By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
Glastonbury organisers have said it was “unacceptable” that technical issues led to two-hour delays accessing the festival’s livestreamed Live At Worthy Farm event.
Event producer and promoter Driift Live said it had the “heaviest of hearts” and was “mortified” that people were “locked out” of the feed and unable to use their access codes.
A statement said: “For last night’s failings, we would like to apologise to Glastonbury Festival, to all the amazing artists who gave their time to perform, and to all the backstage crew and partners who worked so hard with us over many months to make this historic show a reality.
— Driift Live (@DriiftLive) May 23, 2021
“Most importantly, we apologise unreservedly to all of you who had your plans upset. We would also like to make clear that Driift is making no financial gain from this livestream event, and we hoped it would generate much needed revenue for the Festival and its charity partners.”
Coldplay, Haim and Kano were among the acts on the bill for the pre-recorded show, which had been due to start at 7pm UK time on Saturday.
Technical issues meant many people were not able to access the stream until close to 9pm after ticketholders reported on social media they were unable to access the event due to an “invalid codes” error message.
Driift stressed it is “not a tech business or a media platform”, and was relying on a third party company for “certain aspects” of broadcasting the stream.
The statement added: “We are assured that there will be no problems with today’s two ‘encore’ streams which will continue as planned at 2pm BST and 7pm BST.
PUBLIC STATEMENT pic.twitter.com/eaBJUoEfLw
— Driift Live (@DriiftLive) May 22, 2021
“Those ticket purchasers adversely impacted last night have already been emailed with instructions of how to access these streams – or how to process a refund.
“Meanwhile, those who purchased tickets for the ‘encore’ streams specifically should proceed and log-in as normal.”
It continued: “We still believe that this is a very special film, and it is beyond frustrating that so many of you could not enjoy it as we intended.”
Tickets to access the livestream cost £20.
Following the delay, Driift announced it was providing a free link.
— Emily Eavis (@emilyeavis) May 22, 2021
Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis also apologised for the technical issues.
She tweeted: “I am so sorry about the problems with the stream tonight. If you weren’t able to get on, I’m told that the new link (http://Ink.to/ liveatworthyfarm) is working.
“We will obviously make sure we show the whole film again from tomorrow too and give you the chance to catch up on any bits you missed. I really hope you can enjoy the rest of it tonight. And, again, I’m just so sorry to anyone who’s had issues.”
Coldplay delivered an energetic performance from in front of the Pyramid Stage which included hits such as The Scientist, Viva La Vida and Clocks.
Also on the bill, Damon Albarn paid tribute to Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, following his death aged 79 last year.
Before performing The Good, The Bad And The Queen’s The Poison Tree, Albarn said the song was “somehow fitting for him as a memory and really for everybody’s Tony because everybody’s felt some kind of loss during this period, so this is for everybody’s Tony”.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood debuted music from their new project, The Smile, which also includes drummer Tom Skinner (who plays in Sons Of Kemet), as well as Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
The Smile is named after the Ted Hughes poem of the same name.
Saturday night’s show supported Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid, the festival’s three main charity partners, after the full festival was cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic.