BBC secures rights to air ‘failed’ Glastonbury Live concert


The BBC has secured the rights to broadcast footage from Glastonbury spectacular Live At Worthy Farm livestream concert and has commissioned a world-exclusive film which will explore behind the scenes at last weekend’s event.

A special director’s cut of the Live At Worthy Farm stream, which premiered online on Saturday 22 May, will be broadcast on BBC television in the coming weeks.

Fans were left livid after the livestream event was beset by technical issues which left many unable to tune-in to the iconic music show. 

Glastonbury Festival

As a kind of compensation for fans, the BBC said that in addition, there will be another chance to catch highlights from the livestream across television, radio and online platforms between Friday 25 and Sunday 27 June, as a part of The Glastonbury Experience 2021 – the BBC’s annual celebration of Glastonbury Festival.

BBC Two will also air a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, presented by BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley, during The Glastonbury Experience 2021. 

The programme will feature the story behind the staging of Glastonbury’s first ever festival without an audience, interviews with the artists, backstage footage and performance highlights from Live At Worthy Farm.

Lorna Clarke, Controller, Pop Music said: “Glastonbury is one of the jewels in our live music calendar so many thanks go to Emily [Eavis – festival organiser] and Nick for allowing us to broadcast highlights from Live At Worthy Farm.”

Organiser Eavis said: “Since the BBC first broadcast footage from Worthy Farm in 1997, Glastonbury and the BBC have enjoyed a brilliant relationship, so I’m thrilled that they’ll be showing highlights of our Live At Worthy Farm special.”

Jo Whiley said: “It was fantastic to return to Glastonbury to catch up with old friends whilst watching some incredible live music – at last! 

“I’m looking forward to showing viewers exactly what went on behind the scenes of Live At Worthy Farm.”

Filmed across the Festival’s Worthy Farm site at landmarks including the Pyramid Field and the Stone Circle, the livestream premiered online on Saturday 22 May. 

Top stars

This groundbreaking event, directed by the multiple Grammy-nominated Paul Dugdale, saw a glittering array of artists giving their time to perform in support of the Festival and associated charities, including Coldplay, Damon Albarn, George Ezra, Haim, Idles, Róisín Murphy, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, The Smile and Wolf Alice, plus DJ Honey Dijon.

The groundbreaking five-hour extravaganza was interspersed by a spoken-word narrative from artists including PJ Harvey, Jarvis Cocker, Kae Tempest, George The Poet, Kurupt FM, Little Amal and Michael Eavis, who guided festival-goers on a journey through the sacred valley in Somerset.

The BBC-commissioned documentary will be produced by Ryan Minchin and Executive Produced by Alison Howe at BBC Studios Music Productions.

The documentary and broadcast of highlights from Live At Worthy Farm is commissioned by Lorna Clarke, Controller, BBC Pop Music.

These Live At Worthy Farm highlights are part of The Glastonbury Experience 2021, a wider celebration of Glastonbury on the BBC in late June. 

Further television programming, which is commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, BBC Music TV, as well as programming across radio and digital platforms, will be announced next week.

Glastonbury presents Live At Worthy Farm livestream was produced by Driift and co-produced by BBC Studios Productions.