ARCADIA will unveil a radical new arena at Glastonbury Festival as it replaces its fire-breathing spider with the new biomechanical Dragonfly.

The structure will be found at the heart of ‘an evolved geometric space’ that will explore themes of renewal, climate change and our relationship with technology.

The Dragonfly will be built from a former Royal Navy helicopter, ‘repurposing a weapon of destruction into a unifying symbol as conflicts flare around the world’.

A spokesperson for the festival's late-night area said: “The transformation of the first dragonfly to mark the dawn of a new season resonates through cultures worldwide, none older than the Aboriginal First Nations of Australia, where Arcadia has forged strong connections since its Perth residency of 2016.

“In a vibrant expression of peoples coming together, Arcadia and representatives of the Wadjuk Noongar nation will perform Warraloo, a spectacular ceremony that sees The Dragonfly burst into life.

“It celebrates possibility, inviting reflection on a changing climate and ways to navigate it through cooperation, unity and the creative use of technology.”

Somerset County Gazette: The Arcadia line-up for Glastonbury Festival 2024.The Arcadia line-up for Glastonbury Festival 2024. (Image: Arcadia Spectacular)

The Dragonfly will run on batteries initially charged away from the Worthy Farm site by wind and solar energy.

This fits into Glastonbury's own aims to be powered by renewables; since 2023, the festival has been powered entirely without the use of fossil fuels. 

Performers on the Dragonfly will include Glastonbury staple Fatboy Slim, Eric Prydz, Amelie Lens and Andy C, who will ‘pilot the dancefloor deep into the night with heavyweight beats and euphoric peaks from across the spectrum’.   

Other acts scheduled to perform at Arcada include Hot Chip (DJ set), Joy Orbison, Joy (Anonymous) b2b Salute, HAAI b2b Ki/Ki, Sarah Story, Hedex b2b Bou ft B Live 247 & Eksman, A Little Sound, Shygirl, Barry Can’t Swim, Mandidextrous b2b [Ivy], Lens, and a Hospital Showcase ft Anais b2b Hoax b2b Unglued ft Ruthless.

Arcadia founders Pip Rush and Bert Cole said: “We’ve loved the challenge of forging something so new as our main Glastonbury installation - it’s been hard to contain the excitement and keep this under wraps. 

“Arcadia’s firmly back to its roots with some deep repurposing of insane military machinery to create a ground-breaking centrepiece for our boldest ceremonial arena yet, opening profound new levels to the experience. 

“The magic is weaving all of the unique elements together into a powerful melting pot which is going to explode on Friday night and throughout the rest of the festival.”

Roaming both the Arcadia field and the wider festival will be The Dragonfly’s mobile, amphibious cousin, The Bug.

Built from submarine moulds, The Bug comes alive on six wheels of self contained sculpture, spreading the carnival spirit with its own eclectic line-up

This year's festival will also see a new daytime dimension added to Arcadia's world – an interactive kids area open to families. 

The Alchemists' Playground is a collaboration with constructive play specialists Woodland Tribe - a forge of ideas, workshops and creative adventure.

Children of all ages will learn to weld recycled metal creations, try out circus skills and build their own adventure playground.

Glastonbury Festival will be held at Worthy Farm in Pilton between Wednesday, June 26 and Sunday, June 30.