Crash course: Music festivals

This month, the Isle of Wight festival and Glastonbury launch that British summer season of traipsing around fields to hear live music.

TIMELINE

BOB DYLAN, NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

1965

Dylan goes electric, causes outrage and sets the standard for memorable festival sets

JIMI HENDRIX, WOODSTOCK

1969

Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock: the pinnacle and death knell of the 1960s glory days

LED ZEPPELIN, KNEBWORTH

1979

100,000 showed up, and noise complaints were received from miles away for one of the band's last gigs

THE SMITHS, GLASTONBURY

1984

The Manchester band woke up Glastonbury in a fallow period between its 70s origins and 90s rock-and-rave heyday

THE STONE ROSES, SPIKE ISLAND

1990

Not really a festival, but with sun, drugs and era-making music, it felt like one, and inspired many

NIRVANA, READING

1992

The grunge band's last UK gig and one of their defining moments, a ferocious set to 50,000 awestruck fans

PULP, GLASTONBURY

1995

Jarvis and co filled in at the last minute for headliners The Stone Roses, creating one of Britpop's defining moments

FLAMING LIPS, COACHELLA

2004

The US showed it could still do festivals. Lead singer Wayne Coyne rolled over fans in an inflatable ball

BEYONCÉ, GLASTONBURY

2011

Glastonbury's wholehearted embrace of pop is controversial, but all-singing, all-dancing Beyoncé didn't disappoint

This month, the Isle of Wight festival and Glastonbury launch that British summer season of traipsing around fields to hear live music

How to be: A festival cliché

Live the dream and improve your chances of appearing in newspapers and promo images by following these simple rules...

* Don't have a partner who would willingly sit on your shoulders or allow you to straddle theirs? Just ask the person next to you – it will be too loud for them to refuse. The view of the stage is great from up there

* Crowd surfing is euphoric if it goes well, but be sure to save it for an audience fully imbued with the festival spirit required to keep you aloft. If you time your surf badly, you risk a painful drop back to earth

* Tiger, alien or the back of a pantomime horse – whatever the costume, it's the thought that counts. Just ensure that your outfit has pockets – and ventilation. Daft Punk-style robot heads are the 'hilarious' masks of the moment

By Charlie Cooper

Profile: The businessman

As organisers of Glastonbury, Michael Eavis, and latterly, his daughter Emily, are the faces of British music festivals.

But there are other important figures in the business, a little out of the spotlight but no less fond of wellies and muddy fields. One such as Melvin Benn, the managing director of Festivals Republic.

Between 2002 and 2012, Benn's firm (initially Mean Fiddler, a company he ran with Vince Power – another big name in European festivals) had a 20 per cent stake in Glastonbury. Together with the Eavises, Benn helped steer the event into the modern era, where things run on time and no one jumps the fence.

Despite parting ways with the Somerset event, Benn's firm still runs several festivals ranging from teen magnets Reading and Leeds to the middle-class family favourite, Latitude.

So if you are planning a wet weekend in a tent, watching music outdoors and drinking beer in a plastic cup, Benn may have been the one who (indirectly) persuaded you to part with two hundred-odd quid.

By Luke Blackall

Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams will be given a 'meaningful remembrance' at the Emmy Awards

film
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis' movie take on The Jungle Book

film
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Calvin Harris performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year