Harry Styles or the Obamas? Seven rumours about Glastonbury 2017's 'really big surprise'

Who will surprise us with a secret set at Glastonbury 2017?
Who will surprise us with a secret set at Glastonbury 2017? Credit: (Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images) (Zak Hussein/PA Wire) (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Last month Emily Eavis promised a "really big surprise" at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

“I haven’t even hinted or told anyone it’s coming and we’ve managed to keep it completely quiet for the first time ever,” she said. Social media went into meltdown as people speculated what it will be. In reality, there will — as ever — be multiple surprises at the festival.

The official line-up, released last week, has three gaping ‘To Be Announced’ slots on three of the stages, one on each day of the festival. But what’s Emily’s biggie? We list seven possibilities, and rate their likelihood.

1. Oasis reunion

So here’s a thing. Three former members of Oasis will probably be down on Worthy Farm at the same time. Noel Gallagher will be there to introduce a screening of the Oasis documentary, Supersonic. Andy Bell is there to perform with a reformed Ride. And Liam Gallagher… Well, his name wasn’t on the official Glastonbury poster. Then it was. Then it disappeared again.

Oasis Credit: PA

The plot thickened when he tweeted that ‘the wait’s nearly over’. JUST WHAT IN THE NAME OF KNEBWORTH’S GOING ON??? Will one of Britain’s biggest ever bands reform at Glastonbury? Er, I doubt it. Liam’s tweet probably referred to his solo album.

And all three entities — Noel, Liam and Ride — are embarking on separate tours over the summer, with Noel supporting U2 on their Joshua Tree trek across Europe. It hardly feels like something big’s in the offing. At best, at best, Noel and Liam might share a stage. Which would, I suppose, constitute a mini reunion of sorts. Full reunion odds: 20-1

2. Harry Styles

I will eat my slightly-mud-spattered hat if the former 1D member doesn’t perform in some capacity at Glastonbury. It would help his quest to be a seen as a serious musician no end, and there will be plenty of his fans in attendance. As one of them wrote on Twitter: ‘I swear to god if harry styles is playing glastonbury I’m gunna throw up.’

Harry Styles Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Which is different. It’s normally a dodgy mushroom omelette from the Healing Fields that makes most punters do that. You can see the photos already: Harry striding with purpose backstage with cup in hand, his floral shirt hanging rakishly open; Harry whispering to a giggling Katy Perry at a secret after-show party as Grimmers and Rita Ora take selfies in the background; Harry being mobbed by fans while simultaneously trying to avoid the puke. Is Harry Emily’s biggie? 3-1

3. Hmmm...

This is AGONY. I’m gnawing my fist here… Because there’s an unannounced band that I know is playing a secret set at Glastonbury. They’re big. But are they "really big surprise" big? I just don't know. I’ve promised not to name them. I'm sorry. I’d tell but I’d be consigned to Monday morning litter-picking duty from now to eternity. What can I say?

Revellers in front of the pyramid stage Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

They’ve played there before and they’ll go down an absolute treat. Oh no, I’ve said too much. (It’s not them). Bigmouth almost strikes again. (It’s not them either). It’ll be a beautiful day. (Nope). But are they Emily’s big secret? 4-1

4. Stevie Nicks or Carole King

A wild guess here. But the much-rumoured Fleetwood Mac appearance a few years ago never happened, and Nicks is currently touring and doing songs such as Landslide and Rhiannon in her set.

Carole King Credit: Elissa K​line

As for King, her performance of Tapestry last summer in Hyde Park has become almost legendary. Like Nicks, she would be absolutely perfect at Glastonbury.

Imagine listening to You’ve Got A Friend or So Far Away as the sun sets behind the Tor, lights from a thousand campfires twinkling way into the distance… Either King or Nicks would go down well with the Glastonbury faithful. Due to pure wish-fulfillment, I’m going to rate the odds at 6-1.

5. The Maccabees

These Glastonbury favourites are about to split up and — conveniently — they’ve got a hole in their farewell tour on the Sunday of the festival. And there’s a ‘TBA’ slot on the John Peel stage that very afternoon. Just call me Sherlock. It would mean the band hot-footing it down from Newcastle after their Saturday show.

The Maccabees Credit: Matthew Baker/Getty Images

But it would be a hell of a Glastonbury farewell. Although I would bet my house — well, nearly — on this happening, I don’t think the band are quite big enough to be Emily’s big surprise. Odds: 16-1 this is what she’s talking about.

6. Daft Punk

The French dance duo played Glastonbury in the mudbath of 1997. Wouldn’t it be great if they planned something to mark the 20thanniversary of that? Oh, and look, their recent collaborator Nile Rodgers is playing with Chic on the Pyramid stage on Sunday afternoon after Barry Gibb. Rodgers will do Get Lucky.

Daft Punk Credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images

What if he brought Daft Punk out to perform with him? It would be a Glastonbury moment, for sure. Those five minutes would break the internet. And then, what if that evening the helmeted DJs headed across to Sonic or The Common or The Glade to close the festival out with a set of their own? Da Funk and Around the World to send everyone home? Yes please. Odds: 5-1

7. Barack and Michelle Obama

After His Holiness the Dalai Lama graced Glastonbury in 2015 — appearing on the Pyramid stage with Patti Smith, who led the crowd in a singalong of Happy Birthday — how about the former US President and First Lady turning up? The reception they'd get would be incredible.

Barack and Michelle Obama Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

They'd give speeches and talk perfect sense in a world gone slightly mad. They love their music. And besides, they've not got much else on. Obama released a rare statement criticising Trump after he pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord. What better place than Glastonbury — which supports Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid — for Obama to expand on this theme? Odds: 5-1