Freddie Mercury: Queen’s Live Aid set tops British poll of greatest festival moments ever

Once again the summer is here and with the sunny weather also comes festival season. Over the last 50 years, there have been some iconic live music moments, including at this year’s Glastonbury.

In fact, Sir Elton John’s last UK gig at Worthy Farm last month has been voted the second most iconic festival moment ever, according to 2000 Brits polled by Specsavers. Yet Rocketman’s 29 per cent of the vote couldn’t be beaten by the 35 per cent for Freddie Mercury and Queen’s monumental Live Aid set, which was recreated for their biopic Bohemian Rhapsody a few years ago.

During that incredible performance at Wembley Stadium back in 1985, the band performed Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, Hammer to Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions. According to the new poll, 83 per cent of Brits think that festivals are the greatest way to see live music and over half say it is one of the main things they like to do in the summer.

Alongside Queen and Elton John in the Top 30 most iconic festival moments ever are the likes of Adele, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. However, not every moment is a musical performance, with Greta Thunberg’s 2022 Glastonbury speech making the list alongside others. Check out the full list of results below.

1. Queen’s Live Aid in 1985 – 35%
2. Elton John’s last UK gig headlining Sunday night at Glastonbury 2023 – 29%
3. Adele’s show-stopping Glastonbury performance in 2016 – 15%
4. Oasis’s first Glastonbury performance in 1994 – 12%
5. Bob Marley performing two days after being shot at Smile Jamaica in 1976 – 12%
6. The Rolling Stones Glastonbury debut in 2013 – 11%
7. Beyonce being the first black, female solo artist to headline Glastonbury in 2011 – 11%
8. Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 – 10%
9. Jimi Hendrix singing ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock in 1969 – 10%
10. Kylie Minogue’s Sunday Legends set at Glastonbury 2019 14 years after she was originally set to appear – 9%
11. The Foo Fighters making a surprise appearance at the 2023 Glastonbury as ‘The Churn Ups’ – 9%
12. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain taking to the stage in a wheelchair and hospital gown at Reading in 1992, in what would be their last
performance in the UK – 8%
13. Eminem and Rihanna duetting at V Festival in 2011 – 8%
14. Stevie Wonder wishing Glastonbury a happy 40th birthday in 2010 – 8%
15. Beyonce bringing out Destiny’s Child at Coachella in 2018 – 7%

16. Led Zeppelin’s three hour and five encore set at the Bath Festival in 1970 – 7%
17. Greta Thunberg’s speech at Glastonbury in 2022 – 6%
18. Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 – 6%
19. Jay Z bringing hip-hop to Glastonbury in 2008 for the first time – 6%
20. Jay Z bringing Michael Jackson on stage at Summer Jam in 2001 – 6%
21. Radiohead headlining Glastonbury in 1997 – 6%
22. Eminem returning to the stage at Lollapalooza in 2011 – 5%
23. Billie Eilish headlining Reading and Leeds in 2019 – 5%
24. Rage Against The Machine appearing naked with their mouths taped at Lollapalooza in 1993 – 4%
25. 2Pac resurrected at Coachella in 2012 – 4%
26. Lana Del Rey playing Latitude in 2019 – 4%
27. Stone Roses bad set at Reading Festival in 1996 – 4%
28. Kanye West’s 11-minute monologue at the Big Chill in 2011 – 3%
29. Avicii bringing out Madonna at the Ultra Music Festival in 2012 – 3%
30. Daft Punk’s Pyramid set at Coachella in 2006 – 3%

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