Glastonbury Festival hit Worthy Farm from 21st to 25th June, for a weekend that invited legends old and new to one of the world’s longest running music festivals.
On the main stages, Nile Rodgers brought a Chic set of career-spanning music that’s invaded the charts from the fabled guitarist and producer, whilst Dizzee Rascal staked a claim for a Pyramid Stage headline slot by storming the West Holts to a capacity crowd on Friday night.
Elsewhere Craig David affirmed his unlikely position as a national treasure by rolling out the classics in front of a Pyramid Stage that had people stuck outside the entrances of its vast field.
Major Lazer completed a riotous headline slot on the Other Stage at the same time as iconic Oxon band, Radiohead, took theirs on the Pyramid by the horns and established their position alongside the likes of Pink Floyd as one of the most important British bands ever to exist.
Their 25-song, two-encore set showed that the five-piece’s relentless quest to push music in new directions has never waned, and they even defied their usual rule by working through a plethora of classics. Utilising material from every one of their nine studio albums, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they finished on the double-header of ‘Creep’ and ‘Karma Police’ – the track they finished with the last time they hit Worthy Farm for a secret show on The Park stage back in 2010.
Justice and Moderat flew the electronic flag to close the festival off on Sunday night, whilst Stormzy, Wiley, Skepta and his Boy Better Know crew all played their part in the year that grime finally took over Glastonbury’s main stages.
But elsewhere, after a slow walk down the railway track that cuts through the centre of the festival, the Somerset shindig's South East corner continues to be one of its biggest draws.
And its this that gives Glastonbury such a unique edge – there’s just too much fun to be had at all hours as the festival continues to defy expectation and get better and better, year after year.
As talks of secret sets permeate the site through the early hours of each day (one sees The Killers return to the John Peel stage – where their journey at Glastonbury began in 2005), murmurings of the goings on in the South East fields at the festival, which are saved for nightfall, continue to peak more-and-more interest in the infamous ‘naughty corner’ – with the queues to get into the area being bigger than ever before in 2017.
Inside, Block9 marked its 10-year anniversary, a decade that has seen it become the festival world’s wildest clubbing space. NYC Downlow, the X-rated nightclub that lies at the heart of the field, finally proved that it doesn't just take its cues from classic disco clubs like Sound Factory and Studio 54, but has become a space as important as them in the history of gay venues.
The rest of the South East fields are made up of Shangri-La, The Common, The Unfairground and Glasto Latino, and offer a space matched in very few places in the world to take a late-night wander.
Listen to 71 massive tracks from Glastonbury’s glorious underworld below – with a few bangers that graced Worthy Farm’s main stages thrown in for good measure.
(Photo: Allan Gregorio)
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.