Touring was supposed to be the music industry's financial saviour, but now even gigs are losing their allure. So can packing fans on to a cruise liner pay dividends? Gillian Orr finds out
Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis thinks the event could end in "three or four years".
The headliners split the crowds, but this year's Glastonbury showed that the Seventies dream lives on at Worthy Farm
A "gold age power list" of the country's most influential pensioners has been published. The list – which includes The Queen, 85, Sir Alex Ferguson, 70, and Sir Mick Jagger, 67 – aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about older people. It was compiled by the charity WRVS, which said the UK's ageing population was too often seen as a "looming disaster" and a "drain on society".
Music festivals were nearly as common in the ancient world as they are in the modern. Though unlike modern festivals, which venerate rock gods, the ancients sought to glorify more ethereal deities. Each spring the Athenians would celebrate the Festival of the Vine Flower, a three day shindig which began with a drinking contest conducted in silence and ended with singing and dancing to "melodies that excite the soul to a mystic frenzy". A description that wouldn't be amiss applied to many a modern festival.
Forty years ago, dairy farmer Michael Eavis put on his first music festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton. Just over a thousand hippies parted with £1 to see T-Rex perform and enjoy a pint or two of free milk from the farm’s Friesians.
"Michael Stipe once said you shouldn't wear sunglasses on stage because it demonstrates disrespect for your audience," said Matt Berninger, lead singer of Brooklyn-based rockers The National. "But the sun is shining into my eyes and is burning my corneas." If anything defined this year's Glastonbury, it was the heat. Dry, uncompromising, and painfully affecting. The same, of course, could be said for Berninger's music.
It's the kind of news any festival director dreads. With just four weeks to go, Glastonbury's Friday-night headliners U2 have pulled out.
Co-founder of the Big Chill festival
An electric start to Glastonbury
Glastonbury festival-goers should brace themselves for "torrential thunderstorms" over the weekend, forecasters have warned.
The Boss will be headlining at Glastonbury. But, says Elisa Bray, young festival-goers may not be thrilled