Although Glastonbury Festival ended a few weeks ago, I still find myself flicking through all the videos and photos I took and watching the highlights on YouTube. It was my 3rd year going and it was probably the best yet.
Normally, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s are spent setting up your tent and exploring all the different areas of Glastonbury. I was scrolling through Twitter that evening, when I saw there were rumours that The 1975 and Metromoney were playing in a really small tent as a surprise. After a mad dash to get to the other side of the site in 20 minutes, we managed to find a spot near the entrance to the tent where we could just about see them. The vibe when both bands were playing was incredible! The 1975 were great and it was nice to see Pyramid Stage acts on such a small stage. I hadn’t listened to much Metromoney music, but after their set I can say I’m a fan.
Friday was a great day because we saw a lot of people, even though the stages were shut down for almost 1 hour because of the lightening storm (which my sister and I were standing outside during)! The morning was kicked off by a surprisingly good-sounding Blondie on the second biggest stage of the festival. My favourite song they played was “One Way or Another” as it was the only one I knew the majority of the words of. Although lots of the crowd were over 40, there was still a great atmosphere! John Newman followed and we managed to get a great spot in the middle. His performance was outstanding and he kept everyone entertained. He’s a very grounded guy and his voice is stunning! I bought his album the moment I got home.
My sister and I then went to see Crystal Fighters who had everyone in the John Peel tent going crazy! My favourite song they performed was “London” as I felt very patriotic and a lot of love for my favourite city.
Then the heavens opened! We got drenched while waiting for Lily Allen because they had to shut down all the stages due to the lightening. She was definitely worth waiting for as she played all her big hits and had a great stage presence. The atmosphere at the Pyramid Stage was incredible!
As we were so close to the front, we decided to stay for the whole of Elbow’s set, rather than leaving half way through in order to catch Paolo Nutini’s. It was worth it, as “One Day Like This” got everyone waving their arms and singing along.
My sister and I weren’t too keen on the idea of Arcade Fire, so after grabbing some food, we went to the “John Peel” tent to watch the Kaiser Chiefs. In 2011, they played an outdoor stage, and we didn’t find them very impressive. This year it was a completely different story! Ricky, the lead vocalist, had so much energy the crowd couldn’t help but dance. He teased the camera and jumped around right in front of the crowd, making the security people have a tough job! Their smash hit “Ruby” had everyone bouncing, as did one of their latest singles “Coming Home” which I hadn’t heard much before Glastonbury. They were the perfect end to the day, and left me excited for the rest of the weekend.
We made our way to the “Other Stage” early afternoon to watch Kodaline charm the audience, even in the rain. We were so close to the front I could practically smell them (ok bit creepy). Although it was cramped and very soggy, Kodaline were a great way to start the day.
One of my favourite acts of the weekend was Imagine Dragons who followed Kodaline’s set, so we got even closer to the front! They came on completely soaked with mud, which meant they got an almighty cheer of appreciation from the muddy, un-showered festival goers. I didn’t listen to Imagine Dragons much before Glastonbury, but I’ve been playing them ever since. The lead singer (who, after googling, we discovered was called Dan) had so much love for the crowd that he came down from the stage a few times. At one point, he was so close to us we could probably have touched him if we hadn’t been so starstruck. “Demons” was a particular favourite of mine as it’s such a beautiful song.
The rest of the day wasn’t very exciting, as there wasn’t anyone we were burning to see.
We finally made it to the John Peel tent to see MGMT in the evening after a disappointing trek to the Acoustic Tent to see Dexy’s, who, I’m sad to say were a bit of a disappointment. They didn’t seem to interact with the audience anywhere near as much as Ricky had the previous night, which was probably due to their constant playing with barely any speaking between songs. “Kids” managed to get everyone jumping though, even if they made it their penultimate song rather than their last so lots of people left during their last number of the set. Saturday wouldn’t have been special had it not been for Imagine Dragons but I’m pleased I had time to explore the more wacky side of the festival in the Circus and Cabaret areas.
After a few days of sleeping on a thin mat in a stuffy tent, you can start to get a bit cranky! We had a gentle morning with a bit of Caro Emerald on the Pyramid Stage, during which my sister and I used UV paint on each other’s faces (a festival must).
Before my phone data decided to play up, I’d checked Twitter and found a rumour that The Kooks were playing in the John Peel tent as a secret act. We headed over instead of watching The 1975 (we’d already seen them on Thursday)! The Kooks were amazing! “Naive” went down a storm and so did “She Moves In Her Own Way” (my favourite).
In the build up to this year’s Glastonbury, I made sure I educated myself in Dolly Parton songs (thanks to Spotify). I expected her to be average but she was far from that! Dolly Parton was funny and had the crowd wrapped round her little finger. Whatever song she played, she had everyone dancing (even the girl being sick next to me was clapping)! “Jolene” was an excellent song, even if Glastonbury’s idea of a Dolly “Flashmob” didn’t work very well. The highlight of her set for many people was definitely the encore featuring Jon Bon Jovi! I heard several people around me exclaim many swear words as they saw him stroll on with his guitar. The vibe was incredible!
Ed Sheeran was another highlight of my weekend, as he’s one of my favourite artists. I’ve followed his journey since before his release of “+” and first saw him perform in a tiny tent at Glastonbury in 2011. This year, he was on the big Pyramid Stage! His carefree and chilled nature was amazing and he taught everyone the harmonies and backing vocals to “Give Me Love” and “Sing” which was incredible. During “Give Me Love”, a group of 20-something’s behind me started swaying in a circle which gradually grew to include at least 30+ people, including me – the festival spirit was alive!
En route to see Ellie Goulding, the mass of people were still singing “Give Me Love” under Ed’s instruction! A quick pizza later and we were standing on a very appropriately places mound of mud (extra height) for Ellie Goulding. She didn’t play as many recognisable songs as I thought she would, but I’m not the most avid listener of her music. One of my favourite songs she performed was “Burn” as the sunset looked gorgeous and the people around me were singing VERY loudly! Her voice is stunning and she was very energetic, which captured the crowd.
While I’m sure Kasabian were amazing, I didn’t enjoy them much as I was freezing and shattered. The few songs I did know I stood up for, but for the rest of their set I was shivering on our little stool! Everyone was loving the final night entertainment, with red flares going off left, right and centre.
The weekend was incredible and I saw some of my favourite artists. It was nice to get a chance to explore the circus and cabaret areas of the festival, as I feel these places are often overlooked. I had a fantastic time and I would recommend it to everyone who loves live music and doesn’t mind sleeping in a tent for 5 days, using unpleasant toilets and having no showers!