As the ancient proverb goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. So despite time not being on their sides, festival goer’s should expect a fresh, reinvented sound from Ronnie, Keith and co, right?
Classic rockers or rocking the boat?
Well, there are two sides to this story (or should we say an A and a B-side…) the former welcomes the golden oldies back with open arms, joyous that the rumours and speculations are true and the band, who last year marked their 50th anniversary, are still well and truly capable of capturing an audience of several generations.
The band is evidently thrilled to be headlining with Keith Richards telling BBC 6 Music last year: ‘On a good day, if the weather’s fine, Glastonbury is an interesting proposition’. Ronnie Wood joined in telling journalists: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice. It’s something I’ve always been interested in. I’m going to twist their arms.’ And Mick Jagger’s equally optimistic: ‘Can’t wait to play Glastonbury. I have my wellies and my yurt.’
Ticket sales have certainly been healthy with every single one of the 135,000 being snapped up in just one hour and 40 minutes. That’s clearly a diverse range of people eager to crowd-surf, kick back and squelch through or sun themselves over the glorious weekend, weather permitting.
The B-side is that the Stones are just not up to the task, past their best and stealing the limelight away from upcoming bands that could really do with that spotlight. According to satirical site The Daily Mash, both Glastonbury and the Stones are ‘emaciated, excessively grandiose versions of their former selves that mainly appeal to people who wear bum bags.’
Now, we know this site is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek but there’s going to be a small percentile who share the same view especially surrounding their unrealistic ticket prices. Last year, the band was criticised over the price of their shows, which cost between £106 and £406 with a VIP package at an eye-watering £950.
Glasto tickets in comparison are a snip at £205 and even if the headline act isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you’re sure to find something that quenches your thirst with the amount of diverse musicians on the bill.
Head before heart?
If you’re genuinely passionate about music, regardless of your personal tastes, you won’t let the headline act ruin your weekend. Let’s be realistic – where else are you going to such an unlikely mix of eclectic musisc? Elvis Costello and Dizzy Rascal, Rihanna and My Bloody Valentine, Nick Cave and Elton John?
Remember, it’s the inclusivity of the event, rather than the headliners themselves that most people remember. Have you ever seen someone sulking into their warm beer because their favourite band weren’t glorified up on the main stage as the main act? You can’t please everyone with the headline act but you can satisfy everyone with the overall experience.
The tent accommodates all: hip, young indie things, ageing hippies and everyone in between. That’s the real pull of Glasto at the end of the day: the big love-in and open-mindedness to live and let live, embrace the here and now and accept that we’re only here once so we might as well make the most of it – whoever’s headlining.
Another great appeal of Glasto is its strictly ageless atmosphere, the Stones are just as welcome as the pre-teens who can roam freely under the blazing skies of Arcadia without anyone checking they’re with a consenting adult or whether there’s more than just Ribena in their cups.
Savour the festival flavour
You go to a restaurant and you choose what you want off a set menu, you to Glastonbury and you don’t question what’s going to be thrown into the mix.
The soup of so many genres might stir something in you that you didn’t realise you had a taste for. You might go home and research that genre a bit then tap into a whole new world of audible pleasures you wouldn’t have even sampled had you not stumbled upon the unexpected scene on the one weekend you let your hair down and went with the free-loving festival vibe.
However you feel about the Stones headlining this year, make sure you leave no stone unturned in your own quest for a good time at Glasto.
If you want to be on the other side of the festival stage with the season about to get going, Lucy suggests looking at BIMM, a music school with a range of diplomas and courses.