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This 2020 had to have been the great year of Glastonbury Festival . I was going to celebrate its 50th anniversary in high, but the crisis of the coronavirus has been uploaded to this celebration of the music, and there is only the consolation of enjoying some of his concerts, most memorable in streaming. Throughout this weekend, the official website of BBC iPlayer will offer performances of Adele, The Cure, Foo Fighters, David Bowie, Radiohead, Oasis, Beyoncé, The Killers, Coldplay and many other artists. In addition there will be never before seen interviews and a documentary about the legendary critic radio John Peel.

To commemorate its half-century of life, Glastonbury has also organised a virtual exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum that collects posters, photos, concerts, interviews and many other memories of this festival, which along with the Isle of Wight was a pioneer in the landscape of macroconciertos of rock on this side of the Atlantic.Although the exhibition is very complete, obviously can not show you not everything that has happened in Glastonbury in these fifty years, and that is that the festival is packed with incredible anecdotes from his very birth.

The first was a sad and dark: a few hours before it reopened its doors for the first time, they knew the news of the death of one of the greatest heroes of the rock of the moment, Jimi Hendrix . It was a jug of water cold for the 1,500 attendees that edition of the debut, but the music got to lift your mood thanks to the actions of Steamhammer, Quintessence, Stackridge, Al Stewart and Keith Christmas and T. Rex (The Kinks and Wayne Fontana were in the poster originally, but they did not act).

T. Rex – ABC

A farmer called Michael Eavis was the one who raised that first edition of the then-named Festival, Pilton, after seeing an open air concert of Led Zeppelin at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. Gained a pound for entry (which included a milk carton gift), and though he himself would recognize that it was a failure of the public by the scant publicity, in 1971, took good note of your errors and set up a festival sensational, with David Bowie, Mighty Baby, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Gong, Hawkwind, Skin Alley, The Worthy Farm Windfuckers or Terry Reid , among many others, and a marketing campaign to the height. The event, which took here its definitive name, was picked up by cameras and thanks to YouTube we can immerse ourselves in the ambientazo that was generated over that summer, through this video that can only be described as wonderful:

Located in the rainy county of Somerset, Glastonbury has always had to deal with inclement weather. But not always with success: in 1985, they installed a huge tank to suck up the mud from the camping area, but broke and caused a flood of even more uncontrollable. The fans, however, they took the style of Woodstock and took the opportunity to make the goat in the quagmire.

One of the anecdotes more wild on stage, starring U2 , to his regret: during his concert at the 2011 edition, a group of protesters was beaten by security personnel when they started to protest the fact that the members of the band have their fiscal accounts in the Netherlands and not in Ireland, to evade taxes.

Some of the anecdotes more curious of Glastonbury has starred in the model Kate Moss , a regular of the festival. In the mad 2011 edition was on the point of losing your engagement ring valued at over 15,000 euros, in a fight for entering the backstage of her fiance, Jamie Hince, the guitarist of The Kills. In 2005 he attracted the attention of all the paparazzi at the mess of mud its very expensive outfit while “festivaleaba” with her then boyfriend, Pete Doherty, and in 2013 was seen in one of the tents sticking a big party in the company of Prince Harry.

In a place like Glastonbury, it is normal that every year was filled with amazing stories and hilarious. One of the most shocking occurred in 1987, when unknown gunmen decided to steal the pants of all the attendees they could while they slept. When you wake up in the morning, the festivaleros were stunned to discover that someone had thrown away thousands of garments to a hole full of mud. No one knew who he was, or what the hell he did. The police, by the way, never made act of presence at the festival until the edition of the year 1990.

Paul McCartney has the dubious honour of having been the only artist in the history of the posters of Glastonbury to be punished for playing too many encores. In 2004, the Local Council of the area brought a fine of £ 1,000 for overstaying their time of action, although it should not matter much: that night rose 175,000 a year.

The history of Glastonbury also reveals data implausible: do you know who has gathered the greatest crowd in front of your stage? is The Levellers , a group of anarcho-folk-rock of the already very few will agree, in the edition of the year 1994.