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Ever since Glastonbury festival was started in 1970, with an entry fee of £1 plus free milk from the farm it has enjoyed an almost mythical status. This year is no exception, with early “will-he, won’t-he” worries in the press after last year’s cancellation due to safety fears. After record numbers of people broke in for free in 2000, swelling the festivals already close to the limit numbers, the local council decided expensive measures must be taken to allow this year’s festival to run without a hitch.
That is why, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present to you… THE SUPER FENCE! The phenomenally high steel fence, constructed by experts, and rumoured to have cost millions, is the main issue up for debate as this year’s festival draws near. The question is, with the funding coming in part from the Mean Fiddler group, and the ticket price rising to pay the rest, will Glastonbury have the same
The good thing about Glastonbury is that after paying eighty odd quid for a ticket, plus any contributions made to the many wacky stalls, such as the candle-powered boat sellers, and the protest naked organisation, you can walk around feeling slightly smug, and full deserving of all the fun you are having. This is because of the oddball nature of Glastonbury as a festival; i.e. that it GIVES AWAY PROFIT. The question is, with the funding coming in part from the Mean Fiddler group, and the ticket price rising to pay the rest, will Glastonbury have the same alternative, hippy feel this year?
The numerous donations to charity from the proceeds of Glastonbury are what I believe makes it different from other rock festivals, such as Reading or Ozzfest. There is a real sense of a community coming together, and producing something really good with a hippy ethic of no commercial gain. The atmosphere at the festival is one of an amateurish gathering, with a crowd that really accepts you as one of their own.
Again, I have to mention here the alternative snobbery I have referred to in other reviews. Grungey/Indie/Alternative people, and followers of rock in general, have a talent for singling out people who aren’t quite cool enough, or don’t have the right taste. This can be intimidating, but I have never, in 6 festivals, encountered it at Glastonbury. It just doesn’t fit with the charitable air of the place.
So will this year’s Glastonbury be any different? Despite the changes to the way it is organised, and a drop in donation money as the fence has to be paid for, I believe the lucky few that have tickets (not me unfortunately) will enjoy even more than ever. At first I feared for the endearing oddities of the festival, such as the militant vegans, (where do they get the energy) and the cider bus, believing they could not survive after the introduction of Mean Fiddler, responsible for such commercial festivals as Reading. After more thought however, I have realised that these weirdoes will be there whatever; they’re not gonna let a little commercialism stop them.
This is why I am recommending Glastonbury this year, and every year. Of course, Glastonbury virgins are advised to check out the webpage for advice, and no line-up has yet been announced, but that doesn’t matter. Ther is sure to be something for everyone, for example in 2000’s lineup, Willie Nelson played shortly after Bloodhound Gang. The shopping and the experience are at least as good as the music (try the filled jacket potatoes!). Also, for anxious parents, it is a perfectly good environment for children, especially when compared to the bustle and noise of Reading and Leeds, as there is much to entertain them, for example the Children’s field, and numerous shows and activities (I recommend the painting wall!).
If you can’t get to this great event this year, try next year, and even the year after that if you have to. Even my cleanliness-freak boyfriend loved it, and I take my parents every year. Just..uh… remember a clothes peg!?
I luckily managed to get a ticket for this year's Glasto. Last year was my first and it was great - good weather, great music and fab company. Unfortunately, not all my friends have tickets this year. I'm also dreading the toilet experience again!
slam19uk 01.10.2002 12:02
I went to glasto this year and its was brilliant. The fence was huge and did the job. Had brilliant time. Might catch up with a few ciao peeps there next year. ;)
MorganForever 02.07.2002 02:11
Great op - shame I didn't go! I'm going to Reading though :o) Morgan XxXxX