Entertainment & Arts

Glastonbury: BBC to air classic sets in festival's absence

Beyoncé
Image caption Beyoncé headlined Glastonbury in 2011

The BBC is to broadcast classic Glastonbury performances this year in the music festival's absence.

Previous headline sets from Beyoncé, Adele, Coldplay, David Bowie and Jay-Z will be shown on BBC Two and BBC Four.

A new pop-up channel will also appear on BBC iPlayer, which will feature more than 60 historic sets.

This year's festival, which was due to feature Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Sir Paul McCartney, was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 200,000 people, including 135,000 ticket-holders, would have descended on Worthy Farm in Somerset if the festival had gone ahead from 25 to 28 June.

Clara Amfo, Edith Bowman, Jo Whiley, Lauren Laverne and Mark Radcliffe will host four days of programming across the BBC.

At the centre of the BBC coverage will be three 90-minute programmes on BBC Two, broadcast on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June.

They will feature performances from Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Blur, Dizzee Rascal, Lady Gaga, PJ Harvey, R.E.M. and The Rolling Stones.

Additional programming on BBC Four will feature some of the most memorable acoustic performances filmed in the BBC compound at previous festivals - including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Kano, Leon Bridges, Patti Smith, Richie Havens and Youssou N'Dour.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar were due to top the bill on the Pyramid Stage this year

Archive performances will also be played across BBC radio stations and available on the BBC Sounds app.

Organiser Emily Eavis will be interviewed by Lauren Laverne on her BBC 6 Music show on Friday 26 June.

Lorna Clarke, the controller of BBC Pop said: "Even though Worthy Farm can't be full of thousands of music lovers this year, the BBC will celebrate with four days of memories and archive footage to give our audience a taste of the festival in their own homes."

Eavis added: "There are so many memorable sets being played across the BBC over what would have been our 50th anniversary weekend.

"Personally, I'm looking forward to a weekend of reflecting on the history of our festival and going back to some classic performances from David Bowie, Adele, REM, Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, Billie Eilish and lots more.

"Me and my dad will definitely be watching!"

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story