A friend asked me why I am so grumpy aout going to Glastonbury, a grump that only really kicked in after the line-up was announced. I said the following. Please tell me I am just a grumpy twat:
Glastonbury has lost its relevance. Festivals became cool when we were all about 18 (1993) and have developed with us. Back then there was two to choose from - Glastonbury if you wanted an eclectic line up, and Reading if you just wanted to see the big bands of the day.
Then people realised that there was a good market in this so more and more started appearing, mostly in exactly the same mold as Reading, which failed, because you didn’t really need more of the same, on a smaller budget with worse bands. At the same time Virgin (a record label remember) created their own festival which was a sanitised, shorter, more corporate version that was aimed squarely at the too old for radio one roadshows, but think they are into music audience who only need to camp for one or two nights crowd. No probs there.
Then slowly loads of smaller, quirkier festivals appeared to appeal to those that didn’t want the hassle of queues, bad facilities, being fleeced, just to have a line up that includes bands they don’t even like. So you got 2/3 ATP's a year, Latitude (for noisier, quirkier indie fans), Greenman (for folky acoustic / alt.country), Field day (a one day version of those), End of the Road, Wireless (a load of massive one day shows in London) and three million little festivals for those that want oddities (like Venn and Dot to Dot in Bristol).
This is a good thing.
However, the effect on Glastonbury has been that those little festivals have mopped up all the interesting bands leaving the stages that usued to make Glastonbury interesting - redundant so that they have to fill them with either bands that are way past it (Fatboy Slim / Chemical Brothers), new bands that have been bought their slots (I'm guessing) by their record labels (in exchange for providing headliners), or novelty acts that will appeal to about six people that haven’t listened to record since 1993 (Neds, Cud, most of the dance acts).
In other words, all that Gbury has going for it now is that the scenery is nice, and it has history on its side. Music wise it is completely irrelevant.