And just like that, Glastonbury is cancelled for another year. It’s a sad reminder that things aren’t ready to return to normal quite yet, however, the news is delivered with optimism for 2022. It looks like it could be another year with thin festival memories, so we’ve gathered some of the best Glasto moments to help with your nostalgia.
Dolly Parton - Jolene (2014)
The legends slot at Glastonbury has seen some big names from Barry Gibb to Paul Simon. No one quite defines the term like Dolly Parton though and she came through with a mighty set in 2014. Jolene had a packed field singing like the song was the British national anthem.
Adele - Someone Like You (2016)
Many questioned whether a balladeer would be up to the task of headlining one of the world’s biggest festivals but Adele proved them all wrong in 2016. Her set remains one of the most noteworthy of the festival. Those who were there will probably never recover from her closing moment, Someone Like You. “I want us not to be able to hear each other... because it’s so loud,” Adele said introducing the song. By the looks of it, every single person followed her command. At the end, she stops singing allowing the crowd to take the chorus from her and it’s goosebump-worthy stuff, even when listening through a shitty fan-filmed video.
Lana Del Rey - Video Games (2014)
In 2014, people still weren’t sure what to think of Lana Del Rey. Her debut album and subsequent SNL performance had divided people but the Brits were more forgiving than her home country. Her 2014 Glastonbury set off the back of her second album Ultraviolence was a triumph. Bolstered by a crowd of backup singers, Video Games sounded like the true classic it is.
Beyonce - 1 + 1 (2011)
Beyonce headlining Glastonbury was history-making. She was the first woman to headline the festival in 20 years and the first African-American woman to headline. There was no doubt that Bey was going to kill it but she took it to the next level, treating the festival to a production bigger and better than any performer in the world could offer. Funnily enough, however, the best moment came with one of its rawest moments. Perched atop the piano, she poured her heart out to 1+1, flooding the field with spectacular vocals.
Stormzy - Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2 (2019)
Let’s keep the goosebump-worthy moments going. Stormzy became the first grime artist to headline Glastonbury and he understood the gravity of the placement, giving an earth-shattering performance. You can visibly see him humbly take in the moment during Blinded By Your Grace. He’s backed by a big choir for a stirring, emotional rendition.
Arcade Fire - Wake Up (2014)
Arcade Fire were on a mighty festival run in 2014 supporting their record Reflektor. Wake Up from their debut is the sort of song that was made for festivals. A swelling, emotional overload complete with hearty chants and a monster chorus. Their Glastonbury rendition was momentous. A 6-minute epic that tugs at every heartstring. Even just watching it on YouTube.
Florence + The Machine - Times Like These (2015)
When Dave Grohl broke his leg ahead of Foo Fighters’ Glastonbury headline performance, Florence, who had just recovered from a broken ankle, stepped up. It was a last-minute replacement but Florence looked every bit the headliner. In a nod to Foo Fighters’ she delivered a heartening performance of Times Like These, leading an acoustic singalong that Grohl would’ve been able to hear at home.
The Killers - Mr. Brightside (2019)
Mr. Brightside is the longest-charting song of all time in the UK so it’s no surprise that it gave way to one of the mightiest Glasto moments yet. In 2019, the last time the festival was held, the band took to the stage and sent the crowd wild with Mr. Brightside. At this point, it seems there’s not one person on earth who doesn’t know every single word to the song.
Lorde - Green Light (2017)
Anyone who saw Lorde on her 2017 festival run would know the power that Green Light holds. It’s a pulsating, dizzying pop songs by an artist who knows how to command a crowd as if they’re attached to her fingers. Her Glastonbury performance was a career high for her, showing just how masterful she is at tackling even the biggest festivals in the world.
Dave - Thiago Silva (Feat. Alex)
In 2019, Alex Mann briefly became an internet sensation when Dave brought him up for Thiago Silva based purely on the fact he was wearing a Silva jersey. What Dave didn’t realise was that Alex could actually rap. His perfect performance was met with amazement and then hysteria as Dave and Alex created the sort of moment only a festival can conjure.
Kylie - Spinning Around (2019)
Kylie was meant to headline Glasto in 2005 but was forced to cancel due to her battle with breast cancer. She returned in 2019 for the legends slot, proving exactly why she was worthy of the ‘legend’ title. You can pick any of her many hits she performed for this list but there’s something particularly special about Spinning Around. A shimmering, golden disco tune, its pop perfection had even the most sceptical festivalgoers dancing.
Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know (2013)
Arguably one of the biggest British bands in history, Arctic Monkeys were on a particularly hot streak in 2013. AM was about to become their biggest album yet and their Glastonbury performance played out like an acceptance speech for Britain’s rock throne. Alex Turner looked every bit the rockstar, thundering through AM’s lead-single Do I Wanna Know.
Kanye West - Touch The Sky (2015)
Rappers always cause controversy when they’re billed on top of the Glastonbury lineup. None more so than the ever-controversial Kanye West. Never one to be deterred, Yeezy delivered a stunning set, rising above the crowd on a crane while performing one of his most ethereal songs Touch The Sky.