When Metallica headlined Glastonbury in 2014, it felt like a landmark moment for a festival that had often, by and large, overlooked heavy music on lineups that were otherwise as diverse as it gets. Since that famous set, we've seen everyone from Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon and Babymetal to Venom Prison, Gojira and Ho99o9 turn up to Glasto, and while this year's bill doesn't have much in the way of full-on metal bands playing (here's hoping Shangri La's brilliant Scum stage makes a return in 2023), there are still some fantastic alternative artists booked for the world's biggest music festival when it kicks off later this week.
With that in mind, here are 10 alt bands playing Glastonbury 2022 that, whether you're there in person or watching at home, you don't want to miss. It's not all about Billie, Macca and Kendrick, ya know?
Bristol's impassioned, politically-charged punks could play just about any UK festival outside of Creamfields, such is their increasingly broad appeal, but they've become Glastonbury favourites in recent years having played two separate sets in 2019 and making an appearance at the festival's special, livestreamed Live At Worthy Farm event last year. Playing on the Other Stage on Friday evening will provide Idles with one of their biggest audiences yet. Back them to take full advantage of it.
One of the most exciting bands to have hit hardcore in a generation, having already enamoured critics in every corner of the music media and racked up performances on numerous heavyweight US talk shows, it's perhaps no real surprise to see Turnstile finally make their Glasto bow. They've been given a full hour in the iconic John Peel tent on Sunday, and their mixture of pulsating punk breakdowns, funky grooves and shimmering 80s hooks are surely a bulletproof recipe for success at a festival where fans truly appreciate something different.
Skunk Anansie are a part of Glastonbury history; their headline set in 1999 made frontwoman Skin the first black British headliner of the festival (in fact, there wouldn't be another until Stormzy 20 years later). This year, they make their return, their early afternoon slot on the Other Stage bound to be an emotional moment for a band woven into the very fabric of British alternative music. Why it's taken this long for them to come back is anyone's guess, but it'll be something special.
He's landed UK number ones, been given the seal of approval by everyone from Mick Jagger to Ozzy and collaborated with everyone from Willow to Bring Me The Horizon. In short, Yungblud is one of the UK's most successful young rock exports, so it was inevitable he'd arrive at Glastonbury sooner or later. Taking a sub-headliner slot in the John Peel tent on the Saturday night, you have to assume Glasto will serve as just the latest - albeit a major - step in Dominic Harrison's inevitable road to world domination.
The resurrection of Benji Webbe's game-changing pre-Skindred band has been a welcome surprise, and it's hard to imagine the formula of Benji's effortless showmanship and the band's irresistible ragga-punk going down anything other than an absolute storm at Glasto. One of the prime attractions of Shangri La's Eararche-curated Truth stage, there won't be a single stationary body when Dub War rock up on Friday night.
Amyl And The Sniffers
Punk rock is in amazing form right now, and few bands from the scene are carrying more hype than Australia's scuzzy four-piece Amyl And The Sniffers. The Melbourne crew take to the John Peel tent directly before Turnstile on the Sunday, making for a two-hour punk takeover that will serve as one of the most unmissable double-headers of the entire weekend. Do not sleep on it.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Fuzzy riff machines P̶i̶g̶s̶ ̶P̶i̶g̶s̶ ̶P̶i̶ Pigs x 7's mash-up of doomy heavy metal and scuzzed-up noise rock has been the best thing to come out of Newcastle since Alan Shearer, and a Thursday night showing on the Truth stage should help get the heavier side of Glastonbury off to an absolute flyer. If it's pure, unadulterated riffs you're after at Glasto this year, these Geordies are the tonic you're looking for.
With last week's brilliant Supernova bound to go down as one of the summer's finest albums, there's no better time for everyone's favourite new alt rock duo to make their statement at Glastonbury. They're going to have plenty of opportunities to do it, too, with no fewer than three sets across the festival - Thursday evening on the Truth Stage, Friday lunchtime on Greenpeace and Friday evening on the BBC Music introducing stage. Let it never be said Nova Twins aren't prolific in their line of work.
A few weeks back we got to see UK grime-punks Bob Vylan tear up a tiny venue in Milton Keynes - a unique experience, but likely nothing on witnessing them bounce onto stage at Glastonbury at 02.50am on a Saturday night. You can find all sorts of brilliant/absurd/maddening things at Glasto in the early hours, but for pure, visceral energy, you'll be hard pushed to find anything that matches these two.
They may have made headlines for some rather, ahem, unusual reasons at Welcome To Rockville last year, but when they're not letting their bodily fluids get them in trouble, Brass Against remain one of the most unique experiences in alternative music. Playing brass covers of the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Tool and more, they're protest music unlike you've ever heard it before, and they'll doubtless make an impact on the Truth stage late on Saturday night.
Glastonbury 2022 takes place this coming weekend and is broadcast live on BBC iPlayer. iPlayer is free to watch for all UK licence fee payers but if you're a UK national away from home in the US, Canada, Australia or anywhere else in the world, you'll need to use a VPN, such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), to tune into the Glastonbury coverage from abroad to avoid getting blocked.