Glastonbury 2013 – Sunshine and Music

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Glastonbury 2013 – Sunshine and MusicWith a hiatus last year for the Olympic Games, Glastonbury was looking forward to a great festival in 2013, especially with the Rolling Stones taking the headline spot on Saturday for their first appearance at Britain’s number one music experience.

A sold out crowd was greeted with rain on Thursday, leaving the site a muddy mess but an unscheduled appearance by Beady Eye with Liam Gallagher taking the lead saw spirits rise and the weather followed suit as the sun appeared to dry out the ground and set the scene for a fantastic weekend of the best in music.

Swedish band The Hives took the midday spot at the Other Stage on Friday, and showed what a great live act they are, setting the standard for the rest to follow. Performing for the first time at Glastonbury they mixed new sounds with classics and got the audience involved early on.

In the afternoon, Tame Impala headed a strong Australian presence at the festival with their eclectic mix of psychedelia, while over at William’s Green later on, festival newcomers 65DaysOfStatic had their fans thrilled with a vibrant performance. Headlining on Friday night were Arctic Monkeys, no doubt hoping to better their disappointing performance in 2007. They were more fired up than last time and gave the fans what they wanted with a mix of new and old songs but they never achieved the same level of audience engagement as The Hives.

As Friday turned into Saturday, fans made an early beeline for the Pyramid Stage hoping to get good spots for the Rolling Stones later that night. But those at the Pyramid will have missed Irish quartet The Strypes over at the John Peel Stage. With their raw, aggressive blues-rock, they look set to take the music world by storm and must su  rely be the next big Irish band.

With the crowd building and cramming into every inch of ground between the Pyramid Stage and the perimeter fence, the sense of expectation was palpable. But first they were treated to a set by Elvis Costello, who included his controversial song celebrating the death of former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher ‘Tramp Down The Dirt’. Later they sat through an energy-charged performance fro Primal Scream as the tension built up.

And then came the moment everyone had been waiting for – on came the Stones with Mick Jagger strutting his stuff in vintage fashion to the sound of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. There were great songs like ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’, rounded off with ‘Brown Sugar’. But they weren’t done, even after 18 fiery songs, as they ended up with ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ for an encore. Even former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor joined the boys on stage as they played ‘Can’t you hear me knocking?’ and later on for ‘Midnight Rambler’ and ‘2,000 Light Years From Home.’ At the end of the gig, over 100,000 fans went away knowing that they had been part of something very special.

Sunday was always going to be a little calmer and it was then that 85-year-old Sir Bruce Forsyth showed what an old master could do on the Avalon Stage. To a full house, he sang, danced and gagged his way to a special place in Glastonbury history, showing that great entertainers know just how to please a crowd. Over at the Pyramid Stage 75-year-old country legend Kenny Rogers used all his talent and experience to eventually persuade a slightly more reticent crowd to join him in some country favourites and have a great time.

Closing out the festival at the Pyramid Stage were folk band Mumford & Sons. Definitely more downbeat than the Stones the night before, they were a nice way to round off an exhilarating weekend of great music. Joined on stage by Vampire Weekend and The Vaccines for the final song ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, they provided the perfect end to the best Glastonbury Festival ever. Roll on next year!

To relive all the magic of Glastonbury 2013 check out BBC’s Glastonbury coverage hosted by loved BBC personalities including Nick Grimshaw, Dermot O’Leary and Jo Whiley.

Editorial Team
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