Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Why we need to stop worrying about the headliners and just get on an enjoy Glastonbury

So U2 have been announced as one of the headliners for Glastonbury. Hands went up in the air across the country: some were in ‘hurrah I love U2’; while others were in ‘Mamma mia, this was supposed to be the festival of a lifetime!’

I have to admit at first I was one of the later. Andy Williams, U2…this didn’t sound like the amazing line up I was hoping for. But then I had to shake myself by the shoulders and give myself a hysterical slap around the face. “Glastonbury isn’t just about the headliners,” I shouted. “There’s so much more to it than that!” Then I had to stop because my work colleagues were looking at me funny.

When I’m at Glastonbury I barely set foot in front of the Pyramid stage. I don’t like it for a number of reasons: I think you find more interesting bands on some of the smaller stages; the field is too big and sprawling; and the toilets are always by far the worst.

Last time I was at Glastonbury I abandoned my friends by the Pyramid stage and went off in search of something a little different. I ended up at The Park and while I was there I went to a café and had some delicious carrot cake, watched some break dancers, contemplated climbing the tower (and then remembered my vertigo) and finally sat down in the sunshine and enjoyed an afternoon of fine music. While roasting myself under the old ultra-violet I saw Laura Marling, The Mystery Jets and Caribou.

So let’s remember, when Mr Eavis promises a festival to remember you know he will deliver just that. It may not be your all time favourite band headlining, but go off into the corners of the festival and wonders will await you.

Five things to do when U2 are on:

  1. Go to the John Peel Stage and check out some new bands
  2. Go to Trash City, pick you jaw up off the floor and then party the night away
  3. Go up to the stone circle, light a fire and sing songs with your new found friends until the sun comes up
  4. Lose your mind in Shangri-La, and then find it again next day in the Green Fields
  5. Go to the Greenpeace field, have a warm shower and a nice cup of tea and find out about some of their many important campaigns.

Do you have a favourite moment away from the Pyramid stage? Share with us your recommendations on how to have fun without being bothered by a strange old Irish man in sunglasses.

This week I bought tickets for Grizzly Bear, The Pyjama Men, The XX and Camden Crawl. Roll on spring time, I love you already!


  1. The year I went I had an amazing time, and yet Travis were one of the headliners.
    I went and saw and fell in love with Doves, on the new bands stage, before anyone gave a damn.
    The best bands at Glastonbury find you, when you least expect them.

  2. Perhaps U2 will only play their songs from the pre-Joshua Tree albums to gain some festval credibility?

    I have seen them live four times - the first three times they were fantastic - but the last time it was a bloated, self-congatulatory affair.

    I say still give them a go...but leave once Bono bigs up Obama...

  3. Your right, there is plenty of other stuff to do while the acts are on but that doens't mean people can't get disapointed about there being a headliner they don't like. I don't like U2 and would much rather have prefered another band in their place.

    However I agree that there is little point in getting too upset about it. Its not like its the end of the world, and Glastonbury is the best festival this can possibly happen at, because there is tons of other stuff to do!