Starting tomorrow (Thursday, August 6th), R.E.M. will be live streaming their iconic headlining set, filmed on June 25th, 1999 on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage, in its entirety via their YouTube page for only 72 hours. You can subscribe to watch, here.
Glastonbury’s 1999 was broadcast on high rotation via Channel V here in Australia, and many will remember sets from the massive line up, including sets by Bush and Blondie. But, according to R.E.M. frontman, Michael Stipe, it was Hole – who had just delivered a blazing and now infamous set at the Sydney Big Day Out a couple of months earlier – who pushed the band to deliver a peak performance on the day, saying in a statement: “Hole did such a great set, I was like … I’ve got to ramp this up, I’ve got to be great. I think it was maybe a moment for R.E.M. and the U.K. where we had kind of been forgotten or pushed aside by younger bands, and that was a particular moment at Glastonbury where I think we pulled ourselves back to the front of the line and actually proved, this is what we’re capable of. It was a great show for us!”
Stipe added that R.E.M., “felt triumphant every time we played Glastonbury. The band really stepped up. It’s such a beloved and legendary event that, y’know, whatever stars are aligned for us personally and as a group; we managed to show the best of ourselves at each of the shows we played there.”
R.E.M. | Live at Glastonbury 1999, YouTube Premiere [August 6, 2020]
And it’s a good time to revisit the archives and relive these classic Glastonbury performances because, according to festival founder Michael Eavis, it might be some time before legendary event returns. In an interview with ITV News earlier this week, he said, “I’m still hoping I’m going to be running next year and I’m going to be moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do. But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen. That is just wishful thinking really.”
Eavis remains optimistic about the future of the event though, saying that he’s, “so confident that it will survive. The only certainty I think is the year after, 2022. To be perfectly candid, so we might have to wait for two years maybe.”
“But I am still hoping, and we are fighting and working at it all the time to make sure it happens next year. You can’t kill it off just like that. It will come back. It will come back, probably stronger actually.”
R.E.M.’s iconic 1999 Glastonbury included classics like “The One I Love,” “Losing My Religion,” “Everybody Hurts,” “Man on the Moon” and “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”
Subscribe to watch from Thursday, August 6thvia YouTube, here.
Listen to R.E.M. on Spotify:
Listen to R.E.M. on Apple Music: