Phonics to headline virtual Glastonbury

The Stereophonics are to headline the first virtual Glastonbury festival in an alternative to the summer’s best-known event.

Festival organiser Michael Eavis hopes the trio will draw crowds to the online version after crowd troubles forced him to cancel this year’s Glastonbury.

Welsh band the ‘Phonics will play to an audience on computer screens around the world via the web, replacing the usual mud-filled fun in Somerset.

Basement Jaxx are among other artists to join the Cwm group in the broadcast on June 22, 23 and 24, the same weekend

Mendip District Council brought a prosecution against Mr Eavis in March for breaking the Public Entertainment Licence after crowd troubles including fence-jumping, forcing a cancellation of the traditional summer season’s top festival.

Minus the mud

Mr Eavis has teamed up with music website Playlouder, which webcast last year’s festival for eight hours on each of the three days, to take the 2001 event online – together with highlights from previous years.

It is said to take the same format as the original festival, complete with the healing and green fields but minus the mud and portable toilets.

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis said: “We have taken a year off and come up with an idea of virtual Glastonbury 2001 on the Playlouder site.

“Some of the atmosphere will be captured on the screen and the Worthy Farm spirit will prevail.”

Organisers are slowly revealing the line up of exclusive webcast performances.

Damon Albarn’s side band Gorillaz was the third band confirmed and more names are to follow.

Classic performances

As well as new performances, there will be archive sets from Glastonburys gone by including The Cure and Elastica.

Eavis has vowed the festival will be back next year, but hopes the virtual experiment will fill a gap.

Leslie Gilotti of Playlouder said: “It’s going to be in the comfort of your own home, so you can be as lazy as you want to be.

“We have also got a show from Gorillaz – a virtual band for a virtual Glastonbury – and Basement Jaxx.

“Last year, there were two million hits over the weekend.”

The Stereophonics record label V2 confirmed the band will headline in an announcement on Wednesday.

An illness to vocalist Kelly Jones forced a cancellation of the band’s US tour in May, but the UK dates in July will go ahead.

The band is no stranger to webcasting. In April, they took part in a special BBC Radio 1 online event from the Scala.