| 11.2°C Dublin

Close

Premium

The story behind David Bowie's last great gig

Close

David Bowie performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2000

David Bowie performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2000

David Bowie performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2000

In May 2000, David Bowie was sitting at home in New York in some confusion. “I really don’t remember why I agreed to close this year’s Glastonbury Festival in the first place,” he wrote in his diary. “It couldn’t be more inconvenient.”

Bowie, then 53, and his wife Iman were expecting their first child together that August; so he had put his future live shows on hold — apart from Glastonbury in June. On top of that, the famously anti-nostalgic singer had spent a decade avoiding playing his own hits.

Glastonbury’s high profile made that difficult. As well as 100,000 ticketholders, millions would watch live on the BBC. In his diary, Bowie reluctantly accepted that “big, well-known songs shall litter the field this year at Glastonbury”.