A year that started with the death of David Bowie and looks like it will end with Boris Johnson becoming our Prime Minister, 2016 has seen our national identity challenged and dismantled in a way like we've never seen before. The pieces of this progressive, multi-cultural and art-inspired utopia seems to be falling through our fingers as the days are crossed off the calendar.
However, nestled in the green hills of Somerset, Glastonbury 2016 provided us with a porthole to everything that's actually still comfortable and still beautiful about England. Played to a soundtrack of tenderness and consciousness with touching vigils to the tragic death of MP Jo Cox, you have this wonderful tapestry celebrating all manners of culture. Cabaret, drag, dad rock, Cos Play, comedy, policiticism, LGBT, women's rights, pillheads, ravers, rockers, grimers... Basically, it is open to everyone and it has everything there (except the Sun and Daily Mail. Eavis literally won't accredit them).
So essentially, despite tears and tragedies, I fucking adored my time in the paradise of Worthy Farm. A wonderful place before pretty much every festival looks like this.
Engerland pic.twitter.com/cy1Ssw3a32— Oobah Butler (@Oobahs) June 28, 2016
EAVIS IS ESSENTIALLY LEFT-WING CLARKSON
You know what, one of my highlights at this year's Glastonbury was heading over to curator and organiser Michael Eavis' Sunday afternoon open Q&A with Worthy Farm-goers at the Speakers' forum. I've never been before, because I always feel like absolute shite on that morning in particular, but truly was special. From revealing his disdain toward our media, deep secrets on negotiations with Fleetwood Mac (yep, prices and all), shooting down a call out he should have Abba ("I shouldn't think so"), to some serious bullets of truth being at the referendum, he was an absolute delight.
SECRET SHOW FO SHO
Some of the best nights times we had at this year's festival were spent in the highest point of Glastonbury up at the Crow's Nest. From Moshi Moshi emotive dramatist Wesley Gonzalez's emphatic set to an absolute stormer with youth culture-defining Mac DeMarco, it was just absolutely unbelievable. The highlight, however, is Charlotte Church's Pop Dungeon at the Rabbit's Nest on Sunday night. From Church singing "I want to fuck you like an animal" from NIN's 'Closer' through 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' to literally sending me into tears with my song of 2016, a cover of David Bowie's 'Girl Loves Me', it was just sublime.
GRIMES AND GRIME
Grime being given a designated stage in the Sonic Stage was an utter necessity. And having an area when one of the most exciting movements in British music can be cultivated was an apt decision by the folks over at Glastonbury. Giving Stormzy, Lady LeShurr, Skepta etc. in an environment that they can thrive on a farm in Somerset? Fucking yes.
And here's a segway that doesn't work. From Grime to Grimes. Holy fucking shit she was good. Probably the best pop performance I've ever seen: utter energy, catapulting through the air and a stunning voice to accompany, then just thrusting noise. FUCKING NOISE. On the Park Stage too. It was just unbelievable.
THE BOWIE SINGALONG AROUND THE WHOLE SITE
We hope that the tributes to the Thin White Duke never stop, frankly, and the impromptu songs sang on the GlastonBowie stage were an endless source of joy and tears of sadness. Everybody is scared about the world we're entering without David, so let's let his songs carry on bringing us together.
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