After celebrating its belated 50th birthday last year, Glastonbury has returned in 2023 to keep the UK’s biggest and (arguably) best festival going with another annual celebration of the performing arts.
The long-standing reputation of this Pilton-based party has become the stuff of legend ever since its inception back in 1970. In the years following, this once humble gathering has grown into one of the world’s largest and most eagerly-anticipated music festivals, with each of its culturally conscious instalments mirroring the social temperature of the times.
Meanwhile, audiences have regularly found themselves either overjoyed or infuriated with their valiant attempts at trying to bag its gold-dust tickets.
Put simply, Glastonbury is one of the biggest moments in the world’s cultural calendar. If you’re looking for a whistle-stop tour of its history and details of 2023’s line-up and how to watch, you’ve come to the right place.
How can I watch Glastonbury 2023?
As always, the BBC is your go-to source for all things Glastonbury 2023 — and this year, their coverage is bigger and more extensive than ever.
Delivering over 40 hours of coverage across the weekend on BBC iPlayer’s dedicated Glastonbury Channel, those who missed out on tickets will be able to feel like they’re at Worthy Farm after all via podcasts, extensive live-set streams and Glasto-themed playlists available on BBC Sounds.
“This year we’re proud to deliver over 40 hours of coverage across our TV channels to our audiences, as well as over 85 hours of live radio broadcasts, in addition to content on BBC Sounds,” explained Lorna Clarke, Director of Music at the BBC.
She added: “Glastonbury 2023 will have even more live coverage from site, including a record number of hours on BBC One. There will be more programming in the lead up, including an updated version of Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting and more content to discover on BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer.”
Joining their 40 hours of televised coverage and 85 hours of live radio broadcasts, added accessibility options will also be available, including Pyramid Stage sets accompanied by British Sign Language for the first time.
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Glasto headliner Elton John to perform 'brand new show' for festival (Somerset County Gazette, 3-min read)
How to have the best Glasto ever (even if you’re not going) (Evening Standard, 4-min read)
With the Glasto live webcam already shooting out views direct from the festival site, come Monday, 19 June, this transformed into a fully soundtracked live stream for those at home to enjoy.
A Glastonbury Greatest Hits channel has landed on iPlayer, offering best-of sets from festivals gone by and new docuseries We Love Glastonbury will launch on BBC Two and iPlayer featuring the likes of Noel Gallagher, Jessie Ware and Nish Kumar discussing their love of the event.
A top 10 list of best Glastonbury moments, daily BBC Sounds playlists, a Glastonbury Anthems BBC Two series revisiting classic sets, BBC Music Introducing takeovers and a new cut of the documentary Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting are also available now.
These are all free to enjoy as long as you own a valid TV licence.
What is Glastonbury festival?
The festival now universally known as Glastonbury was founded in 1970 by Michael Eavis and his late wife Jean. Eavis was and still is a dairy farmer who was inspired to create his own music festival after attending the Bath Festival of Blues a year prior.
Originally named the Pilton Pop, Folk & Blues Festival, this hand-made open-air event was initially due to be headlined by The Kinks before T-Rex replaced the band at the last moment.
Tickets only cost £1 — a far cry from their current price tag — and Eavis’ initial party attracted around 1,500 people to the fields of his dairy farm in Pilton, Somerset.
After a successful first outing, Eavis was determined to keep going, and has done ever since. Cut to 2023 and Glastonbury festival is a much more different event than the one that initially kicked it into gear all those years ago.
Today, it’s attended by roughly 200,000 people — enough to transform its sleepy Somerset surroundings into a pop-up city whenever the festival starts — and it contains much more than musical performances.
Throughout a week in late June, 900 acres of the picturesque Vale of Avalon are transformed into a vibrant cultural space featuring installations, traders, arts and crafts activities, healers and of course, plenty of music, from huge international acts to people in tiny tents with nothing but a bit of creative flair.
While the event has had its ups and downs, including a long-standing battle with overcrowding and those determined to break in and the ever-fluctuating nature of British weather, it remains one of the biggest musical events of the year.
Socially minded and dedicated to supporting charities and good causes around the world, Glastonbury also takes every fifth year off in order to allow its farmland to recuperate after the intensity of multiple festivals.
In 1999, Michael’s daughter Emily Eavis became the co-organiser of Glastonbury and today is the driving force behind the festival’s yearly bookings and output.
Who is playing Glastonbury 2023?
As always, Glastonbury’s musical line-up is just divisive enough to delight and disgruntle fans in equal measure, with 2023’s main stage headliners Arctic Monkeys, Guns n’ Roses and Sir Elton John doing exactly that.
Responding to criticism surrounding this all-male Pyramid Stage headlining trio, current festival organiser Emily Eavis cited a “pipeline” problem and explained that she was dedicated to “balancing” the remainder of the bill.
This can thankfully be seen in other elements of 2023’s line-up, with the likes of Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Beth Orton, Blondie, Carly Rae Jepsen and Texas rounding out the roster.
Additional names due to perform at Glastonbury 2023 include Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Manchester artist Aitch, Alt-J, Lil Nas X, Christine and the Queens, Hot Chip, Lewis Capaldi, Manic Street Preachers and many, many more acts across three jam-packed days.
The full line-up was announced on Tuesday, 30 May, and Queens of the Stone Age, the Chemical Brothers, Royal Blood, Skepta, Caroline Polachek and Digga D were added to the line-up. Other notable names onn the Pyramid stage include Royal Blood, who will now play before Arctic Monkeys on Friday, Rick Astley on Saturday, Maisie Peters and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and The Master Musicians of Joujouka.
Read more:The best music festivals of 2023
Over on The Park stage, attendees can enjoy headlining performances from Fatboy Slim, Fever Ray and Alt J, with Thundercat, Sparks, Weyes Blood, composer Max Richter, with Tinariwen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Viagra Boys also visiting across the weekend.
On the West Holts stage, Kelis, Loyle Carner and Rudimental are on headlining duty, with Young Fathers, Ezra Collective, Black Country New Road and She Say She making up just a handful of performers due to appear at this area of the festival.
Meanwhile, at Woodsies (previously the John Peel Stage), fans will encounter Hot Chip, Christine and the Queens and Phoenix as their headliners, with War Paint, Editors, The Courteeners, Pale Waves, Shame and The Murder Capital also playing under the tent. The tent is also expected to host two more big-name acts, who have not yet been announced, as well as Caroline Polachek, Editors, Slowdive, Shame, the Murder Capital, Working Men’s Club, Wunderhorse and the Last Dinner Party, Courteeners and Pale Waves.
The Other stage will see Queens of the Stone Age headline on Sunday, Lana del Ray on Saturday, and Wizzkid on Friday. New acts confirmed include Dermot Kennedy, Krept & Konan, Japanese Breakfast, the Lightning Seeds, the Hives, Ben Howard, the Unthanks, the Lathums, the Teskey Brothers, the Joy, and supergroup Generation Sex.
Full line-ups for a variety of stages and spaces including Block9, Strummerville, the Acoustic stage, Pilton Palais, the Glade, the Kidsfield, Glasto Latino, Unfairground, Arcadia, Shangri-La, The Common, Theatre & Circus, Left Field, Croissant Neuf, Field of Avalon and Silver Hayes have also been revealed.
Tickets for Glastonbury 2023 went on sale in late 2022 and sold out in an hour, despite a technical issue involving the event’s ticketing system throwing a last-minute spanner into the works.
Who are 'The Churnups'?
When the full Glastonbury line-up launched in late May, one of the first things to grab people’s attention was the presence of a mystery act set to play a crucial evening slot on the Pyramid Stage’s Friday night.
Known only as ‘The Churnups,’ Glasto fans quickly began speculating who this secret line-up addition could be. While Glastonbury regularly hosts secret sets across its festival weekends, this felt different - they have a name for starters - the catch was, no one seems to know who ‘The Churnups’ are.
Many wasted no time suggesting it could be Pulp, with one Twitter user highlighting that when you churn something up, that's exactly what you get.
— Gl⛺️stobation 💦 (@glastobation) May 30, 2023
With Jarvis Cocker’s iconic 90’s band recently reformed and touring, it certainly felt like a safe bet. That is, until Foo Fighters’ frontman, Dave Grohl, shared a rather telling note on social media in early June.
Thanking Foos fans for their continued support in the wake of drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death in 2022, it was his choice of words that caught the eye of many online.
“Churning up?” hmmm.
As of writing, it’s still unclear as to who ‘The Churnups’ actually are - but with Glastonbury 2023 fast approaching, we’ll surely find out soon enough.
Glastonbury 2023 will take place between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 June.
This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/glastonbury-2023-when-line-up-how-to-watch-085452178.html