His multi-talented persona makes him a perfect fit
Glastonbury is one of the most popular and well-renowned music festivals in the world.
It has been a platform for artists to showcase their talent and make their mark in the global music scene.
However, the representation of South Asian artists at this iconic festival has been a topic of discussion for years.
The five-day spectacle hosts a range of musicians and legends like Beyonce, Stormzy, Adele, and Kendrick Lamar.
Since 1970, Glastonbury has put on memorable shows and catered to its 200,000+ audience each year.
However, with such diverse musicians, the representation of South Asian artists has been relatively sparse.
The festival’s history with South Asian artists began to change in the late 90s, with DJ Bobby Friction’s involvement since 1998.
His efforts have been instrumental in highlighting the growing popularity of South Asian music at the festival.
Previous editions have featured artists like Anoushka Shankar and Asian Dub Foundation, offering a taste of South Asian flavour.
However, the stage has yet to witness a headline-grabbing performance from the vibrant pool of talent that defines the region’s music scene.
Could this change, especially after Punjabi artists have quickly taken over mainstream media?
The Turning Point: Glastonbury 2023
The 2023 edition of Glastonbury marked a significant shift in the festival’s approach to South Asian music.
The festival featured a substantial presence of South Asians, particularly in the dance underground scene.
Sbtrkt’s set closure with Jai Paul’s ‘Str8 Outta Mumbai’ at the Lonely Hearts Club stage created shock and elation among fans, marking a memorable moment in the festival’s history.
DJs like DJ Jyoty, Yung Singh, Ahadadream, and Manara contributed to the festival’s South Asian offering, showcasing the diversity and richness of their sounds.
Bobby Friction hosted a Going South takeover, emphasising the growing popularity of Desi music.
The festival also had the first South Asian meet-up organised by Friction, demonstrating the sense of community among attendees.
Other performers like DJ Priya and Australian artist, Surusinghe, further illustrated the support and love for these unique performers.
This progress has been a revelation for music lovers, especially British Asians, who’ve felt secluded from festivals like Glastonbury.
In turn, this has led to a catalogue of rumours of who could potentially feature on the stages in 2024.
Punjabi artists specifically have been making shockwaves in the industry.
Collaborations between themselves and others from more mainstream/pop genres have been refreshing to see.
Likewise, huge platforms such as Amazon and even other festivals like Coachella have made their appreciation clear towards these figures.
Predicted Acts for Glastonbury 2024
Shubh is a vibrant artist hailing from India and making waves in the Canadian music scene.
The rapper-singer and songwriter has carved his path in the world of Punjabi music, bringing a fusion of cultural beats to the international stage.
In 2021, Shubh burst into the mainstream spotlight with the electrifying single ‘We Rollin’ and has since released his debut album of the same name in 2023.
With a string of hits hitting Canada’s Hot 100, UK Singles Chart, and Billboard India, Shubh is a prolific name within the scene.
The anthem ‘Baller’ skyrocketed the artist and he has reached dizzying heights.
In turn, this could propel him to the Glastonbury stage and organisers are fully aware of the crowds he can bring.
Currently, on an international tour, Glastonbury could be the perfect finale for the rapper.
Guru Randhawa’s smooth vocals and his blend of Punjabi pop and hip hop have made him a popular figure in the music industry.
His song ‘Lahore’ has crossed 1 billion views on YouTube, and his album Page One has been well received.
Randhawa has been a figurehead across the world, consistently selling out shows and remaining in the top 10 of numerous music charts.
Whilst this could be a longshot, given the artist’s limited availability, there’s no doubt that his presence would blow the metaphorical roof off the festival.
His potential appearance at Glastonbury 2024 could add a new dimension to the music at Glastonbury.
AP Dhillon’s unique fusion of Punjabi, trap, pop and hip hop has made him a viral sensation.
Everyone, no matter what background, knows of his megahit ‘Brow Munde’ and his subsequent releases.
His album Most Wanted crossed 500 million views on YouTube and his follow-up tours have sold out.
In 2023, Dhillon released an intimate documentary on Amazon Prime which further illustrated his global appeal.
The clips showcased his difficult journey from India to being homeless in Canada.
His relationship with British Asian actress and model, Banita Sandhu, has slightly cemented his relationship with the UK and could be the key to unlocking a performance at Glastonbury.
A potential appearance could open up the floodgates for future Punjabi artists.
Karan Aujla’s music is known for tackling social issues through his lyrics.
The gigantic albums Don’t Look and Hint have been commercial successes.
His songs like ‘Chitta Kurta’ and ‘Don’t Worry’ have resonated with his millions of fans.
Aujla brings a certain mystery and rawness to his music and his presence on stage is no different.
Organisers know the passion and energy he can release and it would gather ears from all around the festival.
There’s no denying that Diljit Dosanjh is one of the main faces of Punjabi music and the Bollywood industry.
His multi-talented persona makes him a perfect fit for Glastonbury.
Albums like Back 2 Basics and Confidential only hint at his geniusness and he has a catalogue of tracks to perform if he was to grace the stage.
‘Do You Know’, ‘5 Taara’, and ‘Peaches’ are just some songs which would get fans bouncing.
Perhaps the most solid evidence that Dosanjh could be the frontrunner for Glastonbury is his historic performance at Coachella 2023.
He became the first ever Punjabi singer to be part of the American festival and will be looking to continue this iconic run of shows.
The potential impact of these surprise appearances on the festival and the artists’ careers could be substantial.
The journey of South Asian artists at Glastonbury has been a testament to the growing popularity and acceptance of South Asian music.
Whilst the 2023 edition marked a significant step towards increased representation, the predicted lineup for 2024 could ignite a whole new trend.