WHERE IS GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL? ALL YOU HAVE KNOW
Many travelers regard the Glastonbury Festival as the ultimate celebration of contemporary music, theater, circus, cabaret, comedy, and various other forms of art. It stands as the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival globally and serves as a blueprint for many of the festivals we are familiar with today. If you’re considering attending this remarkable event, you might be curious about the festival’s location and the prerequisites for visiting. That’s where we step in to assist you!
All you need to know about Glastonbury Festival
What is the Glastonbury Festival?
The Glastonbury Festival, also known as the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts or colloquially as Glasto, is a five-day celebration of contemporary performing arts held in England.
It encompasses a diverse range of artistic forms, including modern music, dance, comedy, theater, circus acts, cabaret, and various other arts. The festival features performances by numerous pop and rock artists and attracts thousands of attendees annually. It has served as the backdrop for the recording of many albums and films, which contributes to its extensive coverage in newspapers and on television.
Visiting Glastonbury involves some travel and may entail waiting in long lines to enter. However, once you overcome these initial challenges, you become part of a sprawling tented city—a temporary community under canvas. While British laws still apply within the festival grounds, the atmosphere is distinctively different, offering a sense of freedom and the opportunity for a lively experience.
When is the Glastonbury Festival?
The Glastonbury Festival was held intermittently from 1970 to 1981 and has been held most years since then, with occasional “fallow years” occurring roughly every five years. The upcoming Glastonbury Festival is scheduled to take place from June 22nd to June 26th, 2022.
Where is the Glastonbury Festival held?
Glastonbury Festival is situated in South West England at Worthy Farm, which lies between the villages of Pilton and Pylle in Somerset. It’s approximately six miles east of Glastonbury and is overseen by the imposing presence of Glastonbury Tor in the “Vale of Avalon.”
The inaugural festival held at Worthy Farm was originally named the Pilton Pop, Folk and Blues Festival and took place in the late summer of 1970, commencing the day after the passing of Jimi Hendrix. This first festival drew a crowd of 1,500 attendees and had an admission fee of £1, which not only provided entry but also included complimentary camping and milk. The festival featured a performance by Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex, stepping in for the Kinks, who were initially slated to headline.
The festival’s co-founders, Michael and Jean Eavis, drew inspiration from events such as the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, as well as the successes of the Isle of Wight Festival and Woodstock in the United States from the previous year. This inspiration prompted them to host a festival on their family dairy farm.
In 1971, the festival was rebranded as The Glastonbury Fayre, and the timing was adjusted to coincide with the summer solstice, a significant date also celebrated at the nearby Stonehenge, a renowned Neolithic monument. Key figures in organizing the festival included Andrew Kerr and Arabella Churchill. They articulated a manifesto that outlined the festival’s core principles, emphasizing environmental and spiritual aspects. The founders envisioned the event as a platform for free-thinking individuals.
During the same year, the first Pyramid Stage, a replica of Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, was constructed by Bill Harkin and his team, utilizing scaffolding, expanded metal, and plastic sheeting.
The placement of this iconic stage was determined by the ley line connecting Glastonbury Abbey and Stonehenge, an invisible line believed by esoteric traditions to mark significant “earth energies.”
The festival’s organizers acknowledged Glastonbury’s 3,000-year history and its role as a longstanding destination for pilgrims. This heritage was encapsulated in William Blake’s poem “Jerusalem,” which later served as the lyrics for Hubert Parry’s 1916 hymn.
In 1971, artists such as David Bowie and Quintessence performed on the newly established Pyramid Stage. The 1971 festival was documented in the film “Glastonbury Fayre” (1971), directed by Nick Roeg and produced by David Putnam. The film provides a valuable record of the festival, showcasing the presence of hippies who identified with the countercultural movements of the late 1960s. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include Bowie’s notable performance.
In the subsequent years, a few spontaneous gatherings occurred in the Worthy Farm fields, featuring performances by musicians like Ginger Baker and Jimmy Page. It wasn’t until 1979 that the Glastonbury Fayre team decided to organize a three-day festival centered around the “Year of the Child,” led by Arabella Churchill, who established the Children’s World Charity.
This festival drew a crowd of 12,000 attendees who purchased tickets priced at £5 each, with Peter Gabriel headlining the event.