Glastonbury 2016: One of the best weekends of my life

One of the greatest music festivals took place last weekend. Aside from the amazing acts which get to grace the Pyramid Stage and the other stages, there’s the buzz, excitement and atmosphere attendees feel which really takes Glastonbury Festival to another level. I went to the festival last year, but the experience is never the same. This year, it was even better.

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In 2015, I listed all the acts I saw over the three days, but since this turned into a rather lengthy post – and I cannot remember or write a lengthy comment on each act I watched – I shall instead talk about key moments for me during this year’s festival.

The first being how two out of three headliners (Adele and Coldplay) used technology to heighten the audience experience. During Make You Feel My Love, Adele asked fans to put their phone flashlights on and to wave them in the air, and honestly, that was a moment I will never forget. Something similar to this happened with Coldplay, where free LED wristbands were being handed out to festival goers, and were synced with the band’s performance. I don’t know whether this has been done on this scale and at Glastonbury before, but hopefully this is something headliners continue to do – it really does add to the festival experience.

Audience members during Adele's performance, holding their phones in the air for 'Make You Feel My Love'.
Audience members during Adele’s performance, holding their phones in the air for ‘Make You Feel My Love’.

Also, I finally got the chance to go up the Ribbon Tower this year. At the top of the hill near the Glastonbury sign and the Park Stage, you can go up the top of the tower and see out across the whole of Worthy Farm. It really is breathtaking and worth the wait if you ever plan on going. Another great thing about Glastonbury is Left Field, which I’ll admit, I did overlook last year. This year, I went to watch a debate on the Junior Doctors’ contract, and took a selfie with SNP Member of Parliament, Mhairi Black – who was so kind and friendly when I went to say hello.

Finally, I must turn to the music – of course. As soon as the lineup was announced, I was desperate to see Two Door Cinema Club’s name appear. I had recently rediscovered their music and fell in love with it again. When I saw that they were to play at Glastonbury this year, I couldn’t wait, and they certainly delivered. They’ve certainly cemented themselves as one of my favourite bands, and for those wondering what their third album – Gameshow – will sound like, they teased us to a few songs. Whilst it definitely is different, the traditional TDCC is completely lost, and I love their new sound – if Are We Ready? is anything to go by.

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Frances’ performance was intimate, and she has a personality as warm as her voice.

One of the things I love about my passion for music is that I can often stumble across bands that are on the brink of making it big. They then become one of those bands that only a select few know and when they do debut, you can proudly say: “I knew them before they made it”. It’s already happened with Capital Cities (famous for Safe and Sound, but their debut album is worth a listen) and Chlöe Howl (who was a runner-up for the BRITS Critics Choice Award in the same year as Sam Smith and Ella Eyre). My latest discovery is a singer by the name of Frances, and I was so glad to finally see her at Glastonbury. Her new single, Say It Again – out on Friday – is something to look forward to, as well.

I suppose another great thing about this is that because only a small amount of people know about them, the audience sizes are – sadly – not too big, but this means I can get right up to the front of the stage. This was also the same for Fishermen’s Friends, a small group of singers from Port Isaac in Cornwall, who I’ve always missed when I went down there.

I should also mention a rapper who I was so pleased to finally see live. The name Abandoman stuck with me from childhood, as he is a freestyle rapper who can make up raps on the spot – he’s that good. I still remember one song he performed, entitled What’s In Your Pocket?, where audience members took out what they had in their pockets, and he would rap about them on the spot. It was unbelievable.

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I’ve already talked about how phenomenal Adele and Coldplay were, but I should also add that Muse were also impressive. At the end of almost every song, Matt Bellamy would show off his amazing skills with the guitar, and I do take my hat off to him. After seeing all three headliners, I decided that this year’s Glastonbury was better than last year’s, in my opinion. In particular, when it comes to the headliners, they are all – mostly – pop or chart-based, which is very similar to my music taste. This was different to last year, where Kanye West certainly isn’t my cup of tea, and I didn’t know many of the Foo Fighters’ tracks either – even when they didn’t end up playing on the Pyramid Stage in the end.

Now, in the world of music, I’ve seen everyone I want to see live (The 1975 were also incredible). I’m a happy man, and after the phenomenal weekend I had last week, I need a lie down.

Acts I saw: Abandoman, Adele, Bastille, Blonde, Bring Me The Horizon, Coldplay, Example & DJ Wire, Fatboy Slim, Fishermen’s Friends, Frances, Gabrielle Aplin, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Madness, Muse, Of Monsters and Men, The 1975, Tom Odell and Two Door Cinema Club.

Did you watch any of the Glastonbury coverage on the BBC? What did you think? Have you ever been to Glastonbury? Comment below!

Liam

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8 thoughts on “Glastonbury 2016: One of the best weekends of my life

  1. I watched Glastonbury on the BBC, excellent coverage as always. Thought Coldplay, Adele, ELO & Underworld were all excellent. Chris Martin put everything into that performance on sunday & I was really impressed with their viola beach tribute along with Barry Gibb turning up, great stuff. Glad you enjoyed it too.

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  2. I’m glad you had a nice time! Glasto never appeals much to me because it’s a lot of money for bands I don’t listen to but I’d love to go one year just for everything else they have there! xx

    Kimberley // thecolourchronicles.com

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    • Oh, really? I’m a bit unsure about what your music taste is – please remind me – but they do branch out into rock, folk and other genres. Muse and BMTH were two acts which are different to Glasto’s traditional pop vibe.

      Either way, Glastonbury’s not just about the music! It’s an amazing experience.

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      • Ahh Muse and BMTH are two of the few rock bands I hate haha! I listen to mostly rock and metal but I like a fair amount of indie and pop, there are normally a few bands I like but not enough to warrant paying for a ticket.

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      • Damn, it sounds like I won’t be winning you over any time soon… Haha! Why aren’t you a fan of Muse then?

        Okay, last try: there’s so many stages that the number of acts there means you’ll definitely want to see at least one of them. As I said, the experience alone is worth the money, and I’m pretty sure it’s on everyone’s bucket list.

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