Sunday 25 September 2016

Bowie fans celebrate music giant in front of Glasto Pyramid Stage

Published 23/06/2016 | 18:21

The Aladdin Sane lightning bolt tribute to David Bowie above the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury
The Aladdin Sane lightning bolt tribute to David Bowie above the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury

David Bowie fans have gathered at Glastonbury Festival for Glastonbowie, celebrating the life of the music idol.

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In front of the Pyramid Stage, which is decorated with an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt in tribute to the late singer, hundreds of fans in outlandish outfits and face paint united for the event, which involves a quiz and a singalong.

Organiser Miz said: "I started it a week after he passed away and it was just to basically deal with my own sorrow.

"I've been a Bowie fan since I was a teenager myself and when he passed away, it just felt like music died. I was so shocked about it for about a week.

"I always thought I had one more chance to see him live. I saw him in Glastonbury 2000, it's the best moment in my life.

"I just thought I have to do something to try to bring some kind of joy to people. For people to keep singing Bowie songs and remembering him."

Guitarist Dan Thomas, who will be helping to lead the singalong, said he had volunteered for the event to celebrate Bowie's life.

He said: "For me it's a musical influence. I love the songs, I love the way they're written... I wanted to pay my respects in some kind of way and for me if it's worth doing it's worth overdoing."

Chris Bartlett came with an Aladdin Sane stripe and Blackstar T-Shirt, while his wife Amanda wore a Ziggy Stardust outfit.

Mr Bartlett said: "We are both big music fans but his music and his albums are a background to my life, really."

The two said they had raised their five children to know all of Bowie's music.

On the Bowie outfits, Mrs Bartlett added: "It was just a bit of fun really.

"We are actually quite sensible, but when we get to Glastonbury it's just like stepping out of our world and into another."

The Bowie singalong was at points drowned out by sound testing from the Pyramid Stage, but the hundreds of festival goers raised their voices in a battle to compete with the sound system.

Miz led the crowd in a rendition of songs including Starman and Suffragette City.

Sarah Wakeley, 32, from London, said she was a lifelong fan despite knowing little about music.

She said: "The Glastonbury crowd is all about inclusion and celebrating people's differences, it's one of the most inclusive festivals in the world.

"It has always been never about a specific type of music... I can't think of anything more appropriate than Glastonbury for paying tribute to how much we all love him."

Bowie performed twice at the festival, the last time in 2000.

Stephanie Foster, from Devon, who came with a group of four friends all dressed up as Ziggy Stardust, said: "He's a huge influence isn't he to music? It's just great to come and celebrate that."

Bowie tributes will continue throughout the festival, including a performance of Philip Glass's Heroes Symphony on Saturday.

Elsewhere at Worthy Farm, Joshua Smales and Neil Atkinson, from Cumbria, both spent the day dressed as Bowie as a tribute.

Atkinson said: "Basically for us the story was, we were going to keep coming to Glastonbury until we saw him live. But unfortunately, obviously, there were the sad events of the last year.

"So we thought, if he can't make it, if he can't happen to us, we can happen to someone else."

Smales said: "It seemed a fitting tribute. This is going to be our last Glastonbury now as well."

Press Association

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