The Rolling Stones demand Glastonbury media 'blackout'?

The Rolling Stones stall in key BBC Glastonbury talks

Francesca Perry - 01 June 2013

TV viewers could be left in the dark as The Rolling Stones have, at the present, refused the BBC permission to broadcast their 'greatest hits' set in full from Glastonbury Festival this month.

The Stones are due to perform at Worthy Farm on the Saturday night of the iconic festival, which runs from June 26-30 this year. Eagerly anticipated, this is a rare festival appearance from the Stones, who made their only festival appearance in two decades at the Isle of Wight Festival back in 2007.

Originally the BBC was granted permission by the band to televise only the four opening songs of their set. Viewers would then be told that the band had demanded a 'blackout' for the remainder of their performance, The Independent reported on Thursday.

One source suggested to The Independent that the reason the band were reluctant to make their whole show available is because of the unpredictability of playing outdoors, especially since bad weather at the event often has affected artists’ performances.

“It’s not about money. This show will go around the world” Notes the source. “If there’s torrential rain it will play havoc with their performance and they want to sound and look at their best.”

The BBC recently unveiled their plans for their first "truly digital" coverage of Glastonbury Festival in 2013, including 250 hours of live broadcasting from the six main music stages. The BBC presenting team will include Chris Evans, Steve Lamacq, Mark Radcliffe, Jo Whiley, Nick Grimshaw, Gemma Cairney and Lauren Laverne. Dermot O'Leary and Craig Charles are set to mix work demands by both presenting for the BBC and playing DJ sets across the weekend.

The Rolling Stones' headline set was due to broadcast live on BBC 2, Radio 2 and online to millions of viewers that were unable to get tickets to the festival.

Mark Cooper, head of Music Television at the BBC, personally sought to encourage Jagger that broadcasting the performance could attract a whole new broader audience. Cooper has a track record in persuasion and managed to negotiate with many artists in the past, including Bruce Springsteen who intended to allow the BBC to use only 25 minutes from his Glastonbury Festival 2010 set, but with such a great reception, it ended up at 90 minutes.

The BBC made an official statement this week, commenting: “Our conversations with The Rolling Stones have been extremely constructive and are ongoing”.


Hopefully after such excitement surrounding The Rolling Stones debut, they will relax their restrictions, pleasing millions of rock lovers worldwide.

Yesterday Glastonbury Festival released their full 2013 line-up, including a day and stage breakdown over more than 50 stages.

All tickets for Glastonbury Festival 2013, estimated to be approximately 140,000 in number, have now completely sold out.


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