50 Years of Glastonbury
19 Sep 2020
Glastonbury Festival, which attracts the biggest names in music and the largest of all the UK festival crowds, turns 50 today. From a festival that started with a £1 entry ticket (which included free milk from the farm), it has grown to become one of the most iconic festivals in the world. In the early years it attracted new artists at the start of their career including Marc Bolan, Keith Christmas and David Bowie, who had his first UK live performance at the festival. Today, it continues to support new talent at the BBC Music Introducing stage.
Genesis authors are of course no stranger to the festival. Over the years, the Rolling Stones, the Pretenders, Rage Against the Machine, Lou Reed, Jimmy Page, the Who, Paul Weller, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne's Elo and Brian Wilson have all taken part, as well as Paul McCartney who is set to headline the postponed 2020 festival. For many, it is an unforgettable moment in their career.
'I was knocked out by the crowd. There were so many waving and singing along. I loved that. There were certainly some characters in the first few rows.' - Jeff Lynne
'It's almost like you're finally destined to play Glastonbury. I look upon it as a culmination of our British heritage really.' - Keith Richards
Each year, a buzz surrounds the announcement of the headline acts, with rumours circulating, eventually either being confirmed or denied. The festival which was set to have its 50th anniversary this year, has been postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A number of acts have been announced which include Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Diana Ross, AJ Tracey and many more.
With such a big milestone, Glastonbury Festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis are happy that people can celebrate this year at home with the BBC's coverage of classic Glastonbury sets.