Summer’s arrival is celebrated in small ways around the world, but at the Glastonbury festival, the solstice gets a grand welcome. This music festival has a lineup of some of the world’s most talented artists, from up-and-comers to mega stars, and the crowd is composed of everyone from hippies to hipsters. Pack your rain boots, pitch a tent, and get ready for one of the muddiest, most musical weekends of your life.
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or Glasto, is the largest green field open-air music and performing arts festival in the world. The festival is best known for its contemporary music, but also features dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and many other arts. For 2005, the enclosed area of the festival was over 900 acres (3.6 km²), had over 385 live performances and was attended by around 150,000 people.
Aside from the incredible music you’ll find at Glastonbury, perhaps the funnest part of the festival is wading through the mud in your rain boots while camping with all of your friends. Glastonbury is dirty, loud, and wild, aka everything a music festival should be.
At its core, Glastonbury is a music festival, and there’s quite a bit to check out. You’ll catch lineups with big-banner acts like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, and Beyoncé, but don’t miss the chance to discover the next big thing (this is where The Smiths wowed the audience in 1984, catapulting them to fame). The Dance, Other, and Pyramid stages are the most popular; the festival says they’re “like London’s party-going West End on a Saturday night.”
Music might be the focus, but there’s a lot more going on in these 900 idyllic countryside acres than just concerts. Revelers can pray at sunrise around a stone circle in a verdant meadow at the Sacred Space, which might be something you’d never do back home, but here it can be a gloriously powerful experience. In Lost Vagueness, you can participate in a mass marriage inside the Chapel of Loathe, or don period clothing before setting off to the Slip Roller Disco or Lost Luck Casino. On the mellower side, check out Jazzworld and the Acoustic stage.
The level of production is also worth mentioning. Besides the huge stages with their immense sound and lighting, there are also areas such as Block 9 – specially built by talented teams of creatives to make the whole experience even more immersive and unforgettable. For instance, one of the stages is located inside the facade of a British tower block, which has a London tube train smashed into its front.