Flashback To Glastonbury Festival 1994

Flashback To Glastonbury Festival 1994

liam gallagher glastonbury festival
Liam Gallagher of Oasis backstage at Glastonbury Festival. Photo by Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images.

Thousands of music fans have once again descended upon the Worthy Farm site in Pilton, UK for the annual Glastonbury Festival. The CureThe Killers and our very own Kylie Minogue are among this year's headliners for the five-day utopian escape; an event that has grown to be the largest greenfield music and performing arts event in the world since it began in 1971. 

This year, standard tickets for Glastonbury 2019 sold out in just 36 minutes! But will 2019 stand the test of time? Will it match up to the 1994 line up that pre-empted the rise of Britpop - stacked with acts about to explode and dominate the next decade? 

With Modern Life is Rubbish (1993) under their belt and Parklife (1994) hot off the press, Blur were the UK’s imminent, soon-to-be Britpop icons. They were in their prime as a live act; energised and grungey, 'things going a bit mental' pop. It would be another three years before they cracked the No.1 spot with “Beetlebum” off their eponymous fifth studio album, Blur in 1997; but back at Glastonbury 1994, a young Damon Albarn seems entirely sure of his future, delivering their hit single with attitude and charm and pure confidence. 

Blur | “Girls & Boys”

That year, Blur shared the bill with their long-time sparring partners, Oasis who were also yet to unleash Definitely Maybe on the world. It would be another year before the two bands went head to head for the No.1 spot, releasing their singles – “Country Life” for Blur and “Roll With It” – on the same day, cementing their ongoing rivalry. The Gallagher brothers, on the verge of becoming a global phenomenon, look like poster boys for apathy, determined to prove they could do this in their sleep – which they backed up in spades.

Oasis | “Live Forever”

By 1995, Britpop would knock grunge off the pedestal to become a driving cultural force around the world. The genre was headed by the ‘Big 4’ – Blur, Oasis, Suede and Pulp, who also appeared on the bill (along with Johnny Cash, Manic Street Preachers, Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead, M People and so many more). Pulp were also one year off releasing their seminal album Different Class (1995) with the single, "Common People" - a global hit and a Britpop anthem.

Liam has just announced his new solo album, Why Me? Why Not. due for release on Sept. 20. 

Pulp | “Do You Remember The First Time?”

1994 was also the first tie the event had been televised, a crucial factor in ensuring that Orbital's performance achieved legendary status. As a result, living rooms across the country were able to experience what a rave might look like, and suddenly dance music – which had been attacked by the establishment and mainstream press for years – didn't seem so dangerous. It was a crucial turning point for dance music at future Glastonbury festivals. 

So, 1994 may have been the calm before the Britpop storm, but the producers of Glastonbury festival certainly saw it coming! Blur became a legitimate pop phenomenon by the mid 90s, scoring hit after hit as they battled Oasis for chart dominance. Listen to the tunes that defined the sound of Britpop on the This Is Blur playlist on Spotify:

Listen to all the Blur Essentials on Apple Music:

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