mon 17/06/2024

New Music Lockdown 12: Glastonbury Festival Special | reviews, news & interviews

New Music Lockdown 12: Glastonbury Festival Special

New Music Lockdown 12: Glastonbury Festival Special

Check out the wealth of online happenings that make up Glastonbury 2020

A Worthy Farm sunset by longterm Glastonbury Festival photographer Jason BryantImage © Jason Bryant

This morning at 9.00 AM would be when Worthy Farm opened its gates to the hedonistic hordes. The weather is scorchio and Glastonbury 50 would have been such a party. Instead, that will all be Glastonbury 2021.

So right now, those who love their annual Pilton pilgrimage need to get inventive: the festival and the BBC have laid on a feast of allsorts. It’s about to kick off. Let’s get amongst it…

BBC Coverage

The BBC have devoted a whole new special iPlayer channel to Glastonbury and will be showing old sets from 10.00 AM Thursday morning until after midnight, and doing the same every day, up to and including Monday 29th. These will include monster Pyramid Stage classics such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, David Bowie, and Lionel Richie (timings here), but also sets from other stages that marked a special moment for the artists in question, the likes of Billie Eilish, and Lady Gaga. For those who don’t want to sit through whole sets but desire cherrypicked highlights, from Thursday to Sunday BBC2 offers The Glastonbury Experience Live, meanwhile BBC4, at various different times, is showing backstage acoustic sets by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Youssou N’Dour, Patti Smith, Kano and Dua Lipa.

Green Fields Meditation Ceremony + Tipi Field

At midday on Thursday 25th, Glastonbury’s extended rustic new age bliss zone, the Green Fields, will be having a “Global Meditation at Home and Lockdown Opening Ceremony” which anyone can join in here via Youtube. Who knows what that will involve but expect something mind becalming. If that isn’t enough, pop over to the Tipi Field here for a five minute tent-side story with Sarah Mooney (featuring one Stevie P on acoustic guitar). As the firepit crackles, and with her hair full of flowers, Mooney spins a yarn that will carry Glasto regulars off to the pastoral, Sixties-flavoured alternate vison of reality emanated by this old-school hippy conclave.

William’s Green

The William’s Green marquee, haven of new music and entertaining shenanigans at the heart of Glastonbury’s market area, has put together a set of seven half hour(ish) films representing “what might have been”, the “music, madness, miming and mayhem” here. In practice these are spirited collages imagining Thursday, Friday Day and Evening, Saturday Day and Evening, and Sunday via old sets from the likes of Test Department and Elvana, lockdown recorded songs from artists who would have played, such as The Snuts, The Chats, Waxahatchee and dozens more, and Youtube DJ sets from Eddie Piller, Club de Fromage and others. They are ebullient collations, full of fizz.

Kurt Jackson Exhibition

Kurt Jackson has been Glastonbury’s artist-in-residence for 20 years, as well as running the environmentally conscious Jackson Foundation gallery in Cornwall with his wife Caroline. His exhibition celebrating 50 years of Glasto was curtailed due to C19 but can be observed virtually here. With a plethora of paintings on display, Jackson’s kinetic images of performers, ranging from Kings of Leon to the Sun Ra Arkestra, capture the zinging movement of musicians on stage, but it is his panoramic views of the festival, in all weathers and all times of day, epic in scope, blurred in just the way that Glastonbury is, vision smeared by the mass of over-information, that really take the cake.


Block9, the insane nightworld hub in Glastonbury’s notorious South-East corner, offers an alternative gay underworld with monstrous otherworldly venues and their flagship NYC Downlow club. For 2020 they have stepped up to the plate with a bunch of online fare that can be accessed here. Each day has a different agenda: alongside a couple of documentaries explaining how it all came about and how they weave their design/construction magic, there are DJ sets running late at night on Friday and Saturday, featuring the likes of Honey Dijon, Norman Jay and Paulette, as well as a selection of photography mustering this eye-boggling, wild microverse.

And So Much Else

This week’s round-up only touches the surface of what’s available at Glastonbury 2020, much as any preview of the real festival only ever can, but other “places” worth checking out include The Glade’s extensive, heartfelt DJ tribute to the late great DJ-producer Andrew Weatherall here on Thursday, the V&A Museum’s Glastonbury archive here , a 47 minute documentary from the John Peel Stage here, a mass of material from the Theatre and Circus Fields here, live dance classes from Glasto Latino at Midday (salsa) and 3.00 PM (tango), Friday-Sunday here. And much, much, much, much more which you can check here.

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