Published on June 28th, 2016 | by Jodie Luke Copeland
Highlights from Glastonbury Festival 2016
Glastonbury Festival 2016 was officially the muddiest and wettest festival to take place in Pilton since in began in 1970. Even the main man, Michael Eavis, said so. It was also probably the best yet (and Michael will definitely tell you it was – like he does every year!)
It was certainly the toughest and most challenging I’ve ever been too – but where else could you see acts such as Lady Leshur, Stormzy, Bastille, Disclosure, Roni Size and Underworld all in the space of 3 hours? (I managed to catch all or most of those in that time on the Friday night….just!).
There were various proposals across the site over the weekend – Coldplay, Adele and Gregory Porter all saw at least one proposal take place, though we also caught one young lad proposing to his girlfriend at the excellent Sundara Karma gig at Williams Green on Sunday afternoon – the band even stopped their performance as they helped with the moment. (She said yes!) The Williams Green stage proved to be a great place for new talent for a few reasons – as well as being in easy reach of virtually all the other stages, it was also fairly quiet for the majority of the weekend. I also caught acts including Coves, Pixx and Georgia – all entirely different but all strong contenders for bigger stages in the coming years.
Local acts representing Southampton included our two finest – Craig David, who performed his TS5 set on Sunday night and Band of Skulls, who smashed their set on the Other Stage on Saturday afternoon.
The performance of the weekend for me was a bit of a surprise – Adele managed to make 100,000 people cry all kinds of tears with her emotional yet funny headline set on Saturday night. The potty-mouthed singer was simply stunning from the minute she walked on to the stge with her recent hit ‘Hello’. She was faultless throughout and for a singer to play to that many people at the worlds biggest festival.
Before that, on the Thursday night, Kate Tempest had also brought tears to the eyes of the crowd with a stunning show of live music, poetry and generally just delivering strong messages (I wish I listened more intensely when she sang ‘Circles’, as shortly after I found myself going around in circles between the heavily populated Block 9 and Shangri La areas.
If I wrote about all the musicians, all the acts and all the things we saw over the weekend, this review would last forever – however, I’m going to round up a small things that stuck in my head.
- The Vodka Jellies, Avalon Cafe (Thursday) – A karaoke band (or “Bandaoke”) may not sound the most appealing, but when the first singer is Michael Eavis it makes for a special and memorable moment. Elvis’s ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You‘. Rumours that both Billy Bragg and Lily Allen were to appear as guest singers failed to materialise but it was still a show to remember.
- Mik Artistics Ego Trip, The Summer House, (Friday) – Little known, Mik Artistic is becoming a legend of Glastonbury Festival. He plays shows all weekend in virtually any tent that will have him. His comical songs and banter with the crowd guarantees a different set each time. Funniest moment is when a rainbow appears and Mik gets the crowd to turn around… “Look! Rainbow! Rainbow! Rainbow! Rainbow! That means you can take drugs tonight”.
- Lady Leshurr/ Stormzy at Sonic (Friday) – After being impressed with Lady Leshur at Common People in May I was hopeful of an even better performance but it soon became clear this wasn’t going to happen. The sound quality was poor – the worst I heard all weekend – prompting the crowd to chant “turn it up” (which the Lady initially thought they were chanting for “turn it off”. Despite it going up a notch, it was still awful and never really improved for Stormzy (meaning an early exit to catch the end of Bastille!)
- Madness, Pyramid Stage, (Saturday) – there were plenty of acts who could have taken the legends slot this year and it was given to Jeff Lynne’s ELO – but maybe Madness, or even Art Garfunkel, would have filled the slot better. Madness lived up to their name though, with Suggs coming on stage sporting a wig and a lab jacket before causing 80,000 people in a field to go nuts.
- Underworld, West Holts Stage (Saturday) – Saturday night saw a choice of Muse, Disclosure, Roni Size, Sigur Ros or Underworld and due to the location, we opted for Disclosure (Other Stage) and Roni Size (Glade) with the added bonus of catching the end of Underworld at West Holts. It was the right choice – Roni Size Full Circle ft Dynamite MC made me fall in love with drum and bass again whilst Underworld’s Born Slippy was one of the anthems of the weekend.
- The Underground Piano Bar – Not so hidden this year, the Underground Piano Bar was still located in the same area, with the same hour long queue. However, it looked a lot bigger than in previous years…..and I didn’t get in (for the first time in three years) as one of the people I was with told the Irish guy in charge that I was “press” as he thought it would get us in quicker. I knew it wouldn’t help and it didn’t: “Get to fuck, there’s no press allowed in here”, said the Irish guy on the door.
- Beans on Toast Vs Gecko, Avalon Field, Saturday afternoon – both these acts had said this set was one of their biggest ever Glastonbury shows. Beans has plenty of experience, he’s been playing show after show for around the last ten years. Gecko is a more recent Glastonbury performer but both held their own as they performed to packed tents directly opposite each other – Beans in the main Avalon big top whilst Gecko in the Avalon Cafe
- Beck, Pyramid Stage, Sunday – One of the highlights of the weekend – Beck, the man who doesn’t age, powered through hit after hit in an awesome set that seemed like it lasted 30 minutes (it didn’t) and his tributes to both Bowie and Prince were the best tributes of the weekend Prince or Bowie.
Coldplay brought the festival to a close with a kaleidescope of lights and sound on the Sunday night; despite the hate they get for their soft emotive indie, a Coldplay concert is more like a party than a gig; constant streams of confetti, fireworks, lasers, strobes and not forgetting the 100,000 wristbands handed out to fans – the led-lit wristbands synced by the band’s production team helped create one of the most stunning lighting displays that Glastonbury has ever seen.
Obviously, Glastonbury is so much more about just the music and this year was no different, even if it all was a bit more hard work than normal. But as Michael Eavis (probably already has said) “this was the best year ever, roll on next year”.