Sunday night saw the end of Glastonbury 2017 – one of the biggest and best music festivals anywhere. Now begins the notorious £785,000 cleanup, and the music media tradition of wrap-up articles. Luckily for everyone, this year was a resounding success. Hell, Michael Eavis, English dairy farmer and the founder of the Glastonbury Festival, himself said that it was one of the best years ever. Attendance was up, crime was down, weather was good, and there was no shortage of great acts and fun events. What’s not to love?
One of the most talked about events this year was the surprise appearance by Jeremy Corbyn, U.K. Labour Party leader. He was brought out to introduce American rap-duo Run The Jewels, who are no strangers to getting nods from politicians. Corbyn went on to criticize U.K. elites, dedicate his speech to those who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fires, and even sent a message to Trump, “Build Bridges, not walls.” By many accounts, Corbyn became one of the biggest stars of the festival, crowds even chanted, “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” during Radiohead’s set.
In this video, the trend of turning Corbyn into a celebrity continued when a remix of his speech was played at Block 9 during the Felix Dickinson set.
Rock star from a different world, Dave Grohl, also made a memorable and touching appearance this year. He dedicated the Foo Fighters last song, Everlong, to a fan who had passed away from cancer this year. Grohl was contacted by her widower, Jon, who told him about Laura’s love of the band, and how Everlong had been played at both their wedding, and Laura’s funeral. Before performing the song, Grohl said, “I’d like to dedicate this song to someone named Laura, who couldn’t be here tonight, But we should all dance this one for her.” Jon was later quoted saying, “This was my one last final swansong as it were, and it worked. It’s everything I ever wanted for her.”
One of the reasons that music festivals can be so great is the amount of surprise appearances and performances that are bound to happen when you get that many artists in one place. One of the most significant surprise sets this year was by rising English rock band, Elbow. They filled the ‘TBA’ slot at the park stage, and their performance was not announced until the morning of. Elbow played a lively set, and even urged fans to donate to Greenpeace.
Bradley Cooper was another star making noise during the festival. He was filming footage for the new version of, A Star Is Born, and ended up at Kris Kristofferson’s set, who starred in the 1976 version of the film. Cooper appeared onstage to introduce the country legend, play guitar silently, and shoot some scenes for the movie. As if one celebrity appearance wasn’t enough, Kristofferson was eventually joined onstage by Johnny Depp to perform Sunday Morning Coming Down. Before leaving, Depp began making allusions to the assassination of Trump, “I’m not insinuating anything – by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible – but when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
Continuing the apparent political theme of this years Glastonbury, grime rapper Stormzy made some moving statements about the recent Grenfell Tower fire which killed 79 people. In the middle of his set, the 23 year old rapper said he wanted to use this opportunity very carefully. “We’re urging the f*cking government to be held accountable for the f*ckery, and we ain’t gonna stop until we get what we deserve,” He finished by unzipping his jacket to reveal a Grenfell t-shirt. Predictably, at least at this point, the audience erupted into chants of, “Oh Jeremy Corbyn.”
This is just a small amount of all the shenanigans and fun that happened this year at Glastonbury. There will be no festival next year, but organizer Emily Eavis says that there are some ‘radical changes’ to the festival on the way. Emily added: “The thing about the festival is that it’s run by the most devoted team of people, and they really put everything into it. Everyone is committed to making it as brilliant as it can be. It’s quite moving when you think about the amount of people that make it happen. I think they’ll all appreciate a break.”