We miss Glastonbury. More than sweaty mosh-pits or nightclubs or karaoke, we long for five days spent in a field, surrounded by happy people and endless, wonderful music. We miss traipsing around its weird corners at 3AM and stumbling across a dancing fountain or a trippy fortune-teller. Some of our greatest ever memories were forged down on Worthy Farm, so despite our livestream fatigue, when we heard that the festival would be streaming a one-off event via the internet, we knew that it would be great. Because Glastonbury doesn’t do things by halves.
Enter Driift: supplier of livestreams and ruiner of Saturday nights. As many Glastoheads tried to log on to watch the stream at 7pm this weekend, they were met with hateful “invalid code” error. It took close to two hours for Driift, the company tasked with making the thing happen, to fix, by which point most people had either: gone to bed, removed their ceremonial wellies or got fully invested in Eurovision. It was a gutting blow to a festival who had – after two years of cancellations – already lost so much.
Though a sense of occasion was somewhat lost due to the technical hitch, the performances themselves were utterly magical, shot with a fluidity that acknowledged just how much of Glastonbury is spent on the move, a glimpse of something unexpected ’round every corner, or in this case, between every set. Taking you on a tour of much-loved parts of the farm, from Kae Tempest wandering down the empty train tracks, to Wolf Alice’s smokey Stone Circle set, it served as a reminder of just what a special festival Glastonbury is – and just how sweet that cider will taste when we all can return.
Revisit the night in photos:
Wolf Alice open the show
Arriving via buggy to a smokey Stone Circle setup, Ellie, Theo, Josh and Joel dive straight into a thrumming rendition of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. “I would say something, but I’m too nervous – and this is so nice”, beams Ellie Rowsell, in between songs. It is a first outing for new track ‘How Do I Make It OK’ from upcoming album. ‘Blue Weekend’, along with ‘Smile’ and the stunning, ‘The Last Man On Earth’. Britain’s greatest guitar band? No question.
In the midst of Strummerville – the spot where The Clash’s Joe Strummer used to hold his legendary campfires – George Ezra takes us on a meandering tour through some of his greatest hits.
Set to a backdrop of Julian Temple’s mechanical animals and arriving in one of the long-time Glastonbury collaborator’s Cineramageddon cars, IDLES deliver a suitably rowdy set in what appears to one of the dairy farm’s milking sheds – although we suspect is actually Temple’s bizarro steampunk factory.
With the parp of a sax, we’re back at the Stone Circle at dusk for HAIM to run through some of their slouchy little ‘WIMPII’ numbers. Starting off with ‘Summer Girl’, the trio are on fine form as they command a very grey stage. But hey – it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without a little weather!
“It’s the first time we’ve played to thousands and thousands of cows” says Chris Martin, before an illuminated Pyramid Stage. Coldplay have definitely blown the lighting budget, replacing the throng of main stage revellers with a blanket of twinkly lights. It’s utterly mesmerising and for a moment, even during the bellowing chorus of ‘Viva La Vida’, it’s enough to make you forget that nobody’s singing along.
Surprise! Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood and Thom Yorke debut their new band, The Smile, with Tom Skinner on drums and Nigel Godrich in the wings. It’s a moodier, rockier sound than we’ve heard for a while from the two most-familiar faces.
Dad’s got a trendy hairdo! A mullet-y Damon Albarn and a very large ensemble of musicians (including Simon Tong from The Good The Bad & The Queen) pack into the Stone Circle with a giant moon suspended above their head. It’s not often your hype man is PJ Harvey reciting a poem but we’d recommend it. What ensues, is a moody, melancholy affair with some songs from Damon’s upcoming solo record and old favourites, including a jazzy rendition of Blur’s ‘Out of Time’. Parklife, this ain’t. But I don’t think anyone was expecting that from Damon at this point, were they?
In a very boujee looking Glade, Jorja Smith’s rich, soulful vocals match her surroundings. This is the cocktail hour of the set, all smooth grooves and hi-hats. The tempo picks up towards the end as Enny and Amia Brave join Jorja for a version of ‘Peng Black Girls’ – a reminder that British female talent is thriving.
Emily Eavis often talks of Glastonbury moments, and though virtual, Kano’s set is definitely a moment. Dressed all in white, East Ham’s favourite arrives on stage with a marching band. His flow is fucking fast! He’s having a great time! And after over twenty years being at the forefront of UK rap, he’s earned his spot atop the Pyramid Stage when the festival returns, proper.
HONEY DIJON FT. ROISIN MURPHY
Quick dash back to the tent and then leg it down to the south-east corner for a night of naughtiness soundtracked by Chicago house legend, Honey Dijon and her party bus. What’s that? Roisin Murphy is on, too? PASS THE PINGERS.
Considering the false start and the fact that we are still in our living rooms, nothing has felt so much like Glastonbury since… well, Glastonbury. And for that, Eavises, we salute you.
Highlights from Live At Worthy Farm will be broadcast on the BBC. Details TBC.