What I learned this week from Glastonbury 2014
This week, Glastonbury announced it’s 2014 lineup. It subsequently won the award for Best Festival Lineup Ever.
The 2014 Glastonbury Festival will feature Arcade Fire, Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry, Dolly Parton, Jurassic 5, Lily Allen, James Blake, M.I.A. Foster the People, The Wailers, Interpol, Kelis, MGMT, Lana Del Rey, Dexy’s, Rudimental, Elbow, Bonobo, Pixies, Richie Hawtin plus many, many more.
This lineup has everything: hip hoppers, chart toppers, show stoppers, hard rockers, pill poppers and beat droppers. Australia even got a nod with Modular/Future Classic favourites Jagwar Ma flying the flag.
The best thing about this year’s lineup is the balance. It’s unclear whether any one act is headlining. While names like Arcade Fire, Jake White and Skrillex dominate the list, no one act eclipses any other. There is no singular draw-card, but an enormity of talent from top to bottom. I would genuinely need a week to see all the artists I wanted.
The festival is dominated by UK artists, but that doesn’t restrict variety in the least. From London Grammar to Jamie XX to Ms Dynamite to Ed Sheeran – a British bias is hardly a bad thing. We are still waiting on one more special guest, and to make matters worse, organizers had the nerve to add ‘more acts and attractions to be announced’. If pain persists, add salt.
Glastonbury continues to reinvent itself, evolving year to year. This year, festival first lady Emily Eavis announced there would be two new stages at the 2014 event, as well as a host of smaller venues dotted throughout the immense festival site. With its immense assets, sponsors and backing, the festival is able to grow and attract new talent every year. Better yet, the new talent is just as likely to be Blondie as it is Disclosure. Ironically both will appear at this year’s event.
The 2014 edition of The Glastonbury Festival has put its rivals to shame. The epic five day event sits head and shoulders above upcoming Coachella, while Summerfest (US) and Rock AM Ring (Germany) are flattered to be mentioned in the same breath.
What did we learn this week? Australian festivals need to change their approach. Big Day Out ticket sales were at an all time low this year after their major draw-card Blur pulled out. If Glastonbury is anything to go by, festivals don’t need ‘headliners’. While it might be unfair to compare ourselves against the might of a festival like Glasto, Australia could certainly follow the example set by those at the top. Better to pack a lineup chock-full of solid talent rather than a couple of prima donnas.
The Glastonbury Festival takes place from Wednesday 25th to Sunday 29th June, 2014. The Worthy Farm event is of course a sell out and for those thinking of nabbing a ticket last minute, be ready to mortgage your house.
The line up (so far) is listed below:
Arcade Fire, Kasabian, Dolly Parton, Jack White, Elbow, The Black Keys, Robert Plant, Lily Allen, Lana Del Rey, Skrillex, Pixies, Massive Attack, Disclosure, Paolo Nutini, Manic Street Preachers, M.I.A, Rudimental, Bryan Ferry, Richie Hawtin, Ed Sheeran, De La Soul, Goldfrapp, London Grammar, MGMT, Jake Bugg, Jurassic 5, Dexys, Above & Beyond, The 1975, Bonobo, Kelis, Blondie, Warpaint, The Wailers, Wilco Johnson, James Blake, Metronomy, Tinariwen, Chvrches, Little Dragon, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Kodaline, Interpol, Foster The People, Mogwai, Royal Blood, John Grant, Annie Mac Lil Louis, Daptone Super Soul Revue, John Newman, Chromeo Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Midlake, Angel Haze, Four Tet, ESG, The Sun Ra Arkestra, François Kevorkian, Parquet Courts, Danny Brown, Crystal Fighters, Nitin Sawhney, DJ Pierre, Toumani & Sidiki Diabate, Chance The Rapper, MNEK, Temples, Phosphorescent, Connan Mockasin, Public Service Broadcasting, Courtney Barnett, Gorgon City, Wolf Alice, Radiophonic Workshop, Suzanne Vega, Tune-Yards, Jagwar Ma, Eats Everything, Jamie xx ,Ms Dynamite, Breach, Chlöe Howl
By Dominic Sciberras