Watch David Bowie's Final Glastonbury Performance
It was more than 40 years ago that David Bowie, then in full-on flower child mode, wandered onto the grounds of the second-ever Glastonbury in 1971 – back when there were only 6,000 people in attendance and the festival was free – and asked organizers if he could play a few acoustic songs. No one knew who he was, but he still captivated the crowd with an hour's worth of tunes at 4 a.m., just as the sun was coming up.
Today, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis shared this magical story with the world in tribute to the legend's passing. "It was magical...There were hippies everywhere and he looked the part," Eavis remembered in the Mirror . "He just played some songs and got on with it....I remember he stayed at the farm for a night and slotted in very well."
After begging the Starman to return to the festival for decades to dazzle the now 200,000-person-strong crowd that amasses for the fest every year, Bowie finally graced the stage in 2000, finishing his slamming set with an epic rendition of "Heroes," which you can watch above (just try to watch it without shedding a tear).
"That was a fantastic moment – I think maybe that was my best Glastonbury moment of all time," Eavis told the Mirror. "But he never came back again. We tried every year to persuade him to return to the festival but a couple of years ago we told he would never tour again."
If festivals exist for us to escape our daily routines and feel liberated, empowered, and connected with ourselves, "Heroes" is the perfect soundtrack for such triumphant moments: "I will be king. You will be queen. We could steal time, just for one day. We can be heroes, forever and ever."
Thank you, David Bowie, for reminding us of what we're capable.