Glastonbury Festival's first livestreamed event ran into major snags

The virtual event had technical issues from the outset.

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GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 22: In this image released on May 22nd 2021, George Ezra performs by a fire as part of the Glastonbury Festival Global Livestream “Live at Worthy Farm” at Worthy Farm, Pilton on May 21, 2021 in Glastonbury, England. The five hour special production has been filmed across Glastonbury Festivals Worthy Farm site with artists including Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, IDLES, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and DJ Honey Dijon with Roisin Murphy. The global livestream is being broadcast today, Saturday May 22, with encore screenings tomorrow, Sunday May 23. (Anna Barclay for Glastonbury Festival via Getty Images)
Anna Barclay for Glastonbury Festival via Getty Images

The Glastonbury Festival's first livestreamed event didn't exactly go according to plan. The BBC reports that organizer Emily Eavis has apologized after thousands of ticket holders faced technical trouble that either locked them out from the start of the May 22nd virtual performance or kicked them out later on. The festival team made a free stream available around 9PM local time (4PM Eastern), but you could only rewind that by an hour — the earliest parts of the gig were inaccessible.

Driift, the operators for the event, promised access to the May 23rd live streams as well a link that would let them watch through May 30th. People who couldn't tune in for later showings were also promised ticket refunds.

This isn't the first time an online concert has run into trouble, and there have been plenty of digital performances that have gone off without a hitch. However, Glastonbury is one of the largest music festivals on the planet — and the stream was meant to support charities and music industry staff who've been unable to work due to the pandemic. The technical issues soured an important moment, and not everyone will have the opportunity to watch again.

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