It’s that time of the year where many of us look to a field in Somerset as it is the time of year for the Glastonbury Festival. This year I’m returning after a brief intermission for nearly dying twice in 2016 and I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve written in detail about all the previous festivals I’ve attended (just search Glastonbury in the bar above) since 1992 but as we get ready for this year’s festival lets look back to the year 2000 where modem’s burred and chirruped as we went online, 911 was just a number, Scottish independence was an unrealistic dream, UKIP were a pathetic joke, and Tony Blair was still a cunt.
The 2000 festival is something of a landmark. It is the last pre ‘superfence’ festival and therefore the last festival that felt like the one I first attended in 1992 some eight years earlier. it was a festival that marked 30 years since the first one and in many ways closed the book on that era when the festival could still claim to be counter-cultural. It was also the third year of the BBC televising it and before the festival they produced an excellent wee documentary about Michael Eavis which is simply glorious.
Enjoy and I’ll see you all in a field in Somerset…
It’s only a couple of weeks til this year’s Glastonbury Festival kicks into gear and in the year 2015 it’s now far removed from those pre-fence days where tens of thousands would descend upon Worthy Farm without tickets looking to jump the fence. 1992 was my first festival and I never paid to get in. In fact I didn’t pay for entrance til 1997 but even then it was a piece of piss to walk into the festival without a ticket.
The festival wasn’t especially liked by most of the people of Pilton, the village where the festival is near. A few would welcome you but seeing as most of these people had to put up with around a week of having a bloody great music festival dropped on their doorstep with not just Travelers causing trouble (much of which was exacerbated by the security used by Michael Eavis) but by people just disrespecting the area generally. The other problem back then was the way it attracted a serious criminal element selling drugs or going from tent to tent robbing what they could, something that still goes on today albeit on a smaller scale.
Every year the festival was planned organiser Michael Eavis had an annual struggle to get it approved, and nobody disapproved of the festival more than Ann Goode, one of Eavis’s neighbours and a serious Christian fundamentalist. This is the person that used to stick a giant crucifix in her garden to ward off the ‘evil’ the festival would bring.Back in 1992 televised coverage of the festival would be a possible quick mention on the news, if at all, so when Channel 4 decided to televise a documentary about the 1992 festival in late 92, it was exposing people to something they’d not seen before as Glastonbury then was still seen as subversive and part of the counter-culture. It was somewhere hippies, kids, students and drop outs would go to and shunned by the mainstream.
Over 20 years later the mainstream has welcomed Glastonbury into it’s ample bosom, and it’s now so much part of the establishment that Tory MP’s can be found dead at it, let alone the fact that a Tory MP would even be allowed anywhere near it’s fences without causing a riot. So this documentary is a crucial part of the history of Glastonbury and a time before the sponsorship deals, Kanye West, posh gap year kids shitting themselves after taking too much ketamine, celebrities posing for pictures backstage and hours and hours of bland BBC coverage of shite Indie bands. This is the festival people are never going to experience and is a glorious little document of in many ways, far, far better days. I should say it’s not complete as the Youtube uploader points out, but it’s most of the documentary.
A week ago these fields were rammed full, and were very, very much looking forward to the final day of the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. Now it’s had an amazing job in six days of clearing up all the tents people selfishly left behind, and of course, the massive mess. Now there’s the fence, the skin of the Pyramid and a few other signs that this was the location of the biggest festival in Europe.
In my blog about this year’s festival, I discussed the problems with the festival and even though I do genuinely think Michael Eavis needs to seriously rethink it’s focus, it’s still an amazing event. It just needs, well, pruning a bit, plus perhaps a cleansing of the more annoying aspects of it. I don’t feel the crushing ennui I did after last year’s festival, mainly because I’m in a bit of a better position than I was at the end of last year’s festival, but I still wish the festival could be on again this weekend, or at least, the best parts of it.
So it’s over for another year, and the year now moves into summer which means before we know it, Christmas and 2015. If this seems a tad melancholic then it is. It’s also a chance to assess where this blog is going as after all I’m up to date with my festival blogs, though I’ve still got tons of little stories I’ve forgotten about to do something with at some point. I’ve also got lots of comic blogs to do, plus a few more political blogs but it’s the reviews I’ve really enjoyed getting into so expect more of those.
To get me over the end of Glastonbury I’ll be enjoying the end of the World Cup, what there is left of the summer & counting the weeks til Glastonbury 2015……..