Glastonbury 2014: five acts to watch

It's not all about the main stage headliners, says Isabelle Aron - catch Dolly Parton, HAIM, Chance the Rapper, Michael Kiwanuka and James Blake

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Glastonbury 2014: five acts to watch
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Isabelle Aron

Controversial headliners Metallica have been the subject of much of this year’s Glasto line-up talk, but it’s not all about the main stage, top-of-the-bill acts. I’ve picked out five performances on different stages for you to add to your watch list.


Main stage: Dolly Parton (Sunday, 5pm)

Live coverage BBC2, Radio 2

If you’re not a huge fan of Metallica or Kasabian, you might feel like the main stage headliners at Glastonbury have fallen short a bit this year. I’m certainly in this camp and find myself, perhaps surprisingly, most looking forward to Dolly Parton belting out some classics on the Pyramid stage. Festivals are often about seeing the kinds of acts you wouldn’t usually see, and while I wouldn’t rush to buy tickets for a Dolly Parton tour, I certainly won’t be passing up the opportunity to see the Queen of Country sing 9-5 live.


Other stage: HAIM (Friday, 8pm)

Live coverage on BBC3, Radio 1

There are two reasons to go and see HAIM live:

To dance and sing along to insanely catchy pop music from this trio of effortlessly cool sisters from LA.

To see bass player, Este Haim’s, bass face – almost as entertaining as their music. Here’s a taster:


John Peel stage: Chance the Rapper (Sunday, 8:45pm)

Real name Chancellor, this 21-year-old Chicago-born rapper is one to watch. Some of his music has the vibe of a young Kanye West, but with less arrogance. Yes, he’s collaborated with Justin Beiber, but don’t hold it against him. This up-and-coming artist is prime viewing for the sunset slot.


Avalon Stage: Michael Kiwanuka (Friday, 3:35pm)

Festivals aren’t all about overly-amplified guitars – sometimes you want something a little more laid back, particularly if you’ve got a pounding head from one too many over-priced beers. But it can’t just be any old acoustic music, because let’s be honest you didn’t go to Glastonbury to see someone on stage singing “Kumbaya” (although if you’re unlucky enough you’ll have that breed of festival-goer camped next to you). Ease yourself into festival mode with this seriously talented singer-songwriter, whose bluesy voice has a hint of Otis Redding.


The Park stage: James Blake (Sunday, 9pm)

It may be the Park stage rather than the Pyramid stage but this is the kind of headliner I can get behind. Fusing the unlikely combo of dubstep with soul and R&B, who wouldn’t want to listen to the smooth sounds of James Blake in a Somerset field on Sunday evening?

Coverage of the six main stages will be streamed live at bbc.co.uk/glastonbury, while highlights and all of BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4's coverage will be available for 30 days after broadcast on BBC iPlayer.

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