Rightly so, Glastonbury is the most famous music festival in the UK and to be honest is well heard of across the world. People flock from all over to sample this wonderful festival of ours. Since its inception in 1970, it has grown from a small hippy folk festival to one that has seen some of the biggest musical performers across the globe. It might not be as hippy as it once was but it still has a place in our hearts as one of the best places for a good hippie vibe.
As well as the music, Glastonbury is well known for its entertainment value including activities galore, fairground rides, contemporary arts and so much more. Of course, don’t forget the food stalls and all the stalls selling amazing hippy clothing and festival clothing.
Because we love Glastonbury so much, we thought that we would share with you some performances that we think stick out as pretty damn good. Some of which you may not have even known happened…..
David Bowie 1971
Goodness we love David Bowie. What a musician and performer he was. What a good choice for a headliner.. The people loved him.. Every performance that David Bowie has ever made has been amazing in some way as he just has that stage presence that draws people in! A lot, lot smaller back then, Glastonbury festival was full of just the kind of fabulous people in hippy clothing enjoying Bowie and a range of other amazing performances that would be remembered. Who would have thought back then that the little festival would go on to become such an iconic festival?…. Ace!
The Smiths 1984
Traditionally, Glastonbury never specifically chose to book the most popular acts of the day (unlike these days) and were more focussed on great band that they liked or bands that they thought may be up and coming bands. So, it was shocking back in 1984 when The Smiths were chosen to play. The Smiths weren’t chosen for one of the smaller stages but the main stage and as a headliner. Despite the original reservations, and some early sound difficulties, their performance has gone down as a classic with Morrissey, Marr and the rest of the band delivering a fine performance that had fans rushing the stage.
Glastonbury was always a guitar based festival but in 1994 they decided to introduce some dance music to the festival and what better way to do this than with Orbital.
Performing on the Other Stage and not expecting a huge audience, wow they were wrong. Orbital went down a storm. Not just with those at the festival but also with those watching at home. In fact, it went down so well that a brand new dance tent was introduced into the festival the following year! Dance is now a central feature of Glastonbury and Orbital were instrumental in making this so. Woo – go Orbital, we thank you!
The Stone Roses were due to headline Glastonbury in 1995 but cancelled due to a band member breaking a collarbone after falling off his mountain bike. What were Michael and Emily Eavis to do?? Well, they asked Pulp to replace them and what an inspired choice! With their single Common People only released a month before, not a well known band at that point it would seem that they well and truly rose to the challenge and their headliner closing performance has gone down in Glastonbury.
1997 was said to be the year that Radiohead were at their best and at their peak in their careers. Loved by so many, their amazing, clever and intellectual music made them one of the most recognisable rock and roll bands of the time and to be honest, of all time. 1997 saw the release of their OK Computer Album which seen as the antithesis of it predecessor ‘The Bends’ hit the spot in so many ways and was an instant success.
1997 was a seriously muddy year at Glastonbury but, those who stuck it out to Saturday night were treated to one of the greatest Glastonbury performances of all time from Radiohead. Headlining the Pyramid Stage that night, Michael Eavis has described it as “the most inspiring festival gig in 30 years.”
Now this was a controversial choice. Asking Jay-Z to headline in 2008 didn’t go down well with a lot of people. Not necessarily because Jay-Z was a bad musician but because his music just didn’t seem to fit with the ideas that people had on the type of festival Glastonbury was. Glastonbury was said to be THE hippy festival and the music of Jay-Z didn’t really fit too far into that category although, why, I do not know as being a hippy does not limit you to certain types of music in fact, you should be more open to listening to all types of music for different experiences.
Noel Gallagher was one of those who disagreed with the choice of putting Jay-Z on as a headliner and was not shy in saying so. Noel was very vocal in his criticism of the decision. Whatever your view of the booking, the crowd was soon won over with Jay-Z’s opening parody of Wonderwall. If you haven’t seen it, you should!