Over the years there have been some very memorable performances at the world’s music festivals. Some you might have seen, while others might have passed you by. Here are just a few to jog the memory.
The Who at Woodstock
The band were scheduled to go on stage as the second to last act on August 16, 1969. In actual fact they made it onto the stage at around 5 am the following morning and performed most of their ‘Tommy’ album. They were still on stage as the sun rose but the performance became a memorable one because a Vietnam protester, Abbie Hoffman, invaded the stage and tried to grab a microphone. The band then had its own mini-protest when Pete Townsend knocked her off the stage and smashed up his own guitar.
U2 at Live Aid
This is considered to have been the turning point in the band’s fortunes. While they were only on stage for 20 minutes, they managed to capture the mood completely and reminded the audience what Live Aid was all about.
T-Rex at Glastonbury
This is back in the days when Glastonbury was known as the Pilton Festival and it was the very first event in 1970 that saw T-Rex perform, making the transition to glam rock stars. Marc Bolan arrived in a Buick that had been covered in velvet and shouted at festival founder Michael Eavis when he dared to touch the car.
Paul McCartney at Glastonbury
The Beatles star made the most of his headlining slot at the Glastonbury Festival and reminded the audience of the songs that made him, John, George and Ringo international superstars. This is widely considered to be one of the best headlining performances at the festival.
Dolly Parton at Glastonbury
Yes, you read that right – Dolly Parton! The country star featured in the ‘legend’ slot on Sunday afternoon when she graced the Glastonbury stage and while the performance was not so memorable for the songs she chose, she managed to draw one of the biggest crowds of all time.
Queen at Live Aid
For many people by the mid-80s, Queen were considered to be passé. Then came Live Aid and the band found a whole new legion of fans thanks to an iconic performance that outshone many of the others appearing on the day.
The Prodigy at V
When The Prodigy took to the stage at V, so many people came to see them that the band actually had to stop playing for 15 minutes so that the danger of a crush could be averted. The actual gig itself was announced by Liam Howlett to be one of the band’s best ever.
The Smiths at Glastonbury
The Smiths appeared at Glastonbury in 1984 and managed to help to change the focus of the event. Others appearing that year included Joan Baez and Tangerine Dream, while the Smiths were the only real new thing on the menu. However, they did manage to shake things up and helped to give the event new focus and become the festival that we recognise today.
The Stone Roses at Spike Island
For those who wondered where the ‘Madchester’ movement started in earnest, it was at the Spike Island gig in 1990. The setting was not glamorous – the land was a reclaimed waste dump and was surrounded by factories – but this was the gig that kids from all over the north-west of the UK wanted to get to. The appearance of The Stone Roses helped to cement their place in music history. There is no official recording of this event, although those who are keen to see more will be able to find a clip or two online.