In 2012 an empty Worthy Farm in South-West England due to the shortage and likely cost of portable toilets and policing. Curtailed mainly due to the needs of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Come 2013 and it was a truly well-deserved comeback for the one and only Glastonbury Festival; a festival noted to have show-cased some of the ongoing acts as well as new acts in the music industry. Coming to Glastonbury involves a fair amount of travel, and probably a queue to get in but, when you get past these necessities, you enter a huge tented city. British law still applies, but the rules of society are a bit different, a little bit freer. Everyone is here to have a wild time in their own way. The location of the festival has distinct regions. The more commercial aspects of the festival are around the Pyramid, Other and Dance stages. But that busy wild-side of excitement is not everyone’s cup of tea. So there are other places like the Jazz world and Acoustic areas, the Kidz Field, the Theatre and Circus fields.
The Glastonbury festival of 2013 consisted of three major headliners – Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons and the mega-performers The Rolling Stones.
Arctic Monkeys chose the perfect place to showcase their fifth album. The stage was back dropped by an illuminated ‘AM’(which is also the name of their fifth album). The singles ‘R U Mine?’ and ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ were much appreciated by the audience as well were their previous classics such as ‘I Bet you look good on the Dance floor’. Alex Turner, shining bright in a crisp stripped grey-suit with a black shirt, showed real showmanship throughout. “We’re gonna play all night long, Glastonbury, is that okay?” he asks. The singer even talks with a new hairdo these days and the boldness of that Elvis-inspired hairdo makes more sense now than it ever did.
Mumford and Sons put on an amazing show which featured hit songs like ‘Babel’, ‘I Will Wait’ and ‘The Cave’. Very few would remember their prior visit to India in 2009 especially in Kolkata which was truly a disaster! “One night in Calcutta a woman was shouting at us to go home. Now that’s not very nice is it! But the band are willing to learn from their mistakes,” explains bassist Ted Dwane. Gone are those days for Mumford and Sons, they are one of the major bands nowadays!
The Rolling Stones were ‘The Band of Glastonbury, 2013’. It’s hard to think of any other act in the world that would have created this demand.
“After all these years, they finally got around to asking us. Thank you, Michael [Founder of the Glastonbury festival],” Mick Jagger jokes early on, before pretty much using the next two hours and a quarter as a lesson in how to be a front man. No special guests required, either – this was the Stones all the way!
Jagger even sang a song he claimed to have written the previous night, ‘Glastonbury Girl’, a charmingly song about wet wipes and ecstasy. Their Hit single ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ was well supported by a mechanical Phoenix, which burst out fire while flying across the arena. The Stones were simply first-class and it felt like a real moment in history, let alone music.
Other acts to have performed included the likes of Beady Eye who performed on the Other Stage. They may not be Oasis but Liam is forever a legend and it was a grand way to launch. Rita Ora was somewhat breathless throughout her performance and had a forgettable night to say the least; let’s just leave it at that! The Vaccines proved themselves to be one of the best live bands around. ‘Wreckin Bar’ their single initiated huge hurrahs among the audience. Two Door Cinema Club truly delivered and showed us why they deserve to be where they are right now! Chase & Status sang their new hit single ‘Lost & Not found’ which truly got the audience going berserk! Bastille performed singles from their new album ‘Bad Blood’. Their performances really showed us why they are touring with the Mighty ‘Muse’.
These three days made me, as an audience, realize how much more there is to this marvelous festival other than the images of drug-takers and hippies. A number of bands shared their excitement and delight at playing at the world famous festival. The weekend that succeeded the festival, showed images of close to, if not more than 2,000 acts performing on the stage, surrounded by people of all ages, some in tears, others astounded by their surroundings, waving flags from across the world. Nothing could have mattered more than that feeling of accomplishment on the part of both the acts who performed and put up a great show for the viewers; as well as the Glaston-goers who were mesmerised by the bands and most of all the one and only ‘The Rolling Stones’.