David Bowie refused to allow his Glastonbury set to be broadcast live on the BBC.
The BBC’s Glastonbury celebrations this weekend culminate in the first-ever broadcast of David Bowie’s entire 2000 performance.
But why wasn’t it broadcast in its entirety 20 years ago?
The headline performance of David Bowie at Glastonbury in 2000 has been described as “perfect,” “spellbinding,” and “emotional.”
From the Pyramid Stage, the Thin White Duke brought the festival to a close with a set that included many of his greatest hits, including Life on Mars?, Starman, and Let’s Dance.
Millions of people around the world were glued to their televisions as the headline sets from the Glastonbury Festival were broadcast live, eagerly anticipating David Bowie’s performance.
They were enraged, however, when the cameras switched from the man behind Ziggy Stardust to Jamie Theakston in the BBC studio after only five songs.
After 20 years, the BBC is finally able to show the entire set for the first time.
But, back in the year 2000, what happened?
“As of 1990, I got through the rest of the twentieth century without having to do a big hits show,” Bowie wrote in his diary ahead of the festival.
“Yes, yes, I know I did four or five hits on the later shows, but I thought I held up pretty well…at Glastonbury this year, big, well-known songs will litter the field.”
Of course, there are a few peculiarities.”
Of course, he came through with flying colors.
When asked about Bowie’s performance, Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis called it the “perfect headline set,” saying, “I often get asked what the best set I’ve seen here at Glastonbury is, and Bowie’s 2000 performance is always one which comes to mind first.”
“It was hypnotic; he had the entire audience enthralled.”
“He’s one of the three greatest of all-time: Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and David Bowie,” her father Michael, the festival’s founder, added.
Despite performing a flawless set, the BBC had trouble broadcasting Bowie’s performance.
Mark Cooper, the man in charge of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage, recalled, “Bowie really didn’t want to be filmed.”
Cooper told The Guardian that he hoped previous meetings would persuade Bowie to reconsider his decision.
He was completely wrong.
“Weeks of wrangling, cajoling, and even pleading through Bowie’s publicist, Alan Edwards, had resulted in a friendly but immovable stalemate.
We could film and broadcast the first four songs of the set, as well as a couple of songs from the encore, but no more.”
Cooper knew Bowie’s set would be a “resounding triumph” as soon as he took the stage that night.
The news is summarized on Brinkwire.