged from the city's underground rock venues. With lyrics that cover everything from mental health to transport issues, the band favour brashness over politeness, and in a way that really gets in your head. In the best way possible. Mosh with them at the John Peel Stage on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
7. Stella Donnelly
Stella Donnelly's debut album Beware Of The Dogs is one of my favourite records of the year so far. It's brimming with personality, luminous instrumentation, and some of the best comebacks to the unsavoury men the singer's experienced in her life. Some compare her to Courtney Barnett, possibly because of that Australian accent, but Donnelly's more like Barnett on an extra sunny day. See just what I mean when she plays the Left Field stage on Saturday at 6 p.m.