World-famous Black Dyke Band to play main stage at Glastonbury alongside the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Diana Ross

A world-famous Yorkshire brass band is to swap concert halls for the ultimate festival when it appears on Glastonbury’s main stage this Sunday

The Black Dyke Band, one of the oldest brass bands, will appear on the same stage as Supremes legend Diana Ross and Sir Paul McCartney.

And while band members may be more used to rousing classics in spaces like the Royal Albert Hall, this time they are looking to throw in Bohemian Rhapsody, a bit of the Beatles, some

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James Bond classics and a film medley. They will be first on the main stage on Sunday lunchtime.

The Black Dyke Band. Image: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

Brett Baker is principal trombone. This isn’t his or the band’s first time at Glastonbury – they played at the festival in 2017 when the band raised a crowd from their beds.

He said: “Last time we did it, it was all a bit of a medley. The set went down really well. It was a Sunday morning, we woke everybody up in their tents.

“You do have all these pre-ideas of what it’s going to be like. Until you get on stage, you just don’t know.

“Probably those that have played Glastonbury before are more excited as they do know how well a brass band be received. Glastonbury is very open minded, there’s so many different kinds of music like folk or rock, we don’t stand out.”

The Black Dyke Band are to play Glastonbury on Sunday. Image: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

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The band is made up of some 30 members, with supporters and friends also among those to travel down this weekend.

Michael Cavanagh, a baritone from Holmfirth, joined the Black Dyke Band nearly three years ago having trained with Grimethorpe Colliery.

“I’ve never been to Glastonbury before, even as a member of the public,” he said. “Of all the gigs we’ve done this will be up there with the coolest.

Members of the Black Dyke Band are to play Glastonbury on Sunday. Image: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

“I’m really looking forward to the festival ‘vibe’. We’re used to playing concert halls – playing a festival as big as Glastonbury is so exciting. I’m sure it will be over in a flash.”

The Black Dyke Band was formed in 1855, when most of its musicians were living in Queensbury, in the heart of Yorkshire’s mill communities.

Through its history, it has come to feature on screen, winning national and European championships and appearing in recordings for films like Babe 2 and Ground Force.


One of the band’s trustees lives in Bridgwater, Somerset, Mr Baker explained, and has always been keen to get its members on stage.

“I think it was a question of he asked and asked, and eventually Glastonbury gave in and said ‘well, we’ve never had a brass band before’,” said Mr Baker.

“We don’t normally play outside, it’s usually venues like the Royal Albert Hall. Having to think about things like pegs, or sticking to a strict schedule, is a challenge. There’s barely going to be time to look at the audience.

“I just hope people enjoy the set. Once that’s done, and all gone right to plan, I’m looking forward to seeing all the other acts.”


Glastonbury’s five-day festival launched yesterday with a bumper line up for this coming weekend as major stars take to the stage.

Friday’s headliners include Crowded House and Billie Eilish, while Saturday will see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Sir Paul McCartney.

Sunday opens with the Black Dyke Band on the main stage from 11.30am to 12.15pm, with Diana Ross in the afternoon and Kendrick Lamar closing the festival.


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