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Glastonbury 50: The Official Story of Glastonbury Festival

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Each of these venues pushes the boundaries of what art and club culture can be, but NYC Downlow will always be my personal favourite.

Glastonbury 50 Book | BOOKS | Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury 50 Book | BOOKS | Glastonbury Festival

Everybody’s experience of the naughty corner will be different. It’s been around for nearly two decades, and in that time we’ve seen it go from afew circus-style dance tents to what now feels like avery small, weird town that only exists at night-time. It’s aplace where queer culture, nightlife, feminism, art, music and activism have come together over the years in ways that have no parallels in the outside world, let alone in festivals in general, and that’s something to be celebrated. All the coaches will be full, please consider whether you will be comfortable being on a busy coach in close proximity to other passengers. And then, one by one, these clubs began to disappear, as if eradicated by avirus in the middle of the night. There are amultitude of reasons for these mass closures – and we don’t have time to go into them here – but LGBTQ spaces became this rare and precious thing. There were no longer so many places to escape from reality or in which to lose your shit. In some ways it felt as if queer culture had turned inwards – existing online, in other people’s flats, on our phones – and while some of that reflects the natural evolution of our times, Ithink there was definitely asense of loss during those years, and maybe ever since.Inspired by the Bath festival of blues and progressive music earlier that year, Eavis told his wife Jean he was going to stage a similar event. “If I remember rightly, her reply was, ‘Don’t be silly, you’ve no idea how,’” he recalls in an exclusive extract from the book, available below. Glastonbury 50 is the authorised, behind-the-scenes, inside story of the music festival that has become a true global phenomenon. The organisers of the Shangri-La stage, which was due to host Killdren, said they “in no way condone violence and will not allow this matter to overshadow the incredibly inclusive spirit of Glastonbury”. Read an exclusive extract from Glastonbury 50, by Michael Eavis The duo defended the song as a “crude” satire, and said it “would not exist at all if the destructive and violent policies of the Tory party hadn’t taken such a long and devastating toll on the UK. The band does not condone the killing of Tories or children, or anyone for that matter – regardless of political beliefs.” Obviously not everybody who ends up at The Unfairground accidentally gets spiked with acid by atoilet attendant taking them on atour of the compost loos. But this particular image – of him bleary-eyed, breath-taken, face like ahaunted plate – is what comes to mind when Ithink about some of the weirder sections of the naughty corner. The Unfairground – and Arcadia and The Common, which are directly across from it – are where you end up when you do not want to even slightly chill. They’re places to dance, sure, but they’re also places to lose your sense of time and phone and friends – but have fun anyway – and emerge victorious.

Kissing, dancing and getting lost in the naughty corner Kissing, dancing and getting lost in the naughty corner

Where departure times are not stated, you must be available to travel at any point (AM/PM) during the specific day you have selected. There were also various interesting snippets from well-known musicians about their experiences of performing at the festival plus other journalists and music industry people. The writing was very basic and quite low level but I suppose the aim of the book wasn’t award-winning writing. The setting was the main theme of the book – which was what I was here for! There was also an overall theme of the deeper meaning and importance of music festivals in society which I can 100% relate to.


Those who are aged 16 or 17 are allowed to attend the Festival unaccompanied, but we would strongly advise that this decision is made with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. To protect your own safety and that of other guests, please act responsibly. Please do not take chairs, buggies and trolleys into busy areas, or to the front of stages. If your chair, buggy or trolley is causing an obstruction you will be asked to move. The artist and performer line-up and all billed attractions are subject to change at any time without notice, and access to any performance may be restricted, specifically or generally, to ensure public safety. Michael Eavis comes across as a great guy even if deluded at times – that surely was what enabled him to go against the odds and create such an incredible festival! Please be careful to enter all of your details accurately, as any details which don’t match will cause your transaction attempt to fail.

Glastonbury Festival Tickets | Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury is the most well-known and iconic festival in the world. After fifty years, it has become an institution. There have been films made about it. T‑shirts. Books. It’s on the news. On our TV screens. It’s embedded into the fabric of British culture, like football or sunburn or going, ​ “Wheeyyy!” when someone drops something. It is unusual, then, that Glastonbury has retained such afierce political streak. We are used to mainstream events distancing themselves from the issues that affect us – maybe so as not to alienate attendees or piss off brands – but Glastonbury has only got louder and more outspoken as each year passes. This makes sense when we consider the counter cultural roots of the Festival alongside the trajectory of politics in the UK. If Glastonbury wasn’t political, it wouldn’t really be Glastonbury. Before I met Jean, I’d rigged up a very primitive sound system to play music to myself and the cows in the parlour. It was a nine-foot-long pipe connected to a speaker and it made a hell of a sound. I used to play Lola by the Kinks a lot – that was our big milking song. One day in 1970, our baker lady who used to deliver bread to the farm arrived late. She told me it was because she’d been held up in all the traffic going to the Blues festival. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me it was this big event happening at the Bath & West Showground, a few miles from the farmhouse, and there were millions of people coming for it. “That sounds amazing!” I said, to which she replied, “No, it’s horrible!”Music had always been a big part of my life. I discovered Radio Luxembourg when I was at boarding school, and I’d listen to it every Sunday night, when Pete Murray and David Jacobs were on. Bill Haley and Bob Dylan captured my imagination, and although I never really went to concerts, I fell in love with pop music.

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