One small gripe to make. The host of the ceremony could have been re-thought. Not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with The Cuban Brothers. But when you have a guest-list that is comprised solely of the festival business’ movers and shakers, a Glaswegian personating a Cuban dictator would not be my first choice. There’s Michael Eavis, sitting two tables from the front, for heaven’s sake! Does he really have to listen to this?! Still, the host was funny, and his Cuban accent was very good, so it is only a small gripe. And it is also the only gripe. Had to get it out of the way, you see.
The first award – Best Headline Act – went to The Killers, and much deservedly so. Having not been able to go to Glastonbury due to occupational constraints (when will Mr Eavis do the nation’s teachers a favour and move Glasto back a week, so that the festival isn’t during term time?), I hadn’t caught the gig. The band, however, are incredible, so I imagine that playing in front of 100,000 people on the main stage at one of the world’s greatest festivals can only turn them up to eleven. Unfortunately, the band were unable to attend, so instead a representative from Mercury Records accepted the award. One tip: hold the microphone up to your mouth love! (You’d have thought that one who works at a record label would know how a microphone works, but apparently not).
Presented by Virtual Festival’s MD Steve Jenner, the Innovation Award celebrates the advancements in festival management that make the whole experience much more pleasant for both the organizer and the punter. “The only losers are the touts,” quipped Steve, “because the winner of the award is Glastonbury’s ticket registration system.”
Controversial, sure, but Glasto’s policy of pre-registering tickets this year certainly meant almost no money for the touts, less people sneaking in, and more fans getting to experience what is one of the world’s best festivals. The award was accepted by the big man himself. Not God, though he does bear an uncanny resemblance, but Michael Eavis. (Whisper it though: this was Glasto’s only award of the whole night. Shock!)
At one point my position on the first floor balcony was compromised by a cameraman trying to assess whether the free pie he had been given was vegetarian or not.
“They’re all Salmon.” I informed him. The cameraman seemed displeased. He went off in a huff, and not wanting to inadvertently feed off the negative space left behind, I decided to move around the balcony. Thank goodness I did, because in my new position, who did I spy? No less than Pete, the expletive-spouting, fluorescent hair sporting, tourettes-suffering Brightonite winner from Big Brother. He was onstage presenting The Greener Festival award to The Big Session festival. And he was bloody funny doing it too. Though whether he actually meant to be funny is another matter.
Previous to the Greener Festival Award came Best Line Up, which went to V Festival (and I’m positive I saw Eavis shake his head in dissent at that result); Best Rock Act, which went to The Killers, and was presented by Mr Eavis; Best Dance Act, which was presented by Tall Paul and went to Faithless; Best Toilets, which went to The Big Chill; Best Family Festival, which went to Solfest, and the Best Grassroots Festival, which went to Wickerman.