During February and March, thirty judges (myself included) listened to and watched their share of the thousands of new bands and artists who’d entered Glastonbury’s annual Emerging Talent Competition. Three acts were then selected by each judge to form a 90 strong ‘longlist’ which would go forward to a live final and a chance to grace one of the main stages at the 50th Glastonbury Festival.

And then Glastonbury, and indeed live music full stop, was cancelled…

Now however the organisers have decided that the show, or the talent competition at least, can go on. The 90 strong longlist has been announced and judges will shortly set about narrowing that down to a final eight. Obviously it wouldn’t be safe to hold the ‘live final’ in Pilton but the usual live finals judges will select a winner and two runners-up from those 8 acts (using the songs and live videos they entered with).

The winning act and two runners up, will be awarded Talent Development prizes of £5,000 (winner) and £2,500 (runners up) from the PRS Foundation and the winner will be given a slot on a main stage when Glastonbury, hopefully, returns in 2021.

Emily Eavis: “At a time when the live music industry is on hold, and upcoming artists are not able to get out there and showcase their talents, I’m so pleased that we’re still able to shine a light on the best new acts in the UK and Ireland through the Emerging Talent Competition. I’m hugely looking forward to hearing the 90 acts on the longlist – and I really hope that lots of others will listen and choose their favourites too.

As one of the thirty judges in the initial part of the competition, I can now publish the three artists I put forward to the longlist. As in previous years, it was a nightmare getting the hundreds I listened to down to just three and my ‘top’ three changed many times, so apologies to those that just missed out. What the hell do I know anyway!?

The full longlist can be listened to via Glastonbury’s Soundcloud playlist here.



Inventive, witty and catchy as hell. A Sheffield teenager with lyrics that echo the charm of early Alex Turner while delighting in breaking the ‘third wall’ with ‘to camera’ asides and idiosyncratic production touches.

It’s the voice, sweet honey dripped directly in your ears and coupled with a deceptively simple, slightly 80’s, piano and drum backing. Irresistible jazz soul.


Love that this is very much LIVE hip-hop, fused with funk & rock. Rapper Grim Barsman channels the quick fire political rap of Zack De La Rocha while the live scratch DJ and band bring to mind two of my favourites HEADS, Portis and Tack.

Here’s the official Glastonbury playlist of the 90 artists (or those on Soundcloud anyway).