The iconic UK festival was held via a faltering live-stream but delivered in terms of a return to normality.
Whether it was Coldplay playing in the falling rain, or U.S. girl group Haim performing to the backdrop of a spectacular sunset—the five-hour Glastonbury Festival was a reminder of the magic of live music.
Yet it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Within minutes of the all-star, pay-per-view show starting on Saturday night, things went badly wrong.
Thousands of ticketholders awaiting to view the event via livestream received errors saying “invalid code” or “access denied.” Annoyed fans subsequently overtook the official hashtag #LiveAtWorthyFarm with the decidedly more fitting #NotLiveAtWorthyFarm.
It took two hours to resolve the technical issues, by which point many viewers had simply given up. Eventually, however, organisers abandoned the ticketing system and made the concert free for anyone to watch. You could rewind the stream—but Wolf Alice and Michel Kiwanuka, who opened the event, were unfortunately lost to cyberspace.
I entered half-way through a stunning set from Bristol punk band Idles and was thrust into an atmosphere akin to a small club gig, as a free-roaming camera captured the rough and ready spirit of a would-be mosh-pit.
Like many bands on the bill, Idles played in a tight circular formation, making up for the lack of an audience by performing and gesturing to each other.
Haim were up next, bringing some LA cool to proceedings, as they ran through the laid-back grooves of their latest album, Women In Music, Pt III.
Songs like Summer Girl and The Steps were custom built for outdoor venues, and the band were clearly relishing the chance to give them an airing from inside Glastonbury’s legendary Stone Circle.
“This is our favourite festival in the whole entire world,” singer Danielle Haim told the online audience.
Coldplay took up their rightful position in front of (the frame of) the Pyramid Stage just after 9:00pm, illuminating the empty fields around them with a spectacular light and laser show.
Four-time headliners, their set list included classics such as Fix You, The Scientist, Viva La Vida, Clocks and A Sky Full Of Stars—as well as a delicate new song, Human Heart, performed with US R&B singers We Are King.
“This is very weird but very fun,” said Martin, joking that he was essentially playing to “thousands and thousands of cows.”