I finally made it to Glastonbury this year. I’ve never tried to get hold of tickets or been to too bothered in the past, but over recent years became more curious about this massive festival in the South West of England that everyone raves about. Lucky me I ended up there because I was offered some work with the production team for one of the music venues in the South West corner, The Cave at The Common. I have no idea what it must be like to be a regular punter and I’d probably hate all the queues and public facilities.
What grabs a lot of the attention in the news is the popular music acts on the main stages. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Mary J. Blige again, and Lionel Ritchie for the first time was definitely an experience that I loved. I also had a great range of music happening at The Cave from Reggae and Ska to Drum and Bass and Hip Hop. On the first night the line up was all female DJ’s and due to a last minute cancellation I squeezed in one of my best friends from Melbourne, DJ Mzrizk who had the crowd going crazy over the theme tune to Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Punjabi MC. Yup it had me doing bhangra on the stage!
The site is so big and there is so much happening that you will miss some things no doubt. Its absolutely massive and this in some ways is a turn off, but what I liked is that there is something for everyone; families and kids, older folks, yoga and nature for those that want it, all night music and dancing your heart out. It really is a festival for everyone with all kinds of people all over the place.
My highlight was definitely where I was located in the South East Corner. Block 9 and Shangri La are just plain bloody brilliant. There’s nothing like dancing to some awesome disco tunes by an old French DJ at Block 9 amongst the most amazing sets and lighting, one construction is of an old council estate with a huge bus smashed right through the middle of it. Everyone you look at is smiling, dancing, and just in high heaven (probably on drugs too). Shangri La was my favourite, as the entire area is full of political activist messages against the system and the current government. It is pretty much a huge exhibition of public art challenging and critiquing the neoliberal system we are a part of, and during my time there I met many interesting people and activists that lit the fire in my belly again for standing up and speaking out for justice and equality. This made me feel so alive and connected it made it all so worth it.
All in all a great festival, but I definitely prefer something much smaller with just one or two stages, and more creative expression thorough a range of art forms in a much smaller space. Thank you Glastonbury for a fantastic week in the sunshine (and a day of wellie-wearing not to ruin the tradition) and so much great music, cider, smiles and crazy inspiration!