Glastonbury kicked off on Friday in a wholly different style to previous years, as acts took to the stage to record their performances.
Leading the lineup HAIM, Wolf Alice and Damon Albarn who took to the stage at the iconic Worthy Farm venue for extremely animated performances ahead of the show airing online at the weekend.
Last month, festival organisers announced the plan to launch a scaled down virtual replacement for the three day music festival on May 22nd, with artists including Coldplay set to perform.
It’s back! Glastonbury kicked off on Friday in a wholly different style to previous years, with acts pre-recording performances for a stream that will air this weekend (Damon Alburn pictured left and Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell right)
The festival’s 50th anniversary extravaganza, originally scheduled for 2020, has been cancelled for the second consecutive year amid health and safety concerns regarding the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary on Wednesday morning, Emily Eavis revealed they will be replacing the main event with a five hour special filled with a roster of special guests, to be held at Somerset’s Worthy Farm and available to stream at just £20 a ticket.
The livestream event will also give festival regulars an opportunity to revisit some of the venue’s popular landmarks, among them its legendary stone circle.
She said: ‘Since last March we have been working on our first global ticketed live stream event. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and we’re pleased to announce today that on the 22nd of May we’re going to be streaming an incredible line up of artists, all from Worthy Farm.
Back on stage! BRIT Award-winning trio HAIM, who travelled to the UK earlier this month, also rocked out at the venue in a performance that will be streamed for fans this weekend
Grand display: Acts will take to the stage at the Worthy Farm venue for the concert that will be streamed online this weekend, with fans paying £20 for a ticket
Energetic: The US trio are among a long list of acts set to take to the stage this weekend with a performance that will no doubt delight fans following weeks in lockdown
Boho chic: Ellie Rowsell, of the band Wolf Alice, showed off her guitar skills, as well as her incredible vocals after taking to the stage in a festival-esque sheer white dress
Jaw-dropping: Speaking to Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary on Wednesday morning, Emily Eavis revealed they will be replacing the main event with a five hour special filled with a roster of special guests (HAIM pictured)
‘We’re taking you through a five hour journey during an evening at Worthy Farm with artists, so it’s going to be like the festival but without people.’
She added: ‘Essentially we have got incredible bands like Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Idles, Michael Kiwanuka, Jorja Smith and lots and lots of very special guests along the way.
‘We’re going to take you on a journey through all of those spots that you know and recognise from Worthy Farm, so the woods, the railway line, the stone circle, and it’s going to build into this whole epic journey.’
Eavis also confirmed the one-off event will be directed by Paul Dugdale, who previously worked with Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift on their respective Netflix tour documentaries.
Tickets will cost an affordable £20 each and will be unlimited, with the livestream taking place across four different time zones.
She added: ‘We always try to keep the ticket price down. Some people said, ‘You could charge £60.’ We were like, no.
‘For a while we thought we could do it for free. But actually, we do need to have a ticket price and £20 seems really reasonable for that many acts.’
The move will also recoup some of the enormous £5million Worthy Farm lost after being forced to cancel their 50th anniversary event in 2020.
Eavis said: We know we’re not going to recoup £5million, obviously, but we will be able to make a bit back.’
The stream will be a welcome tease for the real Glastonbury festival, which organisers confirmed earlier this week will take place in September.
Emily and Michael Eavis have been granted permission to hold a two-day concert on September 17 and 18 after applying to Mendip District Council.
The licence allows for the Pyramid stage to be used on a maximum of ‘two consecutive nights’, with live music permitted between 4pm and 11pm.
However, the one-off event will not have provisions for on-site camping for the 40,000 fans and 10,000 staff who could be in attendance.
Organisers say festival-goers will instead use hotels, B&Bs and nearby campsites, but local residents have expressed concerns over high numbers of visitors to the area.
Sam Phripp, the council’s chair of licensing, said: ‘We hope that, Covid-depending, this event will be a success, and we look forward to welcoming music lovers back to our corner of Somerset this autumn.
‘With a view to Covid-19, of course, any event would have to be Covid-safe, and @MendipCouncil will work with other organisations and the organisers to make sure that’s the case.’
The news will be welcomed by thousands of eager festival-goers who have been unable to return to Worthy Farm since 2019, but locals have raised concerns over the lack of provision for camping.
However, the September event could see those who were unable to headline the main stage in 2020 finally perform.
Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar had been due to perform in the coveted spot for the sold-out 50th anniversary event.
Tickets from the 2020 festival had rolled over to 2021 before this year’s Glastonbury was again cancelled in January.
It is unclear whether current ticketholders will have priority access to the proposed September concert.
According to the Mendip Council decision notice, the event is proposed to take place on September 17 and 18 between 2pm and midnight.
The conditions read: ‘The event will be delivered over a maximum of two consecutive nights, (Friday and Saturday) on one weekend in a calendar year to be agreed a minimum of 120 days in advance of the event date.’
It was added that a maximum capacity of 50,000 would include ‘all staff, traders, performers and crew.’
It is unclear how much of the two-day period Glastonbury will use for their proposed event.
The possibility of a September event was first reported in March, when Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis confessed she was seeking permission to hold a concert.
She said on Instagram: ‘For those asking for an update on our plans later this year.
‘We have put an application in for a licence for a concert at the farm in September (around the time we’d usually do Pilton Party).’
Well it is on a farm! As ever the festival’s site is surrounded by animals that residen on Worthy Farm, having been undisturbed by festival-goers for the past two years