The great Glastonbury 'Special Guests' sweepstake

Who is in the frame to appear as the surprise act?


Photographer:Tom Spray

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Lomas, Chris Eustace | 16 June 2011

Is Jarvis free on Friday? Is Jay-Z heading down with the missus? Anyone got Kanye's number? Here's our list of the favourites and their mystery guest credentials...

Emily Eavis says the Saturday special guests involved are “big enough to headline” and that it would be a health and safety issue to announce who’s playing - so which of these mega-star musicians will create a riot at the Park Stage?

Availability: Now that their Isle Of Wight slot is done, no further shows lined up until 1 July at Open'er in Poland, so they're definitely free.
Whispers: Jarvis started tweeting hints back in November - “Glastonbury 2011 Tickets already sold out. And I was really hoping to go. What to do, what to do....” and seemingly hasn't stopped since, making knowing remarks about the poster, praising Paul Simon's addition to the line-up, and last month remarking “Glastonwhatty? Never 'eard of it.” Out of all the rumours, they're the ones the punters want as well, despite all the other festivals they’re playing. The messageboard rumour-mongers have it as pretty much a done deal that 1995's Glasto saviours are returning – we’ll see, but it looks promising.
Odds: You'll no longer have to remember the first time. This looks likely...

Arctic Monkeys
Availability: A Friday and Saturday-shaped gap in their tour schedule.
Whispers: Their triumphant new album, 'Suck It And See', is out and they’re doing the festival rounds. Alex Turner did a secret slot with The Last Shadow Puppets in 2008 and of course, the Arctics headlined themselves in 2007, so there’s pedigree there. With one surprise festival appearance under their belts this year already at Radio 1's Big Weekend, perhaps they've got the taste for them now?
Odds: They look like they're going to be there when the sun goes down.

Availability: Around in theory, he's playing Hop Farm festival the week after Glastonbury.
Whispers: Every year, Prince is rumoured to be headlining Glastonbury. Every year we're assured that THIS time, it's going to happen. Every year, it doesn't. Now, he's finally over to play a UK festival...and it's not Glastonbury. Unless it's on the Park Stage. Now that would create Health & Safety issues - Mental Health and Safety issues.
Odds: Nothing compares 2 the rumour, but it's not something he'd do.

Availability: Free, and most likely at the festival, for stage-side solidarity for wife Beyonce if nothing else.
Whispers: Rumoured to be performing with wife Beyonce on Sunday. However, if he feels like doing a bit more than just ‘Crazy In Love’, ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘’07 Bonnie & Clyde’, someone direct Hov to the Park Stage. You’d think, given his friendship with Chris Martin, he’ll be there on Saturday anyway, so there’s a chance he could guest with Coldplay too, but who would pass up a chance to revisit that seismic 2008 set up close? Go on Jay, make a weekend of it! 
Odds: Give It 2 Me but he daren't upstage his wife.

Availability: No dates currently scheduled, so free.
Whispers: Synonymous with Glastonbury since their legendary 1997 headlining set, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood played a secret set on this stage last year, and Thom in particular has been full of surprises in recent years, popping up at Latitude for a lunchtime set, and even out in Brick Lane to hand out some newspapers. While the band aren’t touring right now, they are supposed to be playing ‘The King Of Limbs’ live in its entirety for the BBC sometime in the next couple of weeks – how about the most high-profile rehearsal anyone could ever have?
Odds: If you're up there for them, they're probably going to leave you High And Dry.

Kanye West
Availability: Free
Whispers: He’s rumoured to be making a cameo during Beyonce’s set, and while that may be enough for him – he was happy to fly all the way over to the Isle Of Wight for Jay-Z’s headlining show last year just to do his verse on ‘Run This Town’ before disappearing again – watching his Coachella set online certainly whets the appetite ahead of his Big Chill bill-topping spot, and if we can’t wait, maybe he can’t either, and we’ll get some of his maverick genius on The Park Stage this year.
Odds: The rapper will be Heartless and leave you hanging.

The Killers
Availability: Over here for Hard Rock Calling on Friday 24 June, with two warm-up gigs at The Scala on the two days before it. Saturday's open though...
Whispers: There’s a history of bands playing both Hard Rock Calling and Glastonbury (although we don’t want to scare you with the thought of the secret band actually being Bon Jovi) as they’re on the same weekend, and perhaps Brandon and Co. will continue that tradition this year. They’re in the country, they’re former Glasto headliners (although they’d hope to avoid the sound problems that plagued that ’07 set), and they’ve been away long enough to be a pleasant surprise for the Worthy Farm faithful. Are they up for four gigs in four nights though?
Odds: There will be some Hot Fuss around this group if they play, but four in four days may be too much.

Arcade Fire
Availability: Free on Saturday 25 June
Whispers: With a free Saturday wedged between dates in Poland and Luxembourg, Montreal’s finest may fancy the day off instead, but AF on the Park Stage as the sun went down would be something to bore mates senseless with as those who were there reminiscing misty-eyed about it forever. They’ll have one eye on the UK anyway, with their huge Hyde Park show coming the week after, and with two of their London support acts Mumford & Sons and The Vaccines already playing, do they really want to miss out?
Odds: No Cars Go, it looks as if it won't happen.

The Strokes
Availability: Next official show isn’t until 29 June at Norway’s Hove Festival, so they’re free.
Whispers: There are those that swear Julian Casablancas said 'See you at Glastonbury' as the band left the stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle, and equally there are those adamant that he said nothing of the kind. Wishful thinking then? Well, Julian seemed to enjoy himself playing his solo stuff there last year, so he might fancy it again. Yes, they’re coming back around for dates later in the festival season, but there’s still a demand for the band here like no other country in the world, and with no UK tour announced, people would be glad of another glimpse.
Odds: You might be Taken For A Fool if you go up, then again...

Check out our Glastonbury preview pieces:
VF guide to hidden Glastonbury.
Things that only happen at Glastonbury.
Michael Eavis interview.
The great VF 'Special Guests' sweepstake.
My Festival Life… Greg Roberts from Dreadzone.
Long range Glastonbury 2011 weather forecast.
Photo blog: top 20 bands to see.
Photo blog: the mud.
Photo blog: the weird and wonderful of Worthy Farm.
Do Glastonbury 2011 as a scenester or a senior.
Glastonbury 2011 in numbers.
Glaston-buried by luggage: the ultimate packing checklist.
Glastonbury Festival Spotify playlists.
Video: top five acts to see on the Pyramid Stage.
Video: top five acts to see on the Other Stage.
Video: top five acts to see on the West Holts Stage.
Video: top five acts to see on the John Peel Stage.
Video: top five acts to see on the The Park.
Video: top five acts to see in the Dance Village.


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