It’s that time of year again – time to look back on all of Glastonbury’s best past performances as we ramp up for the 2017 festival. Here we count down our:
Top 10 Glasto performances of all time!
1. T-Rex, 1970
Close your eyes and head back in time to 1970 – the festival now known as Glastonbury was called the Worthy Farm Pop Festival. The Kinks were meant to headline the main stage, but they dropped out at the very last second. T-Rex stepped in and changed rock history. Ride A White Swan would hit number 1 in the charts within weeks of the entire festival and ushered in the era of massive pop bands.
2. David Bowie, 1971
A Ziggy Stardust era Bowie headlined the festival back when it only cost £1 to enter! He made a triumphant return to Glasto nearly 30 years later when he headlined in 2000.
3. The Smiths, 1984
The Smiths brought their signature doom pop to Glasto in ’84, challenging naysayers who insisted that they had no right to perform on the main stage. While the happy hippies didn’t think that Moz and the gang would fit in, their set helped to change the musical direction of the entire festival and usher in the era of massive pop bands.
4. Orbital, 1994
Guitars, guitars and more guitars – until the Orbital took to the NME stage. Brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll blew the minds of Glasto festivalgoers, leading to a dedicated dance tent and now the massive Dance Village.
5. Radiohead, 1997
Radiohead is one of the most important acts of the ‘90s, and they cemented this legacy at their 1997 Glasto performance. They headlined the festival just weeks before they released OK Computer, their 3rd studio album.
6. Pet Shop Boys, 2000
While you could be forgiven for thinking that the Pet Shop Boys might be a bit of a one trick pony on stage, as soon as they start playing you will realise that this classic dance pop band has hits that keep on coming. On the main stage in 2000, the Pet Shop Boys stunned the crowd and got everyone to their feet and singing along to their single ‘Go West.’
7. Jay-Z, 2008
Some rock purists were grumpy (ahem, Noel Gallagher) when news broke that Jay-Z would headline Glasto in 2008, but the rapper went on to bring the house down. He later won best Male Performer at the Brit Awards that year, shutting down all of his haters for good.
8. Neil Young, 2009
Neil Young’s seminal 2009 set showed the crowd that the old timers can still rock out with the best of them. The set featured squalling guitars, aggressive vocals and a hefty dose of Neil Young’s biggest hits.
9. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, 2009
It takes a lot of panache to continue singing on stage after an unplanned landing by a paraglider, but that is exactly what Nick Cave did. The Aussie eccentric’s electrifying set in 2009 shocked and awed the crowd.
10. Dolly Parton, 2014
There is no denying that Dolly Parton is the queen of country western music, but she was also the queen of Glasto in 2014. Performing on the main stage on a Sunday afternoon, she even rapped her own Glastonbury song about the mud, the sunshine and waiting an entire lifetime to perform at this legendary event.
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