Glastonbury Festival 2022 Emerging Talent Competition…acts to impress so far

It’s been a long break since I last helped judge the Glastonbury Festival 2022 Emerging Talent Competition. The pandemic sort of got in the way. But its back now after an enforced absence and I’m really enjoying what I’ve heard so far.

As one of 30 music writers I have the task of whittling down a list of 150 or so entries to just three longlisters.

These will eventually produce eight shortlisted entries to battle it out for a main stage slot at this year’s festival as well as development money prizes from the PRS Foundation.

What’s changed since 2019? The standard is still very strong. I’m only at the half way stage and there’s so many I’d like to pick. But I can only choose three. There are some tough decisions ahead.

To show the high standard and help me get my thoughts in order I thought I’d share some of the acts that have impressed me so far and are among many vying for a final place in my selection and a Glastonbury Festival 2022 main stage slot.

Natalie McCool

Natalie seems tailor made for a Glastonbury crowd. Great vocals, great songs are just two reasons I’m impressed. There’s something about her vocals too. I’m getting strong Broken Social Scene/Leslie Feist comparisons. See what you think.


One of the best tracks I’ve heard so far is Whenever by Modupé. It’s a great song but I wanted to share the video as it shows that you don’t need a fancy live clip to do well. This is recorded in her bedroom and perfectly encapsulates the energy she’d bring to the festival.

The iMaginary Friends

How did I not know, that amid the craziness of post pandemic Britain, what I really needed in my life was a horror film score version of Marc Almond fronting Pulp. This wonderfully dramatic and over the top video and track from The iMaginary Friends is one I’ve listened to again and again after first hearing.

Jonny Rowe

Jonny Rowe’s vocals are immediately engaging. Strong but different enough to stand out from the crowd. He’s submitted some great original songs too. Shows that one singer and a guitar recorded at home can compete with more sophisticated and lavish clips and production.

by Joe Lepper


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