Where: Somerset, England
When: 21st-25th June
Who: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Chic, The xx
Price: £238 (sold out)
Over the weekend (21st-25th June) was one of the the world’s most important music events. With a glittering near-50-year history, Glastonbury Festival continually and consistently sets benchmarks within the live music event industry. While this year’s lineup was on the disappointing side, mainly due to the artists not booked in as apposed to those booked, the five-day event once again exceeded expectations, and is clearly still the festival to model on.
Unless you’ve been living in hibernation for the last few months, you’ll be well aware of Radiohead’s return to the Pyramid Stage, as Friday night headliners. 20 years since the release of their seminal album OK Computer, and 20 years since their rained on headline appearance, of which is often regarded as one of the best in the festival’s history.
The Orb put on one of the opening, and most intoxicating sets of the weekend late night on Thursday, while Friday began with an acoustic set from RnB beauty Lianne La Havas. The stripped-back solo outing oozed charm and class, captured a teeming Field of Avalon. Blossoms later proved what a forgettable experience they are, with an expectedly blank Pyramid Stage set.
The xx would later go on to put on one of the weekend’s standout performances, exceeding high expectations, and captivating a huge and Radiohead-ready crowd. Their latest album showed a huge progression in their sound, and their sub-headliner set gave good argument for their newly-found headline status. Radiohead then descended upon Worthy Farm at around 9 o’clock, full review available here.
Saturday’s proceedings began with arguably one of the biggest British boybands of all time, the newly reformed Busted, whose stellar comeback performance forced organisers to close entry to the field due to overcrowding. BADBADNOTGOOD jazzed up The West Holts Stage, clad in builder’s hardhats and banana outfits- god knows why, prepping us for reggae legends Toots & The Maytals, who in the end simply didn’t show up for their set.
Australian outfit The Avalanches then gave us one of the highlights of the weekend, with an incredible Saturday evening performance filled with tracks from their acclaimed debut album Since I Left You, and last year’s Wildflower.
Goldie later reminded us why he’s one of the UK scene’s most influential figureheads, with a specialist ‘Rave 92-94 set’, followed by one of the best drum and bass sets I’ve ever seen, an outing from heavy-hitting three-piece Noisia, who celebrated the release of their latest album via a rare ‘Outer Edges’ set. The London Elektricity Big Band brought the night to a close with an enthusiastic live rendition of some popular dnb jams.
Slaves were given the task of rejuvenating a weary Sunday morning crowd, and to good length, with a hilariously blunt-yet-charming 11am set. The House Gospel Choir joined in just after, putting on an energetic hour-long rendition of house classics.
Talk of Sunday was dominated by news of a Killers secret set, which although turning out to be true, was intensely frustrating as the stage quickly filled, leaving most of Glastonbury disappointed in being turned away. Chic featuring Nile Rogers were worthy distractions however, with one of the sets of the weekend, an unforgettable journey through disco blessed with gorgeous British sunshine.
A dreary and flat Cinematic Orchestra outing was quickly forgotten about, with a captivating set from London Grammar, who continue to progress up the festival food chain. Hannah Reid’s crisp, powerful vocals brought a dramatic and cinematic close to one of the world’s most important events, an event that continues to trump itself every year.