Chris Martin recalls Coldplay nearly missing their first Glastonbury set

Coldplay have a spiritual connection the hallowed fields of Glastonbury credit:Bang Showbiz
Coldplay have a spiritual connection the hallowed fields of Glastonbury credit:Bang Showbiz

Coldplay very nearly missed their debut performance at Glastonbury in 1999.

Chris Martin, 47, has revealed he and his bandmates - Jonny Buckland, 46, Guy Berryman, also 46, and Will Champion, 45 - had to leg it across fields with their amp in tow and made it to the New Bands Tent, on Worthy Farm, Somerset, within seconds of their stage time.

Speaking on the BBC documentary 'Coldplay: Our Glastonbury' as they prepare to headline the Pyramid Stage for a record fifth time on Saturday (29.06.24), he recalled: “The hunger to go there was so huge. Our first introduction, I think, was probably carrying a not-very-good amplifier with a drunken tour manager who, you know, obviously didn’t know what he was doing either.

“So we sort of had a very quick intake of the whole place, and then started where you should start, which is in the New Bands Tent, first on. I don’t think I thought about the wider, how wild it was. It was just like we were here and we’re late and it’s huge.”

They previously headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2002, 2005, 2011 and 2016.

The 'Viva La Vida' singer – who has two children with 51-year-old actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Apple, 20, and Moses, 18– has a spiritual connection to Glastonbury itself that goes beyond the festival.

The ‘Yellow’ singer – who hails from Exeter, Devon, on the border of Somerset – said: “Even when I go there when there’s no festival, it still seems to be like a centring place for what we stand for.

“Maybe that’s because of the land and that’s where I grew up around. That’s the idea of this Pyramid that’s also really connected to the earth. It’s the meeting of these two worlds which I love. Sometimes I go and climb the Pyramid and sit up there to think. Often if we’re going to play that summer, it’s sort of a very true place, as a frontman I can feel what is right and wrong, at least for us.”

Chris – who is in a relationship with ‘Fifty Shades’ star Dakota Johnson, 34 – loves how diverse the lineups are.

He continued: “There’s just a feeling of the land being magical. The vibe being magical. There’s something for everybody.

“That’s what I really liked about it. There isn’t just one headliner. If you don’t like our band that is totally fine. There’s 57 other things to do. If you want to see us, you’re here. And if you want to be in jazz world, you’re in jazz world or in the stand-up tent or dance tent. It contains so many things in such an eclectic way. And it’s all gathered in one circle.”

Chris described Glastonbury as the “natural home” for his band.

He added: “The spirit of the festival is so intertwined with how we are as a band that I wouldn’t know how to separate them out. It’s like, yeah, that’s the kind of place we’d like to be able to play. It always felt like the natural home and only become more so.”

'Coldplay: Our Glastonbury' is available on BBC iPlayer now.