Local band becomes youngest ever to play Glastonbury

Image above: Askew Band at Glastonbury; Photograph via Instagram @askewband

Askew Band perform at Glastonbury after social media campaign

A rock band of young local musicians has made headlines by becoming the youngest group ever to grace the stage of Glastonbury Festival. Askew, made up of Eli Crossley, Alfie Lewis, Freddie Wormleighton, Jay Guru-Murthy, and Will Ponds, aged 15 and 16, performed at the festival on Friday (23 June), in a weekend which included Sir Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, and the Arctic Monkeys.

Having spent the last seven years performing in small venues with their parents as the primary audience, Askew‘s inclusion at Glastonbury came about due to a chance remark by frontman Eli Crossley, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

During an interview on BBC Breakfast earlier this year, Eli mentioned his mother’s charity’s technological invention the Smart Suit, which when developed would help restore arm function in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, speculating off the cuff that the suit could make his dream of performing at Glastonbury a reality.

His comment gained traction on social media through a viral campaign under the hashtag #GetTheLadIn. This grassroots movement caught the attention of Island Records’ Jon Turner, who happened to be in the audience for Askew‘s performance at a local school talent show.

Impressed by their potential, Jon contacted Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis, urging her to consider including the young band in the lineup. After reviewing a video recording of Askew‘s act, Emily was convinced.

Askew’s main influences are Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys and the band kicked off with Supersonic. The 30 minute set of a mixture of covers and original music received a rapturous reception from the festival goers on the Rabbit Hole stage.

Above: Tweet by BBC Breakfast showing Askew’s performance at Glastonbury

“Full of love” says Eli’s mum Emily Reuben

Emily Reuben, Eli’s mother, is one of the co-founders of Duchenne UK which funds research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She was awarded an OBE for her work in the recent King’s Birthday Honours List. Emily told The Chiswick Calendar:

I’ve been to Glastonbury a few times before and it’s quite a different experience going with a band because for a couple of hours before your set you’re just back stage getting ready. The boys we’re quite chilled out up until that point and then they started to get really nervous, then I started to get really nervous… so when they came on I was full of love and when they started playing they were absolutely brilliant.

“I think the best moment for me was when Eli said ‘Hello Glastonbury!’ It’s every musician’s dream isn’t it? So the fact I was there to hear my son say that was quite extraordinary.”

The band were rubbing shoulders with other famous musicians while at the festival, with Emily saying Eli fist-bumped Stormzy and ended up on the Park Stage stage for Max Richter, “He had a really lovely conversation with him” Emily added.

Reflecting on the unexpected turn of events, Eli told BBC Breakfast last week.

“I kind of out of the blue said my dream was to play at Glastonbury, but now we are playing at Glastonbury on Friday at half five.”

Following their performance, Askew Band were featured on the BBC’s 15 best moments of Glastonbury, which Emily described as “really epic”.