Glastonbury Festival kicks off another year Wednesday, June 24, with Kanye West, the Who, Pharrell Williams, and many more artists hitting Somerset, England over the next four days. As one of the world's premier music festivals, legendary moments have gone down at Glastonbury -- here are our 10 favorites
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Pregnant with Blue Ivy (though know one knew it yet), Beyoncé closed out the Pyramid Stage in grand fashion at Glastonbury 2011. Her set included a Destiny’s Child medley and closed with “Halo.”
Glastonbury got a very special 40th anniversary party in 2010. Stevie Wonder headlined that year and dedicated a performance of “Happy Birthday” to the fest.
Following a lengthy hiatus, Blur reunited in 2009 and closed out Glastonbury’s final day. Here, Damon Albarn and Alex James celebrate the crowd during their massive, two-encore performance.
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When Jay Z was announced as Glastonbury’s 2008 headliner, Oasis’ Noel Gallagher called it “wrong,” citing the fest’s “tradition of guitar music.” Hov responded by mockingly playing a little bit of “Wonderwall” before launching into “99 Problems.”
In 1971, Daivd Bowie played Glastonbury’s first year, so it was appropriate he returned in 2000 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Performing “Changes,” he mentioned he wrote it just a few weeks before performing the fest three decades prior.
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Glastonbury was annihilated by rain in 1997, but the watery backdrop provided the setting for a legendary Radiohead performance, just a month after OK Computer was released. It’s now viewed as a defining moment in the band's legacy and arguably the greatest Glastonbury set ever.
When the Stone Roses canceled their 1995 headlining performance, Pulp were last-second additions to close out the fest. And what a move: Their set-closing performance of “Common People” (released only a month prior) is now iconic for British rock fans.
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Orbital’s 1994 set on the Other Stage went over so well (live and on television) that an entire dance tent was introduced the following year. It was a big turning point for dance music at the fest, where it’s now commonplace.
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People thought Glasto had gone mad for booking Johhny Cash to headline in 1994, but the move proved to be genius. He’d just released his career-reviving American Recordings album, and the festival helped further his cultural resurgence. He later called it one of the highlights of his career.
Eyebrows were raised when Glastonbury booked The Smiths for 1984's fest, as it had seldom picked acts so popular before. Despite sound difficulties early on, Morrissey and co. pulled it together and delivered a now-legendary performance, which featured hordes of their fans rushing the stage.