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Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury usually takes place towards the end of June

  • Glastonbury is the UK’s largest music festival
  • It is held on a farm outside the village of Pilton, Somerset. It is an open-air festival, meaning the audience stand outside.
  • The festival lasts for three days (Friday to Sunday), although sometimes it extends to 4.
  • Approximately 150 000 people go to the festival
  • Festival-goers mostly camp. Different camp sites are set up: some are for families, some are quieter, and some are all night parties. It often rains during the festival, making the camping muddy. Being covered in mud and watching music in the rain is often called the ‘festival experience’
  • The Glastonbury Festival began in 1970, and followed the idea of festivals in the 1960s: hippies, love, and music
  • As well as music, the festivals has tents concentrating on religion, healing, and charity
  • The festival was run for many years by farmer Michael Eavis (who owned the farm, ‘Worthy Farm’). It has since been taken over by his daughter Emily Eavis
  • Some people complain that Glastonbury has moved away from what it used to be about, and is now too commercial. Tickets are not cheap, and there is now heightened security
  • Despite the criticism, Glastonbury continues to promote charities. Oxfam and Greenpeace are two of the best supported
  • Almost every major musician, band, and singer in the western world has played Glastonbury. The headline slots (the last slot of each day) are much coveted, especially headline slots on the main stage. Playing the headline slot on the final Sunday is a very big deal
  • The headline slots are not simply given to the biggest selling groups, but sometimes given to some of the ‘hottest’ groups
  • Although originally a guitar/rock-based festival, artists such as Kyle Minogue, Bjork and Jay-Z have all played
  • A great Glastonbury show will often help make a group move from well-known to very famous, or from famous to one of the biggest names in UK music. An example is Radiohead, whose headline concert at Glastonbury helped push them to become arguably the biggest band in the UK, which then helped them become more popular around the world.
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