“The show was majestic, just unbelievable,” Emily Eavis wrote after Sir Elton John closed Glastonbury 2023 in spectacular fashion on Sunday night. 

Her words may have been about the Rocket Man's last hurrah on these shores, but the sentiment could have applied to the full five days at Worthy Farm. 

Although the main stages opened on Friday, some of the most magical moments passed by on Wednesday and Thursday.

From the tantalising first glimpse of the sea of tents from the road overlooking the farm to the first sip of crisp Somerset cider, there was so much to cherish. 

After setting up camp, thousands of people took part in a pilgrimage to The Park on Wednesday night for the opening fireworks display, a festival ritual that has grown in popularity since its return from the pandemic.

Somerset County Gazette: Thousands of people flooded to The Park on the festival's opening night.Thousands of people flooded to The Park on the festival's opening night. (Image: Newsquest)

Space might have been at a premium, but there's nothing like the view from the hillside to remind you of the sheer scale of Somerset’s temporary city in the fields.

Let’s not forget the festival needs its own water and renewable power supplies, police compound, medical centre and an army of volunteers for it run smoothly, making it a truly gargantuan effort.

Before the Pyramid speakers burst into life, it was best to have no plan at all.  

Pottering around the site, taking in folk sets in cafés, DJs wowing crowds under canvas and festival founder Michael Eavis singing a charming collection of retro hits perfectly set the tone for what was to come over the next three days.

When the main stages finally opened, there were some clear standouts.

Somerset County Gazette: Carhenge, an incredible new addition to the festival at William's Green.Carhenge, an incredible new addition to the festival at William's Green. (Image: Newsquest)

Foo Fighters confirmed everyone’s suspicions by revealing themselves as the mystery ‘Churnups’ on Friday afternoon.

Their relentless 45-minute set could (should?) have headlined on Friday night, when Arctic Monkeys filled the prime timeslot.

A special mention must go to youthful, all-female Ukrainian band The Sixsters, who wowed at Woodsies with their full-on brand of punk-rock.

Their energetic, headbanging performance came just over a year after they fled Russia's invasion of their homeland, forcing them to regroup in Germany.

The following day, Rick Astley worked the crowd brilliantly on his Glastonbury debut, before Scots singer Lewis Capaldi powered through his set as he battled losing his voice, urged on by the packed Pyramid field. 

Later, a huge crowd watched Guns N’ Roses’ long-awaited debut at Worthy Farm, but there was plenty of fun to be found elsewhere.

Somerset County Gazette: The popular Cider Bus, located a stone's throw from the iconic Pyramid Stage.The popular Cider Bus, located a stone's throw from the iconic Pyramid Stage. (Image: Newsquest)

Anyone who chose to see Glastonbury stalwart Fatboy Slim at The Park enjoyed an electric hour of dance music, while Loyle Carner impressed at West Holts.

However, fans of Lana del Rey were left disappointed when she was ‘cut off’ at midnight after getting on stage 30 minutes late, blaming her hair taking “so long to do”. 

When the main stages reached their curfews, some parts of the festival became swamped with people – especially near the Arcadia Spider – raising questions about the festival’s huge capacity.

But festivalgoers looked after each other and were, on the whole, friendly and patient amid the pandemonium.

Somerset County Gazette: The calm before the storm: an early morning view of Worthy Farm from the top of the Ribbon Tower.The calm before the storm: an early morning view of Worthy Farm from the top of the Ribbon Tower. (Image: Newsquest)

And that brings us back to Sunday.

Cat Stevens, Blondie and Lil Nas X warmed the crowd up well for the main event; Sir Elton saying goodbye to the Yellow Brick Road in his last UK show.

There was standing room only as the icon shone in his gold suit. He was joined by four guests, the standout of whom was The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers. 

Sir Elton also paid tribute to George Michael before telling his adoring crowd: “It's been an amazing journey and I've had the best, best time.

“I will never forget you. You're in my head and my heart and my soul.”

And that was that: another year at the greatest festival on earth. Believe what they say – there's nowhere else quite like it.

Former County Gazette editor and Glastonbury Festival devotee Paul Jones has written a book charting the first 50 years of the event’s history, featuring the memories and experiences of dozens of artists who have performed at Worthy Farm.

View From The Stage: 50 Years of Glastonbury by the People that Played has been described as a “brilliant collection of beautifully-written interviews” about some of the festival's brightest and quirkiest moments.

Interviewees include members of Oasis, Status Quo, Napalm Death and Toploader.

You can buy the book online for £6.50 (including UK P&P) HERE.