Glastonbury Festival the mother of all festivals
From humble beginnings in a farmer’s field to the world’s biggest open air music festival.
Spreading over 900 acres of picturesque Somerset farmland, the Glastonbury festival (mother of all festivals) is the world’s biggest open-air music and arts festival. The first Glastonbury was held in 1970 after farmer Michael Eavis, inspired by a local blues festival, decided to host a similar event on his farm. Marc Bolan was among the musicians who performed to a crowd of 1500. They paid £1 to get in which included free milk from the farm. Tickets now cost £228 and this year 135,000 tickets are sold out.
Although it is best known for contemporary music, Glastonbury (or ‘Glasto’ as it is often called) is host to other performing arts such as dance, comedy and theatre. The festival site is now made up of distinct zones, each one providing something different to cater for the tastes of all those present.
Countless famous British musicians have played at the festival, including Sir Paul McCartney, Oasis and Coldplay, however the festival also attracts international interest, and has seen headline acts in recent years such as the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z or last year Kanye West.
The festival is renowned for being extremely muddy, and on many occasions, most notably in 1997, heavy rainfall turned the whole festival site into a quagmire. Glastonbury-goers remain undeterred, however, and are quite happy to boogie the festival away in their wellies.
The festival supports Fair Trade and has made substantial contributions to charity over the years. In 2003,over a million pounds was donated, and Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid continue to be main beneficiaries.