When you're closing out a massive festival after a set by the Rolling Stones, you need a big, crowd-pleasing gesture.
Mumford & Sons, wrapping up Glastonbury this weekend, reached for about the biggest, crowd-pleasing-est gesture imaginable. They covered the Beatles' 1967 classic "With a Little Help From My Friends," in the style of the howling, gospel-infused Joe Cocker cover immortalized in The Wonder Years (though not in the Netflix version, sadly!). And they brought out a few of their fellow festival performers: Vampire Weekend, the Vaccines, Staves, and First Aid Kit.
Watching in the cold light of a computer screen, it's a bit corny — what will the bands have to do to top this next year, cover Beethoven's "Hallelujah" chorus? — but Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig in particular delivered his verse with playful panache. And anyway, it's the possibility of big, corny, all-embracing moments like these that can make the festival experience special. Still, maybe more so before the YouTube era.
However! The Rolling Stones live-streamed only a part of their set, but they still drew ridiculous amounts of eyeballs. According to the Hollywood Reporter, as many as 2.5 million people were watching the legendary band's set at one point. BBC radio DJs reportedly said the in-person crowd for the Stones' first-ever Glastonbury set was the festival's biggest ever, comprising more than 100,000 people. The set included hits like "Miss You," "Paint It Black," and "Jumping Jack Flash." Including on-demand viewers through the BBC's iPlayer service, the Stones' full online audience is thought to be in the tens of millions.
Although footage from the Stones' set on YouTube is scarce, clips of plenty of the other Glastonbury performances have made their way online. Watch clips from Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Portishead, Arctic Monkeys, Savages, Elvis Costello, Tame Impala, Dinosaur Jr., Palma Violets, and Haim with Primal Scream below. We take it back, YouTube era — keep the footage coming.