In May 2010 Bono had an accident and the summer leg of the U2360 tour was cancelled. In May when speaking about the cancellation of the band’s appearance at Glastonbury Bono revealed that the band had written a song especially for the festival, titled “Glastonbury”.
During the 2010 leg of the U2360 tour, U2 introduced a number of new songs to the set throughout the leg. “Glastonbury,” “North Star,” and “Return of the Stingray Guitar” were all introduced for the first time on August 6, at the opening show of the tour in Turin, Italy. (“Glastonbury” had been soundchecked August 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (five times!), “North Star” had been soundchecked on August 2, 5 (twice), and “The Return of the Stingray Guitar” was soundchecked on August 4 and 5.) Another song debuting was “Every Breaking Wave” on August 21, 2010 at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland. “Mercy” made it’s tour debut on September 12, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland at Letzigrund Stadion. And on October 3, 2010, U2 debuted “Boy Falls From the Sky” at Estadio Cidade de Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal. “Glastonbury” was played at 7 shows through the U2360 tour, making its debut on August 6 in Turin, and last being played on August 21, 2010 in Helsinki, Florida.
In an interview with atu2.com regarding his book “And They Called Him Bono”, author Bert Van De Kamp revealed a bit more about the song “Glastonbury”:
[In the last chapter of the book, the author describes how he sang background vocals with Niall Stokes on a recording of “Glastonbury” in Edge’s home studio.] I sang background on what was “Glastonbury,” but now they play it totally differently. The line I sang was, “I was born, born to fly!” but it isn’t in the song anymore. The funny thing was, the day before, I was in a pub with someone who asked me if I’d ever met Niall Stokes. I hadn’t. “Well,” he says, “I can introduce you.” Next day I was standing next to him singing in the microphone!
U2 eventually did play Glastonbury, but this song was never revived for that performance.
On January 12, 2013, Larry Mullen was featured as a guest on the Dave Fanning show on RTE2 in Ireland. During that interview he confirmed that both “Glastonbury” and “The Return of the Stingray Guitar” were still around as tracks, but that both had been rewritten.
Some elements of “Glastonbury” were reworked into the song “Volcano” found on 2014’s Songs of Innocence.