11 of the Worst Performances Ever at Glastonbury

Morrissey performed at Glastonbury Festival in 2011
Morrissey performed at Glastonbury Festival in 2011 | © Joanne Davidson/REX
Photo of Ann Lee
Music Editor16 May 2019

Glastonbury is the UK’s premier music festival and has played host to a number of legendary performances and headliners over the years. However, not every act has gone done well with the Somerset crowd.

Headliners such as David Bowie, Radiohead and The Rolling Stones have wowed audiences at Glastonbury, but not everyone who has been invited to play the historic summer festival can say the same. In fact, some have been downright dismal. Culture Trip brings you Glastonbury’s worst performances.

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band – 2014

Yoko Ono made her Glastonbury debut with Yo La Tengo as her backing band. She certainly made an impression. It just wasn’t the right one. Letting rip with a cacophony of howls, grunts and primal screams, Ono tried to wail the crowd into submission in what has been described as one of the worst Glasto performances ever.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Mccauley/REX/Shutterstock (3870933ar) Yoko Ono Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, Britain - 29 Jun 2014 | © James Mccauley/REX

The Wombles – 2011

OK, so Glastonbury caters to all kinds of music fans. Even the little ones or those who are seriously nostalgic about their childhood and need their fictional heroes to be resurrected in real life to perform for them on stage. These furry critters from Wimbledon Common were… interesting. Actually, that’s not the right word, they were rubbish.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Mccauley/REX/Shutterstock (1351272ag) The Wombles Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, Britain - 26 Jun 2011 | © James Mccauley/REX

Dogstar – 1999

In 1999, Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves performed at the festival with his band Dogstar. Keeping any banter to a minimum, he mumbled a few incoherent words on stage and ended up being pelted with fruit. Bet he wished he’d taken the blue pill.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Fotex/REX/Shutterstock (262160a) KEANU REEVES ON STAGE PLAYING BASS GUITAR KEANU REEVES WITH DOGSTAR - AUG 1996 | © Fotex/REX

Evan Dando – 1995

The Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando faced the full wrath of peeved off revellers when he rocked up two hours late and then launched into an impromptu acoustic set in front of a crowd, who were now waiting for Portishead to come on. The musician had to be led off stage for his own safety.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Rahim/REX/Shutterstock (783573an) Evan Dando in concert at The Brixon Academy, London Various Evan Dando performs solo at The Brixton Academy supporting the Jesus and Mary Chain | © John Rahim/REX

Mansun – 1997

Rockers Mansun marked the release of their debut album Attack of the Grey Lantern with a set at Glastonbury – except sound problems and a stage that was fast sinking into a deluge of mud meant they weren’t able to play a single song.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alan Davidson/REX/Shutterstock (7532403dd) The 1997 Brit Awards Mansun 1997 Brit Awards at Earls Court - 24 Feb 1997 | © Alan Davidson/REX

Shakin’ Stevens – 2008

Welsh rock’n’roll singer Shakin’ Stevens failed to shake things up when he performed at Glastonbury, despite a set crammed full of ’80s hits. What could possibly go wrong with getting a performer known for a Christmas classic to go on stage at a summer festival?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Hayley Madden/REX/Shutterstock (780530am) Shakin' Stevens opens the Main Stage Saturday at Glastonbury Glastonbury Festival 2008, Somerset, Britain - Jun 2008 | © Hayley Madden/REX

Morrissey – 2011

The former frontman of The Smiths gave the general impression that he didn’t really want to be there – and knew his audience didn’t want to be there either. “I’ll try to sing as fast as I can as I know you’re here to see U2,” he told the crowd.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Joanne Davidson/REX/Shutterstock (7525979ar) Morrissey Performs On the Pyramid Stage During the 2011 Glastonbury Music Festival Somerset 2011 Glastonbury Music Festival, Somerset - Friday - 24 Jun 2011 | © Joanne Davidson/REX

Rod Stewart – 2002

The crooner managed to win the crowd over with ‘Maggie May’ and ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?’, but it was hard not to cringe a bit at all his try-hard ’80s strut and swagger.

Rod Stewart, Glastonbury Festival, 2002 | © Carl De Souza/REX

Skunk Anansie – 1999

“I can’t believe we’re headlining the last Glastonbury of the 20th century!” singer Skin cried as she walked onto the Pyramid Stage. Neither could the crowd. Sure, they had a huge hit with ‘Weak’ back in 1996, but by 1999 they were hardly headline material.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Oliver Gutfleisch/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock (10094758a) The British band Skunk Anansie with singer Deborah Anne Dyer alias Skin live at the 26th Heitere Open Air in Zofingen, Aargau, Switzerland VARIOUS | © Oliver Gutfleisch/imageBROKER/REX

Chas ’n’ Dave – 2005

Rockney legends Chas ’n’ Dave surprisingly went down a treat, with one music critic claiming they were even better than that year’s headliners Coldplay. Come on now…

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock (3293578bg) Chas and Dave [Charles Hodges, Dave Peacock] 'The Alan Titchmarsh Show' TV Programme, London, Britain - 30 Oct 2013 | © Steve Meddle/REX

The Wurzels – 2000

The West Country ‘scrumpy and western’ band have a long track record at Glastonbury, having played in 2000, 2008 and 2010, but their music seemed more suited to the local pub.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tom Nicholson/REX/Shutterstock (9708581m) The Wurzels Tunes in the Dunes music festival, Day 2, in Perranporth, Cornwall, UK - 9 Jun 2018. | © Tom Nicholson/REX

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