The Icon of British Culture
The Glastonbury Festival is the greatest music festival in the United Kingdom, and arguably in Europe. Some would even say that it lays a legitimate claim to the title of being the best in the world. Attending ‘Glasto’ has become a rite of passage for many young British people and foreign visitors to those shores alike.
The Glastonbury Festival, formally known as the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, is a massive music event that takes place each year in the tiny village of Pilton, located in Somerset, England. The village of Pilton is in fact some ten kilometres east of the town of Glastonbury itself.
A Long and Legendary History
As well as attracting the hottest international and local music acts, the Glastonbury Festival also plays host to a series of comedic, dance, theatre, circus, cabaret and other artistic performers and events. The Glastonbury Festival is the brainchild of Michael Eavis, who founded the event way back in 1970. The Glastonbury Festival is in fact held on Michael Eavis’ own land, on his smallholding called Worthy Farm.
The Glastonbury Festival first began on 19 September 1970. It was then known as the Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival, and, in contrast to the mammoth crowds that flock to the event today, it was attended by a meagre one and a half thousand revellers. Nonetheless, the show was able to pull in some classic names that will be familiar to most music aficionados; The Kinks were originally intended to be the headline act, but they were subsequently replaced by Tyrannosaurus Rex, who, fronted by glam rock legend Marc Bolan, was later better known as simply T. Rex.
The Glastonbury Festival has gained legendary status, thanks in large part to the long mythology that has developed around the event throughout the years, with great performers and performances passing into the collective memory.
The 1971 show saw just over twelve thousand bear witness to the musical talents of the likes of David Bowie, who cavorted atop a unique pyramidal stage made from scaffolding, sheet metal and plastic, which has since become a regular feature at events down the years. The 1971 show established the Glastonbury Festival as the British answer to the famous Woodstock in the United States, as the free event was captured in a 1972 documentary titled ‘Glastonbury Fayre’.
Glastonbury is a massive music event
Glastonbury Still Offers an Unmatched Festival Experience
The price of tickets has certainly sky rocketed since that first iterations of the festival back in the early seventies. While entry was only one British pound sterling back then, or free in the case of the 1971 event, a ticket to the Glastonbury Festival will today set you back over two hundred British pounds, equivalent to around three hundred and sixty Australian dollars.
The Glastonbury Festival today is famous for often times being drenched in a sea of mud, a product of the unpredictable British weather, which can still see a downpour in late June. But no matter whether it is rain or shine, nothing can quite compare to standing in a crowd of a hundred thousand, belting out an anthemic hit from your favourite artist.
For tickets and festival info visit the official Glastonbury Festival website.