Tim Jonze Tuesday 14 April 2015 14.00 EDT theGuardian.com
The festival has announced a list of 75 artists set to play, including performances from Mary J Blige, Florence and the Machine and Motörhead. But there’s still no news on who the Sunday-night headliner will be
PHOTOGRAPH BY PAOLA KUDACKI
Glastonbury festival is known as a place for gaining new experiences, and not just for fans. Mary J Blige and Motörhead will be among the artists making their debut appearances at this year’s event, along with newer names such as Sleaford Mods and Catfish and the Bottlemen. These acts help make up a list of 75 artists announced by the festival on 14 April, which also includes returning stars such as Alt-J, Pharrell Williams, Florence and the Machine and Patti Smith, who will likely be playing tracks from her debut album Horses, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
It will be Florence Welch’s first live appearance at the festival since 2010, when she played a barnstorming set on the Other stage that included a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. As for the debut artists, Blige’s performance follows the R&B singer’s 2014 album The London Sessions, which was heavily influenced by the current wave of UK dance artists. Hard rockers Motörhead follow in the footsteps of Metallica, who last year became the first heavy metal band to headline the festival. Although Pharrell Williams has played Glastonbury before as part of his group NERD, this will be the first time he has performed as a solo artist. His booking comes off the back of a career renaissance – he played a key part in a trio of recent global smash hits: Happy, Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.
Other notable names on the list include a collaborative performance between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks (listed as FFS), a set by the Moody Blues – now into their sixth decade as a band – and the Mothership Returns, which will feature funk legend George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic and the Family Stone.
Florence Welch, backstage at Glastonbury in 2010. Photograph: Samir Hussein/Getty Images
The furore over Kanye West’s headline performance, in which one Glastonbury-goer set up a petition to have him struck off the bill, thankfully hasn’t persuaded the festival to avoid booking hip-hop artists – US duo Run the Jewels and Azealia Banks both feature. Elsewhere, the list features names such as soulful southern rockers Alabama Shakes, recent Brit winner Paloma Faith, and British dance artists such as the Chemical Brothers, Rudimental and Clean Bandit, who played to an overflowing John Peel stage tent in 2014. Mercury prize-winners Young Fathers, who return to the festival after playing last year, said: “We hope the sun shines on our arrival and the moon shines on the audience so we can see their loving faces and so it can guide us when we depart, to the airport and another festival, somewhere else.”
Jungle, another new band returning after a triumphant 2014 performance, said: “Glastonbury has always been one of our favourite festivals and we cannot wait to play this year. Playing the Other stage is something of a dream come true – it’s going to be amazing looking out on Friday afternoon and seeing so many faces – nerve racking but exhilarating.”
Lionel Richie had previously been announced to play the prestigious Sunday afternoon Pyramid stage slot, telling the Guardian that it was “one of the most iconic festivals in the world”. Despite the host of new names announced, there’s still no news on who’ll be headlining the Sunday night after Foo Fighters and Kanye West top the bill on Friday and Saturday respectively. Australian rockers AC/DC have been tipped to play that slot, while rumours persist that it could be Prince or even Kate Bush, who returned to the live scene in 2014 after a 35-year break.
List of artists confirmed for Glastonbury 2015 – so far
• This article was amended on 14 April. It was previously stated that Patti Smith was making her debut at Glastonbury, however she makes her return to the festival having performed in 1999.