Glastonbury Festival's head of music programming, Nick Dewey, on The Langa Methodist Choir.
We went to South Africa with Oxfam last year to see where some of the money raised by the festival goes. There were so many incredible people who Oxfam work with there and we got to see how important what they do is.
One of the local drivers told us about a Methodist choir he was involved with in a Township called Langa. They were rehearsing that night; they let us sit in and it was just one of those very special experiences. Their voices were fantastic and they seemed to get completely lost in the music, dancing and clapping in this big, old echoey chapel.
It was spellbinding to witness and we felt very honoured to be allowed to watch such an intimate performance. It had the power and intensity of a Southern gospel choir, but for Michael [Eavis] it was even more poignant with them being Methodists like him!
Back home, we got in touch with the choir and after a lot of work by Aoife in our office we managed to book them to come and open the Pyramid Stage. None of the choir have been outside South Africa before, so it will probably be quite an eye-opener.
They’re playing before Mavis Staples too, so it feels like just the tonic to kick things off on the Sunday morning.