Top 10 Glastonbury Moments Of All Time
Glasto comes but once a year, and yet we spend the other 51 weeks talking about it – for good reason…
By Jack Smith
It never really feels like festival season until the gates open at Worthy Farm and this year is no exception. The legendary Glastonbury Festival is upon us, and to celebrate, MTV brings you our top 10 moments from one of the most famous parties on Earth.
Michael Eavis Takes Control (1981): The Eavis family’s first year in charge was also the first in which the festival made a profit, as well as beginning Glastonbury’s longstanding affiliation with charity organisations, such as Oxfam and Greenpeace.
The Smiths (1984): Widely recognised as the performance that ushered in the modern era of Glastonbury, the idea of such a popular band playing originally caused uproar amongst the festival faithful. After witnessing one of the great British bands of all time, the crowd soon came around.
Orbital (1994): Before ’94, dance music at Glastonbury just wasn’t a thing. Now, there are entire sections dedicated to showcasing the best of the UK rave scene. This may never have been the case were it not for Orbital’s euphoric performance converting the non-believers.
Radiohead (1997): Performing at the peak of their powers two weeks after the release of OK Computer, Eavis described it as “the most inspiring festival gig in 30 years.” Though dogged by difficulties on-stage and off, it will be forever remembered as a defining headline performance.
David Bowie (2000): Described by Michael Eavis himself as the best Glastonbury ever (and he should know), David Bowie’s performance reminded an expectant crowd of just how iconic he is in the British (and worldwide) music scene.
Jay Z (2008): This booking famously caused a stir. Jay managed to cheekily parody Noel Gallagher’s skepticism with an opening cover of Wonderwall, before silencing his critics with a stunning performance.
Shangri-La (Since 2008): After the main acts have left the stage, revelers descend on this anarchic, but beautifully designed, corner of the festival. The opening of the after-hours haven of Shangri-la has proved one of the most enduring developments of recent years.
Blur (2009): Blur’s performance has gone down in Glastonbury folklore as one of the greatest Pyramid Stage moments of recent years - the togetherness of the crowd reciting the chorus of Tender nearly brought Damon Albarn to tears.
Thom Yorke (2010): Now a staple of the festival, nothing gets the Glasto rumour mill churning more than an empty programme slot. No one was quite expecting Thom Yorke to take to the park stage, playing both solo and Radiohead hits in a stripped-back set.
Rolling Stones (2013): After a year off in 2012, 2013’s line-up didn’t disappoint, as the Stones took to the Pyramid stage with a high-octane performance that defied their age.