Maybe it’s because Worthy Farm’s taking 2018 off, but this year there seemed to be more commitment than ever to having a good time at Glastonbury. From Shangri La to The Park, the party vibes were strong and pure and never-ending.
The weather helped too, with only a speck of rain and more than a fair share of sunshine and blue skies. A-listers like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper, David and Victoria Beckham and Tilda Swinton all graced the festival with their presence as well the man of the hour Jeremy Corbyn, who drew one of the biggest ever crowds to the Pyramid Stage – for truly he was this year’s Dolly Parton.
Glastonbury has always been a political festival, championing environmental issues, left wing activism and pushing for peace via the Greenpeace Field and Left Field, but 2017 was even more passionate than usual. The Grenfell tragedy loomed large, with Run The Jewels, Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and shadow chancellor John McDonnell all either using their platforms to pay tribute to the victims or ask for the government to be held to account for what happened. Their words were emotive, rousing and essential – more than ever the festival seemed connected to the outside world and intent on chasing after both answers and change.
That serious side didn’t impact on the partying though, but sat comfortably alongside it, with Block 9 celebrating a decade at the festival in epic style and new areas like the vintage drive-thru of Cineramageddon and the Earache Express metal stage proved showed Glasto’s constant commitment to evolution, bringing a clutch of heavier bands to the festival for the first ever time, including Napalm Death, Ho99o9 and Dead Kennedys. See, nothing is allowed to go stale here – apart from maybe that packet of sausage rolls you left in your tent at the start of the weekend. Then there were the secret sets, bringing in acts very much capable of heading up the main stage – like The Killers and Elbow – and popping them on in the afternoon, much to the joy of the people who could get to see them play on the smaller stages. Grime triumphed this year too, with Stormzy, BBK and Dizzee Rascal all putting on seriously impressive shows and drawing massive crowds. Even Glasto queen Emily Eavis called the weekend “the best one yet” and she’d know, right? Roll on 2019 – you can’t come quickly enough.