From the bursting rock brilliance of The Boxer Rebellion who played to over 1,500 fans in the New Bands tent first thing on Friday, through Radiohead’s long awaited return to Glasto on Saturday and concluding with monumental performances from Sigur Ros and Doves, Glastonbury 2003 was bliss from start to finish.
Doing our bit for festive heritage, VF also organised for former Levellers guitarist Simon Friend to make an unscheduled performance in the Leftfield on Sunday afternoon. Later in the day, VF crew members John Bownas and Sara Bowrey celebrated ten years of marriage by renewing their wedding vows in the Chapel Of Love and Loathe inside the Lost Vagueness – a secret area of strangeness on the outer reaches of the site.
With crime pretty much non-existent and the forewarned thunderstorms turning to be nothing more than patchy bursts of rain breaking apart glorious sunshine, the world’s favourite performing arts event looks set for a bright future. It was also far away Glasto’s best year for new bands.
A strong Scouse contingent; led by The Stands, Zutons, The Coral and The Bandits was joined by none other than Noel Gallagher who we spotted partying backstage with Kate Moss and the Primal Scream crew. Freeloading liggers had the odds shifted slightly though, when plush backstage flushers were replaced by the same chemical pits that graced the rest of Glasto.
The Flaming Lips’ magical set included a dozen odd furry creatures and a Pink Floyd cover. Radiohead’s Saturday night performance has been added to the stuff of legends. Old timers, Suede and Manic Street Preachers were a little disappointing, however. Suede’s set of new songs lacked the bite of what they would have played the last time they were here (in 1993) and the Manics similarly, took to plugging b-sides. Sigur Ros and Doves combined though, for a truly stunning rain soaked finale to the event...