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Glastonbury Festival Experience

By Rachel Nash

Posted: 16th October 2012 09:27

By Rachel Nash

Mud soaks through your wellies, Beyonce’s ‘Run the world’ blasts through your ears and you’re pushed to the front of a stage at one of the biggest musical events in history.  Welcome to Glastonbury.  The festivals 2013 show had people clammoring to buy tickets a whopping eight months before the festival and after a record time of 1 hour 40 minutes all tickets were sold.  People were left devastated after missing out so why the big fuss? What makes the Glastonbury festival experience such a phenomena?

The sheer size of the festival illustrates how big Glastonbury is.  Held on Worthy Farm in Somerset, the site stretches to 1,100 acres- that’s more than double the size of the Olympic Park and Alton Towers and is the equivalent of 550 football pitches.  Each year 150,000 festival goers camp on the fields making it the largest ‘greenfield’ music festival in the world. 

Everyone who’s anyone has performed at Glastonbury! Traditionally it was very rock n roll with the likes of popular hippy British band T.Rex headlining at the very first show.  In the 1990s however, the festival moved with the favourable ‘Brit pop’ era and booked Oasis, Blur and Pulp to headline.  Nowadays the festival has moved towards generating a more contemporary audience by booking Beyonce to headline last year and her husband Jay-Z in 2008- although ex-Oasis star Noel Gallagher called it a ‘mistake’ causing controversy and a rivalry between the two.  The 2013 line-up is yet to be released but rumours are already circulating that The Stone Roses, The Smiths, or even the Rolling Stones could headline next summer potentially bringing back the old days of British rock-n-roll.

Glastonbury runs 45 different stages every year with the main attraction being the ‘Pyramid’ where all the mainstream musicians play.  It’s a festival error to take one look the headliners listed and choose not go based on the Eavis’s family’s booking decisions.  There are plenty of stages to keep you busy and bands that headline the third stage are often big enough to headline the main stage at a different festival such as Reading and Leeds.  You will find hidden treats everywhere, Fatboy Slim often does surprise gigs and Pete Doherty has been found randomly playing in a bar at the festival on the Thursday night.   

One thing we recommend as avid Glastonbury attendees is to find a stage with a line-up you like and stick there for a few bands rather than chop and change each performance.  Trying to see Cee Lo Green on the second stage who finishes 15 minutes before Morrissey starts on the main stage is a battle you won’t win.  Getting through the masses of people who are trying to make the same journey whilst trudging through knee deep mud can make it far too difficult.  It’s best to keep your spot and enjoy the music. 

It’s possible to go to Glastonbury not just for the music.  There are plenty of non-musical attractions on offer for those who enjoy listening to Tony Benn’s popular political talks or those who want to carry on the party, the dystopian, ‘Blade Runner’ inspired village ‘Shangri-La’ is open every year. 

If you missed out on tickets to this phenomena then don't forget to check out our article on Going to Glastonbury without a Ticket.

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