Glastonbury have announced that they will be paying tribute to three music greats that were lost in the last 6 months: David Bowie, Prince and Motorhead’s Lemmy. All three will have grandiose sculptures dedicated to each of them on display at the festival, later this month.
Atop of the Pyramid Stage there will be a huge Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt, with an open grey eye in the centre, surrounded by two silver wings. Joe Rush who created the sculpture explained to The Guardian:
“It felt important to capture Bowie’s very particular eye, which was such a part of his look. But I also really liked the idea of Bowie looking out and watching over the whole festival. And if we are going to have an eye in the pyramid, it should be Bowie’s eye.”
Headliners like Adele, Tame Impala, and Coldplay will perform underneath Bowie’s infamous eye.
In the festival’s park area, there will be a sculpture dedicated to Prince. A giant shimmering hand will hold a huge purple crown as a big white dove flies overhead. It will stand almost four metres tall. On the Friday of the festival, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip will perform a DJ set dedicated to the Purple One. He explained the process of putting this set together: “I found it quite hard initially when he died to listen to Prince because when you feel sad in that way, you expect to listen to sad sorrowful music, but there isn’t so much of that in Prince… But I think this set is a decent enough time after the event to be in a more party frame of mind.”
At the Other stage, an ace of spades will decorate a giant peace sign, along with a v-twin engine and a set of black ram’s horns in remembrance of Lemmy.
Sculptor Joe Rush explains further:
“People do need to have these places to come to, especially for an artist who has really affected or shaped their life, and pay tribute. Particularly at Glastonbury, where you have so many music fans gathered in one place, it feels important to give these artists the recognition of the fact that they are our heroes.”
There will also be musical tributes to Bowie at midnight on Saturday. Philip Glass’s fourth symphony will be performed by a 50-piece orchestra wearing all white. This symphony was based on Bowie’s album Heroes, and Bowie had recognised Glass as having a particularly important influence on his own music.
The conductor Chris Hazelwood explains:
“Bowie was a massive fan of Glass’s and said on many occasions that he was one of his most important influences, so this seemed perfect… If you look back to that amazing set that Bowie did in 2000, the standalone moment was when he sang Heroes. So there’s something so beautifully pertinent about bringing back not just the song, but the album re-imagined through Glass.”