The Glastonbury line-up is finally here – you can almost hear the pattering of heavy rain on that cheap tent canvas can't you? – and while at first glance there are no big surprises of Jay-Z's magnitude like last year, next month's colourful programme is full of character, especially away from the main stages. Here's our initial reaction…
As previously announced, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur will top the bill but there is plenty of quality to be found further down the list. The exquisite Fleet Foxes, The Specials, Lily Allen and Regina Spektor offer a strong start to the Pyramid Stage, but elsewhere real quality is questionable – Spinal Tap anyone? Sunday’s usual ‘legend’ slot has gone to Tom Jones, joining a Sunday line-up that’s a bit of a bus pass bonanza with Status Quo, Tony Christie and Madness all acting as pre-cursers for Damon Albarn and Co.
The Other Stage's best bands can be found on the Friday too with The Rakes, The Maccabees, The View, White Lies and Bloc Party only interrupted by peculiar placing of paparazzi pop princess Lady GaGa. The Prodigy will bring the festival to an explosive end, but surely Glasvegas don’t have the experience or clout to fill the penultimate slot. Enter Shikari and Brand New should make for interesting watching, especially after genre-sakes Panic At The Disco failed to pull a crowd last year.
Over on the Jazz World, Q-Tip, Steel Pulse, Linda Lewis and Roots Manuva add real diversity to the line-up and The Streets, who play on the Friday, should draw a huge crowd on the stage. Doves, Jarvis Cocker and Echo And The Bunnymen take the top slots on the John Peel Stage while Virtual Festivals picks of the year Little Boots, Dan Black, Passion Pit, Florence And The Machine, White Lies and The Gaslight Anthem are all set to fly the flag for good new music.
The Park stage, curated by Emily Eavis, has cemented itself as one of the more popular arenas at the festival since its inception two years ago and 2009 is perhaps its most adventurous line-up yet. There are three special guests to be unveiled on the stage while Animal Collective, The Horrors, Bon Iver and former Emerging Talent winners Golden Silvers will also play.
As always the forums are split about today’s announcement with Angelina writing (grammar not corrected): “Its not a bad line up but it is more for the oldies?? which is fine because I am one. Like last year. What happened to attracting a younger crowd?”
Dick Skidmark said: “Pyramid line up would be great if I was my dad but I'm looking and thinking Fleet Foxes are the only band I'll definitely see on there. OK, probably Spinal Tap which has the potential to be massively disappointing OR the best thing all weekend. Fleet Foxes look like they might clash with Friendly Fires who I also had at the top of my watch list.
Doves on John Peel are a dead cert but Streets, De La Soul and Q Tip on the Jazz is a real tempter. I'd never have thought I'd have Neil Young third on the list of things I'd want to see that night.”
What do you think about this year’s line-up? Who are you going to see? Who’s missing? Let us know your thoughts below.