Help us uncover Glasto 2009’s secrets

July 14, 2009

Every year after the Festival we hear about lots of amazing, impromptu things which happened – but which we didn’t manage to see. So, this year, we thought we’d ask you folks to send us your photos, videos (YouTube/Vimeo links only, please) and/or descriptions of the unexpected happenings which you were lucky enough to stumble across.

If you were party to any of the things below (or something similar which we haven’t even heard about yet!), please drop us a line with your memories and/or images to, with the subject "Secret Glastonbury". We’ll update this page as things come in…

Noah and the Whale balloon release

"During Noah and the Whale’s set on The Park stage on Friday night, a man came round handing out big balloons to everyone. He instructed us to blow them up and hold on to them until he gave the signal. Just as they started playing 5 Years Time, the band were greeted by about 50 balloons flying above the crowd, and the atmosphere really lifted up a notch." Sam from the Cotswolds

Carl Barat’s Stone Circle acoustic show

"We headed to the Stone Circle after The Boss on Saturday night. After watching the sun come up, Carl Barat strolled up the field right past us about 6am. He decided to join us and proceeded to play a mini acoustic gig. Very surreal and very nice." Tim from Wakefield

"We thought you’d like to see our pictures of the "intrepid microlite" intruder!!! For sheer balls we thought he should be allowed to stay in but security came and ooofed him out. Message to man: Next year buy a ticket!!!" Jan and Simon

Kele Le Roc in Shangri-la
"Kele Le Roc turned up and sang at one of the tiniest venues in that covered street area in Shangri-la late on Sunday.  She sang Basement Jaxx’s Romeo which she did originally did the vocal for and when her backing track crackled to a halt she toughed it out a capella with the crowd clapping the beat and supporting with the oh-we-ohs it was genuinely brilliant.  Best a capella I’ve ever heard and the first time I’ve heard a crowd keep time so well.  Sorry no pics." Lee H

A procession of discarded wellies

Spotted near the John Peel stage by David Jaremko

"The procession of wellies was the creation of 2 bored lock up crew members in the wee hours of the morning, my boyfriend swears he’s a genius now! he was so proud of himself after he put it together, can’t believe it’s on your site, that’s bloody brilliant!" leahX CND lockup crew

The Blockheads surprise set in the Rabbit Hole

Picture by Darren Dixon

"On a barmy Saturday night my wife (Wilma) and I ambled up To The Park stage to get a cup full of Bon Iver. Having arrived a little early for the show, we decided to explore the venues on site. Having climbed the Bedecked tower and consumed the magical view (Including watching Franz Ferdinand on the Other Stage, through a dodgy telescope); we strolled into the Wonderland, That is, ‘The Rabbit Hole’. A Magical place indeed, we sampled the ambience for a while before taking our places at Font of Iver. As we watched and enjoyed, our attention was caught by a Mr Keith Allen! Mr Allen was clearly on a mission and despite the lack of a pocket watch, or elongated ears; he vanished White Rabbit like into the aforementioned Burrow. The look of intent on Mr Allens face was not lost on Wilma and I and we knew something special was going on under ground. Having Chilled to, ‘A Good Winter’, we gathered up our other troops and headed to The Rabbit Hole. As we got within earshot of The Burrow, we could hear familiar chords and lyrics drifting on the night air. Sex and Drugs and rock ‘n roll………….Well Blow me down, If it wasn’t the Mighty Blockheads, playing like there was no tomorrow. With an eclectic retinue in tow, A wonderment in a wonderland. Glasto moments dont come much better than that!" Rich

Banksy art around the site

Thanks to Felix for the picture

Another from Felix – "Located by the entrance to the VIP area, ha!"

Thanks to Natalie Dodd for the picture

Thanks to John for the pic

"There was some speculation within the safety team about whether the graffiti was Banksy’s – and also on the value of certain pieces of steel shield, garden sheds etc. The panel next to "plain clothes drugs dealers in operation" may be a signature, or a critical comment, we may never know. The other panel just saying ‘Banksy’ was way out in the car parks and unlikely to be genuine – so next time some tries to sell you an over-priced panel of steel shield remember, caveat emptor."
GFL Site Safety Team 2009

Lady Gaga playing Shangri-la
"Walking thru Shangri-la we wandered into Club Dada where 20 or 30 people were gathered listening to the compere (sic!) announce "something special". Expecting some sort of drag act we stayed out of curiosity only to be completly stunned by an incredible full-on set by Lady Gaga. As expected Dada soon filled for Gaga and she didn’t dissapoint. I’m not a fan but was bowled over by her energy and her complete performance. She knows how to work a crowd." Simon Parks

Bruce joins Gaslight Anthem on stage

Picture by Stephen Willoughby

"I’m the compere and stage manager on the John Peel Stage. I received a message from Artist Liaison at the Pyramid saying that the Boss was coming up to watch Gaslight Anthem from the monitor desk but  it was to be kept low-key and only those who needed to know were to be told. When he arrived with his entourage of security and minders he took time for photographs to be taken by crew members who spotted him. 
When I introduced Gaslight Anthem on stage I said that we were in for something special, not knowing but hoping Mr S would join them on stage. The roar that greeted his arrival on stage was amazing. As people began to recognise the man picking up a guitar, those who were sitting on the grass rose to their feet and bodies seemed to come rushing into the tent from all directions as word quickly spread. Bruce played guitar and sang along with Gaslight Anthem’s "59 sound" and the crowd went wild.
After the performance Bruce took time for more photographs back stage and chatted with me about the band and the stage before returning to the monitor desk to catch a few songs from Passion Pit."
Jim Fox

"I was sorting my gear out in the camping/old cinema field near the John Peel stage. I was enjoying the sounds coming from the John Peel stage and then there was a sudden huge roar!! As the next song kicked in I thought to myself ‘that singer doesn’t half sound like Bruce Springsteen’! I even remarked this to my mate when he came back….the rest is history."
Ben Glass

Random performance artists/dressing up

"I came across this group of bowlers near the Blazing Saddle stage on Sunday. Despite the noise and mayhem they were bowling a ball through the muddy grass as if on the finest green."  Nick P

"The tall dude with the huge pissing dog !!" from Steve Bent

"Basically, this guy wrapped two ropes around his arms which were attached to the winch cable of a crane. Then the crane lifted him up about 30-40 feet into the air and did a full 360 while he pirouetted about. Absolutely insane." From Robert Hurley

"I was quite impressed to see a group of colonial officers in full safari gear strolling through the market area, but was slightly concerned when they came face to face with a group of aristocratic nudes in white collar and tie but little else. No need to panic though. Apart from some rather alarming braying of greetings the two groups bonded beautifully. A real quality moment. Makes you proud to be British." Gill Baker

"These guys were legends, dancing through the crowd during Blur – in single file and in character. They came running past me during Coffee and TV, made it the perfect random glasto moment for me and everyone nearby. Super friendly too and having lots of photos taken, they definitely deserve a mention on the site." Kat

"Just three of a dedicated party of Rolfs coming to see Rolf. Real Rolf looked genuinely amazed." Richard Want

"Having arrived for our first Glastonbury two sights caught our eyes. Firstly my 5 year old daughter was delighted by the sight of two mounted police officers with fairy wings. However the sight of this group of dinner suited horses was slightly more sinister in the eyes of our 5 and 7 year olds – suffice to say no harm was done!" Peter F

"There was a great piece of street theatre which sprang up for a while (like they do!) in the Theatre Field on Saturday afternoon which I called “Grass works”:  the foreman told us they’d had reports that the grass wasn’t laying in the right direction and so his men were investigating…" Terry

Taken in the Pyramid Stage field on Saturday afternoon by Elliot

Kazoo marching band, spotted by Shell

Dryland swimmers, spotted by Tim

Three great spots by Dove…

"The Posh Nudists and the Lollipop Ladies are from Bath’s Natural Theatre Company, who have performed at Glastonbury every year except one since the beginning!" Ralph Oswick, Natural Theatre Company

Punky policeman, spotted by Sam

Prawns in The Park, spotted by Rosie

Santa, spotted by Lucy

"Alarming birth from a clay oven" by Russell

"We met these two police officers between the Other Stage and the Pyramid on Saturday evening. They were unbelievably friendly, gave us (free) hugs and let everyone pat there horses whilst wearing a tutu and fairy wings and a sheriff’s hat. Now that’s the Glastonbury spirit!" Cerri

"We spotted this guy who was managing to sing, play the piano, pedal like billio, and somehow steer himself in a (vaguely) straight line.  Very impressive feat, and very funny to watch…" Matt

"A group of mates from The Trafalgar Hotel in Nelson Lancashire, planned these Rolf tribute outfits prior to the festival. We managed to get close to the front at The Jazz World Stage for Rolf Harris’ performance and the steward on the stage steps spotted us. After absolutely creasing himself laughing, he told just about every one of the crew and the musicians as they came up the steps. Rolf was bowled over and gave us a big wave and a smile. Mission accomplished." Steve Burke

"A crowd of Oompa Loompas I met on the Sunday – they were walking down off the railway track towards the Other stage" John

"Stumbled upon a troupe of Brownies helping people through the mud on Friday. Note the bemused beaver looking somewhat lost in the background!" James

Spotted by Erin

"One of our group decided to make some Michael Eavis masks, they went down a storm" Julie

Spotted in the Avalon field by Annette

"A group of friends and I decided to be cheerleaders, complete with coach and mascots.  We caused a bit of a stir around the Jazz World stage on the Thursday evening, people were trying to work out what the letters on our Tshirts meant, until Coach finally managed to arrange us all in order." Mandy W

"Ladies asking if anyone had seen their bath on Sunday afternoon." spotted by Joanna M

"Big Rolf heads at Rolf Harris!" spotted by Dan

"Ministry of Meaningless measurements in theatre area" spotted by Ann-Marie B

"This is ‘Cidersaurus’. Poor chap fell asleep on Wednesday night at the Jazz World and mirth ensued," Doidge

Dead Weather at The Park

"Waiting for the "Special Guest" on Friday evening at the Park rumours were flying about Muse, Arctics and others. When the act did walk out most people (me included) looked around hoping that someone knew who was on stage. The sound that resonated from the stage was enormous and I should really have guessed but it wasn’t until a flag moved from my view in front of the stage that Jack White’s head popped up from the drum kit and all was clear. This barrage of sound was stunning and a real surprise." Simon Parks

Mick Jones doing Clash songs in Shangri-la
"We were wandering through Shangri-la on Saturday night (as one does!!!) when we notice a band playing in one of the tents. "That looks like Mick Jones from the Clash" I said to my mates Steve and Mick.  "Well it would be – it said the Mick Jones Band on the chalkboard in front of the tent" said Steve. Yeah but we didn’t realise it was THE Mick Jones did we!!!!! It was very hot and steamy in the tent and Mick and the band sent us on our way with Should I Stay Or Should I Go. It was a typical impromto moment that Glastonbury is renowned for." David Cant

"It was so rocking that it went on half an hour after the noise curfew. When the sound police showed up to turn it off they couldn’t believe the PA was off, it was just the drummer, Mick and a tent full of people singing and bringing the house down. They just had to shrug their shoulders and walk out. Nice." Debs, Shangri-la

Jarvis with Shlomo on The Park

Picture sent by Simon

"The Shlomo gig was incredible. To be honest Jarvis was a great guest but the Vocal Orchestra themselves stole the show especially the sound clash with DJ Yoda. The beat-off with Marcus Brigstock was pure genius but it was their version of Teardrop that made it even more worthwhile being there." SImon Parks

Hot Rats (aka Supergrass) in The Park

Picture by Joe Webb

The Village Disco, a mobile disco on a trolley, playing 45s

Picture by Agnieszka

Picture by Kellie

Adam and Joe in the Cabaret tent
"I saw Adam and Joe in the Cabaret Tent and was doubly surprised when they read out a joke sent in by one of my friends ‘Liam Tucker’s Dad’.

What do you call a Scottish cow sitting down?
A Kneelin’ Ox.

I saved my groans until the end as requested!"

Blur’s Graham Coxon revealed as Status Quo fan
"I literally stood right next to him in the crowd. He stayed for their whole set " Simon Bull

Lou Brown goes from tipi to national radio

"I manage an unsigned singer-songwriter called Lou Brown. Lou was at the Festival to do a set on the Friday at the Avalon Cafe Stage. On Friday evening we had a text from BBC Radio 2 Johnnie Walker’s wife saying that Johnnie was a fan and hadn’t been able to make the gig, but would Lou be up for playing a set for him and some friends. So on Sat morning we headed up to the tipi fields, met up with everyone and Lou did a short set. What we hadn’t expected was for JW to record it. Come early Monday morning, as we’re starting to pack up, we start getting texts to say the JW is about to play one of Lou’s songs on ‘Wake Up to Wogan’, the most-listened to radio show in the UK! Things have been a bit crazy since…" Dom Kippin

Silly signage

Spotted by Megan

Spotted by Andy

Spoted by Tania

"The bar by the Other Stage ran out of cider on Saturday night! Gutted." Andy (Bristol)

Spotted by Laura H

Spotted by Kit and Patricia

"Pure rebellion" spotted by Timothy

Photo by Anna D

"Written on the inside of one of the toilets – a great message and lightened my spirits during one lengthy toileting session with my kids!" Dave

Laura Marling’s secret set in the Greenpeace Departure Lounge

Another pic by Felix ("with Pete Roe on keys and members of Mumford and Sons on drums and double-bass")

Will Young in the Guardian Lounge
"Although I knew Will Young was playing the Avalon tent at 6pm (saw him same place same time last year and he was most fun and fabulous).. it was double the pleasure to also catch him earlier in the day doing a most fabulous acoustic set in the Guardian Lounge! It’s one of my most favourite places to chill at Glastonbury anyway, but I was most happy when John McClure announced after his set "And the next guest is – Will Young". Crikey I think some of the young girls almost screamed with excitement and it was a bit hot for that:-) Anyway he did a very different but great performance in the Guardian tent than he did in the Avalon, but boy can that boy hold a tune." Julie

Lily Allen and Jaime Winstone pop into the Vanity Van
"Was sat minding my own business on our reception desk at our stall in John Peel area when I looked up to see Lily Allen and Jamie Winstone stood in front of me with their entourage! They were very sweet and had some gorgeous eyelashes fitted, bought some glitters and fairy wings and Lily bought a Batman costume to go out in disguise in later on that night lol. We then proceded to play spot the Batman that night in Shangri-la and Trash city :-)" Alix

Jamie Cullum’s impromptu trumpeter
"On that glorious Saturday I thankfully managed to squeeze in most of Jamie Cullum’s set. After singing along to a few from the first album and a couple of others, it came to the end of his stint and he announced he would close with his cover of Radiohead’s High and Dry, which the crowd seemed pretty pleased with! So off he went, tinkling his ivories, doing some sing-a-long crowd participation, and just as he was winding down with a piano solo, a trumpet player in the crowd started playing along. It was just one of those moments that sent everybody crazy. The whole band on stage were applauding and Jamie got up and got the trumpet man in a pink shirt to play while he free-styled, and you could just see the respect on everyone’s faces. It was a truely special Glastonbury moment, I won’t be forgetting it in a hurry thanks to the trupmet player in a pink shirt." Sarah Ellis

Picture by James Warren

"Jamie Cullum’s impromptu trumpeter is called Robbie Fraser. He could be found every night between midnight and sunrise in Shangri-la, entertaining people in The Peoples Front Room"

BIlly Bragg at Strummerville

"Billy Bragg then Emmy the Great at Strummerville on the Saturday night. Given the ‘heads up’ by the lovely woman selling Joe Strummer t-shirts earlier in the day, it was definitely worth missing the last half of Springsteen for…" Nat from Somerset

"Around 1am on Saturday. There was not a dry eye round the camp fire." J

Rooftop YMCA
"Can’t remember if it was Friday or Saturday morning but we were treated to a rendition of YMCA by some ‘workmen’ (and one lady) up on the roof of a marquee." Maria Batson

Futureheads play Circus Field

"On Saturday 1700-1800ish The Futureheads played the Blazing Saddles stage in the circus field, we were watching ‘Get Up Stand Up’ (a comedy group) and they came on unannounced in between comedians and played for about 30 mins. There was only about there 100 people there who caught the set which made it quite special, it was one of my highlights of the weekend!" Sean Barron

The mysterious Mudwig
"You have lots of Banksy graffiti, but what about ‘Müdwig’? We saw numerous references this elusive figure painted all around the site, from Jazzworld, to the Acoustic field and the Caberet area. But who exactly is Müdwig? Not even the good folk at the Info-Points could tell us…" Neale Hitchiner

Dans Le Sac and Scroobius Pip in the Igloo
"My and my mates were walking round Shangri-la on saturday afternoon as there was nothing else really on…we stumbled into the ‘igloo’ bar, only to find Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip playing to about 15 other people. The atmosphere in there was amazing, really electric (and also really sweaty as it was super super tiny). Definitely our one amazing find of the weekend." Dave

Proposal during Magic Numbers’ set
"I loved it when a guy got up on stage with the Magic Numbers at The Queens Head, looked for his girlfriend in the audience and said "Tamsin,I love you,I want to spend my life with you,will you marry me??!!!!!!!!!! " Everyone in the tent including the Magic Numbers was cheering and clapping, Big old romantic softie!!!!!!" Sue


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