This was my second Glastonbury experience, my third ever music festival, and what a weekend it was. 4 days of mud, sunburn, cider, camping, rain, sunshine, wellies….not to mention some amazing music.
After a 5 hr journey down from York, we arrived on Worthy Farm and were greeted with torrential rain and ankle-deep mud. Perfect! After a frustrating experience setting-up camp we ventured into the Dance Village to join the crowds trying to navigate the trenches.
200,000 people and a big muddy farm make for some interesting sights.
Before long, the sun was out, and we began drying off. We were lucky to catch a couple of great bands including Mona, Two Door Cinema Club, and the incredible Biffy Clyro rocking out on the Pyramid Stage.
The heavens opened in-time for Mumford & Sons headlining on the Other Stage. Marcus and the boys put on a cracking show despite the weather and had the crowd eating out of their hands. A huge range of new songs were showcased (they’re currently recording their second album)…more of the same anthemic, emotional folk. Big singalongs ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘The Cave’ went down a storm.
We rushed over to the Pyramid Stage to catch the end of U2 who were a huge letdown. Maybe it was the weather (which was really lashing down at this point), or the dodgy sound mix, or maybe even the lack of the protest at Bono’s tax evasion…but they weren’t great.
Saturday brought bright sunshine and the atmosphere onsite was lifted a hundredfold. After a quick stroll around the Greenpeace area and hippyville, we watched a cheeky little folk band called Lau, before heading to the Pyramid Stage for a storming set from Tinie Tempah. Cider, sunshine and a LOT of jumping made for a few brilliant Glastonbury moments.
Tinie was swiftly followed by festival favourite Paolo Nutini, whose gravelly, Scottish tones are straight out of another era. We were treated to a string of hits from his last album ‘Sunny Side Up’, as well as a great cover of MGMT’s ‘Time To Pretend’.
Elbow bagged the sunset slot on Saturday afternoon, delivering bags of festival anthems from their last two albums. New track ‘Open Arms’ was met with…well, open arms, and their modern day hymn ‘One Day Like This’ had a field full of revellers raising the roof.
Coldplay walked on stage to headline Saturday’s line-up to the sounds of Back To The Future. The atmosphere was electric, filled with lazers, lights and Coldplay’s huge stadium-filling sound. Chris Martin and co proceeded to perform what might just be the best live set I’ve ever seen. This was what festivals are all about.
The band worked their way through a perfect selection of classics taken from 1999’s ‘Parachutes’ all the way through to new tracks from their upcoming album. ‘Viva La Vida’ was a highlight – hearing 175,000 people singing the hook to the chorus is an experience I’ll never forget.
Sunday was an absolute scorcher, with temperatures on the farm reaching 30 degrees and plenty of red, sleep-deprived faces staggering about. We watched the wonderful Foster The People do their thing on the John Peel stage before grabbing a spot at the Pyramid Stage for Laura Marling, Paul Simon, Plan B & Pendulum.
Beyoncé breathed fire into her Sunday night headline slot, delivering a breathtaking set full of her solo hits and Destiny’s Child classics. We were also treated to rocked-out covers of Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’, Kings Of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire’, and Etta James’ ‘At Last’.
This topped off a truly magical weekend. See you in 2013 Glastonbury.