In spite of the weather in the UK you just enjoy a good festival
A regular farm in the Area of the Mendip Hills in South West England…You would imagine this to be the most silent, rural and peaceful place. And it is all of that most of the time, just not for the Summer and especially not for those 5 crazy days in which it suddenly becomes the 7th largest “city” in the UK to celebrate Glastonbury Festival of contemporary performing arts.
Pilton Farm has been host area for this festival since 1970 and is an iconic place ever since. The farm owner Michael Evans decided to organise the Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival after seeing an open-air concert in Bath. Back then the ticket cost £1 and about 1500 attended. Nowadays it has become one of the largest music festival attended by around 175,000 people showing the most famous musicians to small local artists. The festival hosted legends like David Bowie, Lennie Kravitz, Paul McCartney, Amy Whinehouse, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and even the the Dalai Lama as a special guest in 2015. In general Glastonbury has always been a green festival.
Although it might not sound as if this is possible with nearly two thousand people camping on the field but efforts are constantly made. Most impressing to me was the work of the recycling volunteers who picked up the litter every morning from 5 AM. Within a few hours the fields in front of the stages and all the paths looked nice and tidy again. You are also supposed to separate you rubbish to allow as much recycling as possible. Supporting Greenpeace, Oxfam and Wateraid this year the organisers create a charitable event that is not only entertaining a crowd but also manages to donate a huge amount of money to non-profit organisations. This is a massive contribution to our society and because it is mostly run by volunteers of those charities it also provides great opportunities for people of all ages to do something valuable but also enjoy themselves.
This year I have been working for the Charity Terrence Higgins Trust which is not advertised in front of most of the stages like Greenpeace is. Nevertheless it is one of the organisations that are involved in the festival. Providing people with sexual Health advice, activities like games and quizzes and giving out free condoms was our daily work. It was impressive to see what a variety of people attended the event and also who was interested in what we were doing.
One of the perks of working at a festival like Glastonbury is obviously that you get to see some of your favourite artists live on stage. Besides, you get to know people from all over the world, participate in drumming sessions, do yoga, see fascinating circus artists and most of all dance in the rain stride through the deepest mud you have ever seen (because, don’t forget, we are still in the UK!) Something else that was surprisingly enjoyable was the amount of delicious and healthy food. The organisers surely tried to break through the stigma of fatty, unhealthy festival food and wanted to show how to make a difference. I seriously had some epic vegan meals there all freshly prepared. This was such a positive surprise. But that is what I learned. Everything seems possible at Glastonbury Festival. For the final act the Beegees came onto the stage to join the Band Coldplay and Michael Evans himself. After a week of camping, muddy walks, handing out condoms, good food and lots of music I returned and felt as if I had made a journey into a future apocalyptic world. For anyone who has got the chance to go to Glastonbury in their life – DO so!