Glastonbury Festival: Iconic Moments

8 Glastonbury Performances Worth Remembering


So with Glastonbury 2016 about to kick off, I hope everyone has packed their ponchos. The only bad thing about British music festivals is the totally unpredictable weather no matter what time in the year they are held. Still, there is a reason why here in the UK the music festivals are so legendary (not least Glastonbury), regardless of the weather. The headliners this year appear as strong as ever with acts like Adele and Coldplay set to excite fans. One of the defining features of Glastonbury festival has been its ability to pull the best artists, new and old, out the bag. Here at B Sunglasses we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the largest Greenfield festival in the world. 

The Chemical Brothers 2011

The Chemical Brothers are renowned for their extravagant performances. The light shows they put on are capable of taking any passerby in to some sort of other-worldly trance. This set in particular stood out as the group showcased a display of amazing visuals of clowns, cops and of course their distinctive techno sounds. Along with The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, The Crystal Method and more, they were pioneers at bringing the big beat genre to the forefront of pop culture. By keeping their performances constantly on trend with an influx of all their iconic tracks they never fail to impress. Check out their performance of Hey Boy, Hey Girl here… Amazing:


Underworld 1999

Another British dance classic. Underworld originally came to Glastonbury as part of an unofficial rave sound system in 1990. Nine years later they had thousands jumping around the grass before them, most especially to their iconic breakout hit ’Born Slippy’. The song was destined to go down in Glastonbury history as a cult favourite. Check out Underworld’s live performance of Born Slippy below, the crowd went absolutely wild.

Al Green, 1999.

The same year as Underworld but a very different vibe; The Reverend Al Green appropriately played on a Sunday afternoon. He not only brought the first sunshine the festival had seen in four years, but a glaring white suit and a set of searing, raw gospel-soul. Check out his performance of Stay Together below:

Suzanne Vega, 1989.

Vega has played many Glastonbury’s, seemingly a lot more than most. She was usually seen on the Acoustic Stage. However in 1989 at the height of her fame, she strummed away calmly on the Pyramid stage wearing a bulletproof vest as a result of death threats.  There had been death threats directed at her and her bass player, Mike Visceglia, which resulted in bringing the presence of Scotland Yard to the festival.

Kanye West has it relatively easy: When Glastonbury attendees don’t like a name on the bill during the nowadays, they take to the internet and start meaningless petitions. When one person doesn’t like the appearance of folk rocker Suzanne Vega at the 1989 event, they make death threats. It appears this was because Vega was the first solo female performer to ever headline the Pyramid Stage. Heroic or what?

Bastille, 2013.

Their first studio album, Bad Blood, was released in March 2013 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number one. The band was nominated for four Brit Awards at the 2014 ceremony, winning the British Breakthrough Act 2013.  Bastille drew the biggest crowd the John Peel tent had ever seen. So large that security nearly had to stop the gig and so loud the chorus of ’Pompeii’ could be heard many fields away.

Jay-Z, 2008.

This was undoubtedly the most written-about Glastonbury show ever. Following a public spat wherein Noel Gallagher said he was an unsuitable headliner, Jay-Z headed up an irresistible, if glitzy, hip hop extravaganza. What’s more, he started his set with an acoustic version of ’Wonderwall’. Cheeky.

Faithless, 2002.

This was a classic moment in Glastonbury where Faithless completely turned the crowd. Following Irish punker band Ash, few were expecting much from pop-trance outfit Faithless. Oh how they were wrong! Soon 90,000 people packed the Pyramid field leaping as one to ’Insomnia’ and the like. It was an incredible performance. Check out their performance of Insomnia below:


David Bowie

The star first appeared at Glasto as an unknown singer in 1971, and didn’t return for nearly 30 years. David Bowie’s final Glastonbury performance was even hailed as ‘best ever moment’ by founder Michael Eavis. Following the news that the Heroes rocker had passed away Eavis, aged 80, stated “There are Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and David Bowie. And with those three you have said it all. Check out his performance of ‘Heroes’ below. A true legend:


So there is some of our favourite moments of Glastonbury to date, let us hope the festival continues to produce moments like this. Are there any stand out moments that stick in your memory?

Not heading to Glastonbury this year? Check out our blog on some of the other things to look forward to this summer!