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Social Media Round-Up: Glastonbury 2015

This isn't going to be easy to write. It's not often I have to cover anything that might be tantamount to aversion therapy, but apparently Glastonbury made big enough social media waves this year to be newsworthy on Social Songbird. Dammit, I say.
In case you're not picking up the signals, Glastonbury remains on my list of festivals that I've always wanted to attend, but never managed to. I probably shouldn't bellyache, I'm going to 3 other ones this year, but you can understand my trepidation. Anyway, let's get this over with.
A photo posted by Glastonbury Festival (@glastoofficial) on
Even from the outset the official festival social media profiles were throwing out a consistent play-by-play. The Glastonbury Live Twitter account continuously posted images of the site from Tuesday morning onward, whilst the sister Instagram account trawled the hashtags for user images to regram. To tie in with this, the BBC had a webcam feed of the site running for the entire weekend, alongside their live broadcasts of all the headline acts.
Said acts were, of course, the largest source of online chatter. Much was made of the decision to bring Florence + the Machine in to replace the wounded Foo Fighters, as many people wondered whether they would be up to the task. After the performance it seemed like most people had forgotten that they were even a replacement act, they were much more interested in Florence Welch's decision to take her shirt off and windmill it around her head at the end of the set (she had a bra on, but even still). She managed to convince the majority of the crowd to do likewise.
The response to Kanye West was somewhat less overwhelmingly warm. Whilst his storming Saturday night headline set was lauded as technically excellent, his decision to roll out a cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' seemed to upset a lot of people. How many of those people were actually there to see it is another matter. Lee Nelson also made the news by jumping on stage during Kanye's set, later claiming to have been honouring Taylor Swift. Another point of contention was the arrival of the Dalai Lama. He appeared on stage shortly before Lionel Richie was due to come on. Most people were pretty psyched, but a few Twitter accounts frothed with ire, accusing the Buddhist icon of selloutry, said accounts may or may not be Chinese trolls.
Interestingly, a study into Spotify figures showed that, if the trends on the streaming service had applied to the line-up, George Ezra would have been the most prominent headliner, alongside Hozier and James Bay. That might have more to do with the relatively young average age of Spotify users, compared to the mid-thirties mark of the median Glastonbury attendant (and the fact that for every headline act aged 30 or under, there was another one aged 70 or over).

It still seems like a bit of an arbitrary thing to me that a music festival should have such a massive social media presence, usually I find that it's a good excuse to drop off the grid for a few days, but perhaps it's more to annoy all the people that didn't manage to get a ticket. If that's the case, it worked masterfully this year. Not bitter at all.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Social Media Round-Up: Glastonbury 2015 Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, June 29, 2015 Rating: 5

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