June 27, 2020
With Glastonbury off this year, we relived Adele’s Pyramid stage triumph on BBC Two. And it was emotional 11.12pm BST
Adeles classic Glastonbury 2016 set – as it happened (four years ago)
Earlier on Adele said: “I don’t really have many upbeat happy songs which I think is why a lot of people moaned about me coming tonight, but fuck you, they’re obviously not watching.” Yes, quite. There’s a kind of national sport – which could perhaps only be played in our country, where we manage to make cynicism so dreadfully boring – of people always moaning about the Glastonbury headliners. Noel Gallagher is probably to blame. You get it from keyboard warriors every year, sometimes with an uncomfortable racial undertone with the likes of Kanye and Stormzy, or a sexist one with Taylor Swift this year. They’re almost always proved wrong, and they certainly were with Adele.
Emily Eavis has had to put up with this bullshit in person. “I think that one of the sides of the festival that is more challenging is the opinions that you get, and the negativity stuff,” she told me last week. “There was a dad who came up to me when I came to pick my kids up in our local school, and he was like, I don’t agree with what you’ve done, you shouldn’t have Stormzy, you should have the Stereophonics… he started really ranting, like he was banging a hammer over my head. Somerset is a really, really white area, and it doesn’t really reflect the rest of the world, this rural farming area where we live. So to put a festival on that introduces people to a whole new type of music, but pushes it on, that’s what I want to do.” 11.06pm BST
She comes close to tears as she tells the crowd she’ll never forget this set, and goes into her last number, Someone Like You. What a strange song to sing to a crowd of this size. It’s a song from one person to another, and not even that: the subtext, perhaps, is that this is a letter that was written and never sent. It’s a consolation to herself, and a bit of wry self-deception: “I wish nothing but the best for you.” Yeah, right.
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