Glastonbury 2016 secret sets: Who will be surprising festival goers this year? From Radiohead to James Murphy

Also Bastille, Two door Cinema Club, Beyoncé...

Jack Shepherd@JackJShepherd
Wednesday 22 June 2016 11:59
Radiohead  frontman Thom Yorke performs at the Roundhouse
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke performs at the Roundhouse

Every year, hundreds upon hundreds of acts descend upon Worthy Farm to play Glastonbury festival, with punters trudging through the mud to see their favourite bands.

Notably, every Thursday, two acts play the Williams Green stage in the evening - both unannounced. (Last year it was Wolf Alice and The 1975.)

Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the weekend, numerous acts play secret slots on the BBC Introducing stage, Other Stage, Park Stage etc.

So who will be playing this year? Let’s take a look at the contenders, as well as those less likely (but who are rumoured to maybe appear).

Likely surprise acts

Catfish & The Bottlemen - The indie rockers are hitting up The Other Stage on Sunday at 18.20, and are the perfect relatively-big-not-astronomically-huge band to play a small set on Thursday.

Bastille - Same as Catfish, except these guys have a few top 10 hits under their belt. If they’re not there Thursday, you can always catch them on the Other Stage.

Dan Smith of British band Bastille

Mumford & Sons - Yes, they headlined two years ago, but they also did a smaller set last year. In fact, the Mumford men haven’t missed a Glastonbury for the last nine years, so don’t expect them to miss out. Plus, they recently made a mini-album with Baaba Maal, who is playing the Pyramid Stage on Saturday. Do you need any more evidence they’ll be there?

James Murphy - The man behind LCD Soundsystem has previously done surprise DJ sets at the festival; could he be doing it again? His band are playing the Sunday, after all.

Fatboy Slim - Despite already playing the John Peel stages, chances are Norman Quentin Cook will pop up at some stage. Whether in a small bar behind the decks or on the Sonic stage, who can say. In 2013, even though he wasn’t even on the bill and he still played five DJ sets…

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DJ Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook

Two Door Cinema Club - Another indie band, known well enough to inspire a singalong, but having not released an album for a couple of years, still trying to garner as much attention as possible. A high chance you’ll see them on the BBC Introducing stage for a small set.

Much less likely:

Radiohead - Having released A Moon Shaped Pool earlier this year and with a suspiciously large gap in their touring schedule, could Thom Yorke and co. be hitting up Worthy Farm again? They did play a secret set in 2011 for The King of Limbs, so it is very possible.

Rihanna - Already heavily rumoured to be appearing alongside Coldplay, could the Anti-singer do her own set at the festival? She’s currently touring the UK and has a big Sunday 26 June gap. Maybe the Hell stage at 2am?


Beyoncé - Really, this one is probably the most unlikely here. However, with Queen B coming to the UK for her Formation tour, starting on the 28 June, she could pop to Worthy Farm to play a small slot, right? It would be one amazing show.

There we have it. If you’re at Glastonbury, hopefully, you’ll accidentally see a few. If you’re at home, they’ll probably be on TV at some stage. Here’s the full line-up for your viewing pleasure.

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