With only a few days to go until this year’s Glastonbury, we have decided to show you Glastonbury through the years and what exactly makes it so special.
Founded in 1970 by Michael Eavis and originally called “Pilton Festival”, the festival was inspired and influenced by the free movement. Tickets were just £1 and the festival was attended by 1,500 people making it relatively small compared to its attendance now of 180,000!
The 1991 festival saw the first creation of the “Pyramid Stage”. Built from scaffolding and metal sheeting, the stage was a hit and performers including David Bowie, Hawkwind, Traffic and more.
In the 1980’s the festival became an annual fixture apart from its periodic fallow years. A new pyramid stage was constructed from telegraph poles and metal sheeting alongside a permanent structure which doubled as a hay-barn and cow-shed during the winter.
The festival started to grow and in 85’ the festival was considered too large for Worthy Farm. The neighbouring Cockmill Farm was purchased and that year the festival had a downpour of rain which didn’t stop festival goers dancing in the mud.
1989 was the first year that unofficial sound systems sprung up around the festival site, playing electronic acid house music non-stop throughout the festival.
The festival introduced a 150 kW wind turbine which provided some of the power back in 1994 and alongside this, a new world record was set when 826 people, juggling at least three objects each, kept 2,478 objects in the air. This was also the year the festival was first televised by Channel 4.
1995 saw memorable performances from Oasis, Pulp, The Cure, Carl Cox and PJ Harvey. Alongside this, the Dance village was created to cater for the rise in popularity of dance music.
The first year that attendance officially broke the 100,000 mark was 1998. Severe floods and storms struck the festival making some festival goers leave early but those who stayed got the chance to see Blur, Tony Bennett and Robbie Williams.
The millennium year introduced a new Pyramid stage and was headlined by David Bowie, Chemical Brothers and in 2002 visitors were treated to performances from Coldplay and Rod Stewart.
In 2005 the silent disco was introduced by Emily, the daughter of Micheal Eavis. This allows revellers to dance into the early hours without disturbing the locals and being compliant with the festival's licensing.
Following the death of DJ John Peel, the new tent was renamed the John Peel Tent, in homage to his encouragement and love of new bands at Glastonbury.
Two years later Glasto was headlined by Arctic Monkeys, The Who, The Killers and Dame Shirley Bassey was also featured. Over 700 acts played on over 80 stages, the capacity was expanded by by 20,000 to 177,000 and ‘The Park’ area opened which would feature extra sets by several artists playing on the main stages.
One year later the festival was headlined by Kings of Leon, The Verve and hip hop artist Jay Z which proved to be a controversial choice.
2010 was the 40th Birthday of the festival and Michael Eavis appeared on the main stage with headline artist Stevie Wonder to sing the chorus of "Happy Birthday". Damon Albarn's Gorillaz played and joined Muse and Stevie Wonder for the Saturday and Sunday headline slots.
2011 saw the first woman (Beyonce) to headline at the festival since 1999.
Florence and the Machine were Friday’s headliner in 2015 alongside The Libertines, Kanye West and The Who. Other acts including Motorhead, Lionel Richie, Deadmau5 and a appearance by the 14th Dalai Lama.
Now this year’s festival lineup will include Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, and Foo Fighters headline alongside Katy Perry, Chic, Stormzy , Alt-J, Justice, Liam Gallagher and much more.
It is incredible to see how far Glastonbury has come over the years and if you are going this year, have a great time and don’t forget your wellies!