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GLASTONBURY 2015:
THE HIGHLIGHTS (UPDATE)

Glastonbury 2015 has officially come to a close. The five-day U.K. festival, which sold out in just 25 minutes, drew crowds of 150k+. With a wonderfully diverse line-up that placed Mary J. Blige next to Motorhead, saw Pharrell preview the tune he'll be launching via Apple Music, enabled Kanye to cover Queen, united "Uptown Funk" with George Clinton and even found a spot for the Dalai Lama, Glasto once again proved itself the very model of a modern music festival.

Foo Fighters
were unable to play their Friday headlining set due to the mid-show spill in Sweden that caused Dave Grohl to break his leg and undergo surgery. (Click here to read Grohl's cheeky open letter to his fans.) 

To make up for their absence, the folks at Glastonbury bumped Florence + the Machine up the bill and added The Libertines to the slot before them at the last minute. 

Before performing a delectable cover of the Foos' "Times Like These," Florence Welch, who recently recovered from breaking her foot at Coachella, shared a touching statement. "We'd like to dedicate this next song to the legend and all-around incredible human being, Dave Grohl. He was so incredibly kind and supportive to us when we were first starting out and we were so sad to hear that he broke his leg because we love him so much. Dave, if you are listening, we love you. We all love you!"


As for on-the-rise artists, Catfish and the Bottlemen proved their buzz across the pond is well deserved and showed off their undeniable potential as they rocked out in the rain.


Wolf Alice
also stood out among Friday's up-and-coming bands. Click here for their cover of Scissor Sisters' "Take Your Mama," which was recorded in the intimate BBC Music Teepee.

If you really wanna get down and party, Mark Ronson doesn't disappoint. For his mega-smash, "Uptown Funk," Ronson moved upstage to play guitar and welcome Grandmaster Flash to the decks. Although, Bruno Mars couldn't be there, the stage certainly didn't feel empty, as Mary J. Blige was more than happy to fill in. There was an even an extra treat when "prime minister of funk" George Clinton strode onstage before the groovalicious song's close.


Kanye West
 was Saturday's big headliner. His set included "Stronger," "Niggas in Paris," "Black Skinhead," "All Day," "FourFiveSeconds," "Heartless," "Jesus Walks," and "Gold Digger," along with covers of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Chief Keef's "I Don't Like."

Perhaps the real highlight of Kanye's set belonged to viewers at home, who got to indulge in censorship at its prime with BBC's hilarious PG subtitles. #Motherducker.


Per usual, Pharrell delivered a luminous set that was reminder of his massive influence on the last decade or so of pop music: The Neptune's "Frontin'," N.E.R.D.'s "Spaz," "Rock Star," "Lapdance" and "She Wants to Move," Daft Punk's "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Get Lucky," Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful" and "Drop It Like It's Hot." 

Watch him perform new single, "Freedom," which is set for release on Tuesday 6/30 via Apple Music, below.

Earlier in the day, however, Coasts were the act making serious waves. BBC Radio 1 Head of Music George Ergatoudis found a fest fave in the Bristol-bred indie/rock four-piece. Their single, “Oceans,” is currently impacting U.S. Alternative radio with spins from Alt Nation, D.C., SLC and more. Keep an ear to the ground. Their debut full-length comes this fall.


On Sunday, Lionel Richie pulled in a crowd estimated at 100k by the BBC—which certified his was the largest throng of the festival; Richie's crowd rivaled Dolly Parton's last year. He opened with his 1983 hit "Running With the Night." 

The glorious rock 'n' roll soul embodied by punk godmother Patti Smith was shining bright on the same stage earlier that evening. Smith, who always manages to keep the public on their toes, welcomed none other than the Dalai Lama on stage to present him with a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday" with the help of the entire crowd. He, in turn, placed the scarf around his neck onto hers. It was adorable and reinstated a semblance of faith in humanity for this writer. 

Click here to watch Smith's performance of 1988's "People Have the Power."



Hozier and FKA Twigs both dazzled with strong Sunday performances. All of Glastonbury singing the blues riff on the former's "To Be Alone" was testimony to the Irish troubadour's ever-growing power as a live act.

The Who, the final night's headliner, delivered a career-spanning set that included cuts off My Generation, The Who Sell Out, Tommy, Who's Next, Quadrophenia, Who Are You, Face Dances, It's Hard and more.



They brought the festivities to a smashing conclusion with "Don't Get Fooled Again," upon which the attendees began to stumble back to their hotel rooms, tents or nearby bushes before reality is forced to set back in. Although, Glastonbury might be over, fear not; the hangover will last well into mid-July. Cheers, mates.

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