~ Posted by Robert Butler, July 2nd 2013

It was going to be the biggest rock festival of the year, the Rolling Stones were going to be playing (along with 300 other acts) and—just as importantthe sun was going to shine. One way or another, we had to be there too. Our rock previewer Hazel Sheffield went down to Somerset on Thursday, our editor Tim de Lisle on Friday, and from that morning through to the early hours of Sunday, Simon Willis, Georgia Grimond and I ran our Glastonbury live-blog. We posted Hazel and Tim's reports, reactions from colleagues on Intelligent Life who were following the festival on TV, the best tweets and quotes we could find and some observations of our own. The live-blog ran to more than 11,000 words. Here, three of the team pick 10 of the best moments.   

Arctic Monkeys: Happy Birthday (Pyramid Stage, Friday)
The Friday headliners serenaded Alex Turner's mum, and the whole crowd joined in. It was great to see them live up to their billing. (HS)

Thom Yorke DJ-ing in Heaven (Shangri-La, Friday)
White carpets, silk banquettes, no wellies, music ranging from Prince to Daphni, and only about 20 people there. Yes, the after-life could well be like this. (HS)

Portishead: Glory Box (Other Stage, Friday)
Beth Gibbons, bathed in orange light, hair ruffling in the wind, looked supremely serene up on stage. As she sang "Give me reason to love you" it could have been my sister's mixtape in the Nineties—apart from the gentle echo of the crowd singing along. (GG)

Half Moon Run: Need It (Williams Green, Saturday)
Glastonbury does love a ballad. This one, from a debut album released yesterday, is a beauty: slender, lovely, aching in all the right places. (TdL)

Elvis Costello: Good Year for the Roses (Pyramid Stage, Saturday)
I fell in love with this country ballad as a fresher. Costello was quite studenty himself, in his angry National Health specs. Hearing it again 32 years later, in a version dripping with wisdom, I was in tears. (TdL)

Foals: My Number (Other Stage, Friday, Yannis Philippakis, above)
As the boys, all grown up, played their latest hit, the screams from audience signalled a storming set. What I would have done to be bouncing in that happy, heaving crowd. (GG) 

Rolling Stones: Jumpin'€™ Jack Flash (Pyramid Stage, Saturday)
They were ten minutes late, or was it 40 years? But Jagger and Richards nailed it with their opening track: an electrifying moment for those who were there, even if we were just 100,000 sardines straining for a glimpse of four elderly ants. (TdL)

Bruce Forsyth tap-dancing (Avalon, Sunday)
This British TV presenter is 85. The packed crowd he drew were mostly in their 20s and 30s. And they greeted him like a hero. (HS)

Phoenix: 1901 (John Peel Stage, Sunday)
Playing a slightly dud slot on Sunday night didn't hold these French boys back. A weary crowd were rewarded for their loyalty with lights, smoke and hi-jinx, as well the uplifting "1901" to see the festival out. (GG)

The xx: Angels (Other Stage, Sunday)
Pop stars don't come quieter than The xx, and when they closed their headline set with this song, they inspired a singalong that was almost whispered. (HS)

Intelligent Life at Glastonbury:

Live-blogging Sunday: The xx provide "a wonderful finish"
Live-blogging Saturday: Hazel Sheffield on the Rolling Stones
Live-blogging Friday night: Arctic Monkeys prove they belong in Britain
Live-blogging Friday pm and evening: Solange gets her audience
Live-blogging Friday am and lunchtime: Haim kick things off
Our festival playlist10 tracks for Glastonbury
Tim de Lisle picks 19 of the best acts—and only one of them is a headliner
Hazel Sheffield guides us through the dos and don'ts of Glastonbury

Nicholas Barber recalls all the weather that Glastonbury could throw at him

Georgia Grimond will be watching it on TV, laptop and mobile
Robert Butler on live-blogging Glastonbury


Robert Butler is online editor of Intelligent Life

Photograph Getty