I went to Glastonbury for 20 years between 1997 and 2017, amazingly missing out on tickets just once (the rivers of mud festival in 2005!)
I’ve managed to piece together every programme, mini guide, ticket and mud-spattered wristband that’s been hidden away in boxes up in my attic for years (see them all here!) Sadly my addled old brain is incapable of piecing together enough memories to write a review for each year so here’s some great footage and photos I have found from Glastonbury 2016.
This year was tinged with sadness because my best mate and long-time Glasto partner Zip had to leave the festival early when news came from home that his dad was very poorly in hospital and his condition was deteriorating. He took the decision to bail out on Friday night and packed his tent and left the site early on the Saturday morning. My brother, who was one of our group’s drivers kindly offered to take him back to Nottingham and opted to stay at home himself rather than make the journey back to the festival. It was a sad moment watching them both trudge off through the mud that morning. Me and Zip go back a long way and had been to going to Glastonbury together since 1997. We had shared some great memories over the years and so his departure hit me quite hard initially. With our numbers now depleted, and the mood in the camp a little more sombre than usual, the rest of us soldiered on and made the best of the weekend – Zip wouldn’t have had it any other way. However the news obviously took the shine off things a bit and he and his dad were never far from our thoughts. Sadly his dad passed away shortly after Glasto 2016.
Our highlights this year were James (one of Zip’s favourite bands) who opened the Other Stage later than scheduled on Friday after mud had been cleared from the arena), Blossoms “from Stockport” who were just breaking through at the time, Underworld, New Order (another of Zip’s favourite bands who he unfortunately missed on Saturday night), Roisin Murphy, Tame Impala and festival veterans Ozric Tentacles who weirdly I’d never actually seen live before.
Without doubt the biggest surprise for me though was Coldplay who I had been avoiding for years at Glastonbury, but in 2016 my curiosity got the better of me and I’m so glad it did. Just to be clear, I’ve never DISLIKED Coldplay – I even bought a few of their earlier albums – but I had always found their music to be a bit ‘passive’ and there always seemed to be somebody a bit more interesting to watch (IMO) whenever they had played Glasto previously. How wrong was I…?! That band absolutely blew me away on the Sunday night. Their passionate heartfelt anthems, set to superb lighting and pyrotechnics and those synchronised wristbands worn by the crowd made for quite an incredible spectacle. All of this in the perfect setting of the Pyramid Stage. The grey skies and heavy rain only added to the magical atmosphere in the fields that night.
This was a truly epic performance to end what had been quite an emotional few days for all of us…
More videos over on my YouTube Channel here:
Some Photo Memories – are you in any of them?!
More great Glasto stuff on t’internet...
The BBC’s highlights from 2016 here
The official Glastonbury Festival History here
E-Festivals brilliant archive here
Loads of great stock photos from 2016 on Alamy here
Were you at Glasto this year? Do you remember much about it?! Share your memories in the comments below…
The start of a 20 year love affair (read the story here)