Dolly Wows Glastonbury

Festivalgoers abiding memory of this year’s sold-out Glastonbury Festival will likely be the singalong performance from Dolly Parton.

The most famous female country act in the history of music certainly drew major plaudits from a range of UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Mirror, which said “she sent the crowds wild.”  

Photo: Photo by Joel Ryan / Invision /AP
at Glastonbury 2014, June 29. 

The headliner that had attracted the most criticism in the lead-up to the festival was Metallica, reportedly the first time a heavy metal band had headlined the event. Most came via regular Glasto-goers, apparently shocked that a festival steeped in hippy culture should entertain such an idea.

Criticism also came from fellow rockers Iron Maiden, with singer Bruce Dickinson telling London Evening Standard that Glastonbury is “the most bourgeois thing on the planet.”

“Anywhere Gwyneth Paltrow goes and you can live in an air-conditioned yurt is not for me,” he said. “We’ll leave the middle classes to do Glastonbury and the rest of the great unwashed will decamp to Knebworth and drink a lot of beer and have fun.”

On June 29, the final day of Glastonbury, The Sunday Times speculated on whether “the middle class killed the festival.”

“I thought they were very good,” was festival founder Michael Eavis’ take on Metallica. “The great thing about them is the generosity of appreciation of the show. We’ve never seen a band so keen on coming before, they’re fantastic people,” he said.

Arcade Fire, which headlined the opening night, had the New Musical Express asking if the Canadian act had just performed its “best ever show.”

Also apparently in keeping with Glastonbury traditions, this year’s festival also had a lot of mud. On the opening day, thunder and lightning heralded a torrential downpour that turned huge tracts of the site into a quagmire.

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich was flying into the site by helicopter as the storm descended. “It was kind of frightening”, he told BBC News. “We saw the lightning up there. I thought it was pyrotechnics for Arcade Fire.”

Dolly told the crowd that she grew up on a farm and so she’s used to mud.

“When I was coming in this morning I was looking at all the mud and thinking, this is not that different from where I grew up in the mud,” she said. “This mud ain’t nothing new to me – and it ain’t nothing new to you either.”

Photo: AP Photo / Yui Mok, PA
The great cleanup is about to get under way near the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury 2014 June 30. 

The lightning storm had the festival turn off the power as a precautionary measure, interrupting Rudimental’s set, but 30 or so minutes later the storm eased off and all stages were back up and running.

Eavis has also told The Guardian, Glastonbury’s official media partner, he plans to bow out of the event when it reaches its 50th anniversary, which would take him through to 2020.

“I think I can run on another six years, which would take me up to 50 years, then [I’ll] see what happens after that,” he said.

The other acts to do well out of performing at Worthy Farm June 25-29 included KasabianPixiesElbowJack WhiteThe Black KeysSkrillexJake BuggKaiser Chiefs, and London Grammar.