Wednesday 18 October 2017

It's Glastonbowie as festival's first classical music headliner pays tribute

David Bowie performing at Glastonbury in 2000 - this year's festival had a classical music tribute to him
David Bowie performing at Glastonbury in 2000 - this year's festival had a classical music tribute to him

Glastonbury celebrated the late music superstar David Bowie with the festival's first classical music headliner.

While fans waved Blackstar banners and showed off their Aladdin Sane face paint, a classical orchestra played American composer Philip Glass's Heroes Symphony, a homage to Bowie's 1977 album Heroes.

Bowie sang Heroes in 2000 at his second and final Glastonbury performance, something festival organiser Emily Eavis said was "one of the all-time moments in our history".

Starting at midnight on the Park Stage, the performance was accompanied by a laser display designed by Chris Levine.

Colourful beams of light shone through clouds of dry ice, creating a visual counterpoint to the music.

Charles Hazlewood directed a classical orchestra featuring Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra.

With many festival-goers unsure what to expect, the orchestral music did not go down well with everyone.

Ten minutes in, one shouted: "Where's the party tunes? Party tunes, come on!"

Another grumbled before leaving: "This was sold to me as a David Bowie laser show."

But there were gasps of appreciation as the performance continued.

At one point, thin tendrils of red light seemed to reach out across the sky.

Another movement saw sheets of green and purple light slide across each other in the mist.

Press Association

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