Author Topic: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old  (Read 2864 times)

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Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« on: June 23, 2020, 04:15:46 PM »

NME advert for the first Glastonbury Festival



The Saturday 19th September 1970 edition of Mirabelle magazine - published the same day Glastonbury 1 was launched.



I went to Glasto' 13 times in the 80's and 90's the first time in 1981 I'd got a lift down on the back of a mate's moped, which took all day to get there from Milton Keynes, especially as it broke down twice. I had been to festivals before most notably Reading'79 but this was by far the most eye-opening experience. Around 16,000 folks, mostly bloody hippies, ticket was £8 (I think) the programme was only 20p. In brief, the sun shone and the vibes were good, some highlights for me were seeing Barney from New Order falling over totally pissed as they came on stage and Ginger Baker & Roy Harper fighting and arguing over who should be on the stage next, happy memories.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2020, 04:41:20 PM »
“Someone ought to build a bypass over this shithole.”

Puce Moment

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2020, 04:42:39 PM »
I went a few times in the early to late 90s either by jumping the fence or working with a co-op in the Green Fields. Never paid to get in, and once did litter picking after the festival which was grim.

I had some incredible experiences there, almost always something unplanned and out of the blue at 2am whilst fucked on mushrooms, weed and microdots. Usually those experiences were not related to the main stages and include stuff like happening across Billy Bragg playing in a little tent at almost sunrise. A magical moment.

It is hard to explain Glastonbury to someone that hasn't been partially because it is so radically different to any other festival. The scale of it, and the amount of shit going on is mind-boggling.

The last time I went was, I think, in 1998 and I had to look after a woman who got fucked by Captain Sensible and thought he was in love with her. He wasn't. I don't think I saw even one band, apart from Pulp. It had become so commercial and corporate blah blah blah.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 04:45:58 PM »

NME advert for the first Glastonbury Festival



The Saturday 19th September 1970 edition of Mirabelle magazine - published the same day Glastonbury 1 was launched.



I went to Glasto' 13 times in the 80's and 90's the first time in 1981 I'd got a lift down on the back of a mate's moped, which took all day to get there from Milton Keynes, especially as it broke down twice. I had been to festivals before most notably Reading'79 but this was by far the most eye-opening experience. Around 16,000 folks, mostly bloody hippies, ticket was £8 (I think) the programme was only 20p. In brief, the sun shone and the vibes were good, some highlights for me were seeing Barney from New Order falling over totally pissed as they came on stage and Ginger Baker & Roy Harper fighting and arguing over who should be on the stage next, happy memories.

Didn't the Specials play that 'un, too? Must have been one of the bands what didnae want publicity.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 05:08:50 PM »
For Ox Roast read "one of the bull cows was found dead in a ditch".


I've experienced Glastonbury twice (in close succession) and have no desire to EVER repeat the experience.

First one was in 1995, back in the days when you could wander into Our Price a few days before the festival and buy a ticket for the Saturday or Sunday (possibly the Sunday only?  Can't remember now) for a fiver.  Which is what I did.  Watched Page & Plant with yer man Eavis stood next to me - as a Led Zepp fan he'd come out to experience it in the audience rather than at the side of the stage.  It was...workmanlike.  But Eavis was bloody loving it.  Somewhere on the internet there is a pic taken for the Bristol Evening Post of Eavis in the crowd taken from the stage and my left arm is just in shot.  I can't for the life of me remember who else we saw and a glance over the full lineup doesn't ring any bells.  My overriding memory, aside from being disappointed with Page & Plant, was everyone stinking, filthy and either shitfaced or completely off their chump on drugs.  Toilets were awful, soap and water and shit paper had apparently run out by the Saturday morning, and from memory you could not get free drinking water from a tap so you had to buy bottles if you'd run out of your own, and they were something like £3 for a litre bottle.  In 1995.

My second experience was the full weekend (although we didn't actually arrive until early Friday evening cos my mates ignored my warning that it would take hours to get there if we left any later than Thursday late morning).  It already looked like a toilet overflowing with liquid shit when we got there, which set the tone for the rest of the weekend.  Highlights - in terms of what I can actually remember as opposed to being a fan - were The Prodigy and Radiohead, which everyone now says were the only decent performances of the whole weekend.  Annoyed that I missed Steve Winwood cos all my other mates wanted to see Kula Shaker or Reef or some shit (I was only 18 and didn't really fancy wandering off on my own).  Most of the time we spent in the cabaret tent as there were a shit-load of comedians there that year, many of them at their peak - Bill Bailey, Simon Munnery, Eddie Izzard, Lee Evans, Dominic Holland, Jim Tavare, Lee and Herring, Johnny Vegas, and numerous others.  Charlie Chuck also performed, but we missed him.  I also understand that Glastonbury 1997 is where the seeds of The Mighty Boosh (of which I am not a fan) were first sewn.  Pretty much everyone in that crowd was a cunt.  A horrible experience.  Almost everyone's tent (including ours) was vandalised, which meant we slept in mud like WW1 soldiers (albeit with the mixed thump of random acts as a soundtrack instead of shooting and explosions).  Loads of drugs everywhere, loads of people on drugs sat in their own shit, piss and puke.  Awful.

The closest I ever get to the live experience now - aside from the BBC - is living about 13 miles away, and when the weather and atmosphere are right and the wind is (gently) blowing in the right direction, we can hear the bass and drums.  One year we could even just about make out who was actually playing (Kasabian from memory).

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 05:11:39 PM »
Didn't the Specials play that 'un, too? Must have been one of the bands what didnae want publicity.

no they didn't play, there were like 2 or 3 tents with bands in I would have bee-lined for it if I'd had even a sniff of a rumour they were playing
I did see The Specials in a pub a year or so earlier and they were just phenomenal - I still have the local fanzine which is the only proof they ever played there!




Puce Moment

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 08:50:22 PM »
Also, a little shout-out for the comedy tent which I pretty much lived in during Glastonbury. I saw some amazing sets over the years. Frank Sidebottom, Malcolm Hardee and Mark Thomas being particular stand-outs.

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 10:37:03 PM »
I went once, in 2004, as a favour to a friend who was recruiting people to work on the bars.  I don't like crowds, camping or even music so I approached the experience as 'something to say I've done', and no more.  But I was amazed how much I enjoyed it.  I loved how there was always something to see no matter what time of the day or night, and how once you'd done a lap of the site and seen everything, everything would have changed so it was all new to see again.  Plus I got laid during Paul McCartney's set (well, we went back to her tent first).

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 10:39:48 PM »
I went in 2015 and 2017, I'm sure it's all corporate and shit these days and there's no free milk, but I'd still love to go again one day.

Edit: just thinking about Shangri-La now, stumbling across it the first year I went, while we were all off our tits. My friend won a gold-sprayed cast of a human arsehole at a fairground. Ah man I really wish I can go back at some point.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 11:00:15 PM »


in 1982 there was not even a proper programme, only the local listings magazine with a few pages dedicated to who was on at the back with Fridays headliner unknown, I still can't remember who it was. Van was big then of course but was dropped into the middle of the afternoon. Judie Tzuke was on again like the year before and like 1981 they still couldn't spell her name right.

   

U2 were on the poster and were supposed to play, but thankfully never turned up





Hawkwind's lead singer goes walkabout


I could even see the main stage from the car

Puce Moment

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 12:20:42 AM »
Dereck Jarmone sound like an awesome band!

icehaven

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 12:22:00 AM »
Well my first Glastonbury was the 25th anniversary in 1995, so don't I feel quite the old git. I went to the next four too (1996 was a fallow year iirc, so 1997-2000) and had a great time at all of them but then I went to uni and the ticket prices started to climb beyond what I or my Mum, who always got me a ticket for my birthday, could afford so I've not been since. I think I'm too irritable now anyway, 5 nights with 2 hours sleep and all of humanity (well certain kinds of it anyway) in your face isn't something I'd pay to experience anymore, particularly not nearly 300 quid.

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 12:29:09 AM »
Two in the nineties. First one one of the best weekends of my life, great company and drugs and musical highlight Diblo Dibala on a tiny stage in the sun.

Next year was fucking horrible mudbath, we crashed on the way there and all got robbed (me mugged). Spent the third day in a pub in Earlsfield. Haven't been back since and no desire to. My kids will probably never go because we don't earn six figure salaries.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 07:44:30 AM »
I went five times between 2005 and 2011. It's a great festival. Nearly as good as Bang Face Weekender!

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 09:58:30 AM »
I've been a number of times since i think 2011 and still try to go every year. A lot of the criticism of it is true, but there's still a lot going on you won't get at other festivals, lineups vary but always have enough to interest me, and always a few left field options. The atmosphere is a lot less aggro than the other big festivals, largely due to the less draconian security and open nature of the site. Not having to go through military checkpoints when going between the campsite and the stages is great. I'm sure it was better in some ways before the fence etc.

Endicott

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 11:00:40 AM »
I went to Glasto' 13 times in the 80's and 90's the first time in 1981 I'd got a lift down on the back of a mate's moped, which took all day to get there from Milton Keynes, especially as it broke down twice. I had been to festivals before most notably Reading'79 but this was by far the most eye-opening experience. Around 16,000 folks, mostly bloody hippies, ticket was £8 (I think) the programme was only 20p. In brief, the sun shone and the vibes were good, some highlights for me were seeing Barney from New Order falling over totally pissed as they came on stage and Ginger Baker & Roy Harper fighting and arguing over who should be on the stage next, happy memories.

Oh yes, Baker and Harper fighting was hilarious. New Order and Hawkwind were the highlights for me, both bands I knew nothing about at the time. I was 17, it was my first festival. My main memory is getting there by train with my two mates, taking it in turns to carry a large canvas tent borrowed from my parents. Maybe we did the last bit by bus, and then on foot, anyway that tent made the travel a pain in the arse. We bought cheap scrumpy and one of my mates was sick in the tent. Don't do it inside we screamed, so he did some more in the entrance.

All three of us had a maths O/A level exam on the Monday , so we had to travel home on Sunday and miss the Sunday night. Not the best timing. I went a few times more in the 80s and 90s, last time probably 95 or 96. Great times, I always managed to miss the really wet years.

I went to Reading later the same year, and the difference was startling. Reading had mass chucking of cans and bottles, an arena you had to queue to get into, and Hell's Angels dismantling the fence around it in the middle of the night. But arguably, a much stronger line-up (not that I can remember who now). I reckon Glasto caught up on the line-up front after a couple more years.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2020, 11:44:35 AM »
Oh yes, Baker and Harper fighting was hilarious. New Order and Hawkwind were the highlights for me

yes that night was great as New Order were on before Hawkwind and the 'Wind fans were not impressed with the pissed up electronic poppers and NO came in for all kinds of abuse, that may have contributed to Barney being so out of it, playing guitar on his back for ages and not because he was doing the rock god thing, I wish I'd taken photos that night as it was pretty chaotic - no barriers at all, it was possible just to lean against the Pyramid Stage and look up.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2020, 12:09:56 PM »


a mate who went to the one before me (there was no festival in 1980) has still got the programme - have asked him to send me scans as I used to have them but long since lost, but this was the cover and actual size!

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2020, 12:21:15 PM »



Sin Agog

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2020, 01:32:31 PM »
Been dozens of times gratis.  Mum went to the very first one, which was a year before the '70 fest and consisted of a strawberry-picking session in one of Eavis' fields with Arabella Churchill and various other heads.  Got trenchfoot at the muddy one.  Now I can only enjoy it if I go up to the fuck-off hill at the back of the Green Fields (next to the transplanted stone circle) and meditate for two, three times a day.  Otherwise it's all one big panic attack waiting to happen.  Do enjoy it when I'm all recharged up.  Can usually find me doing radio business at the back of a place called Toad Hall.

I'm not sure if I miss the crusty contingent- giving about ten percent of the tickets out to homeless peoples.  A little, even though I once walked into one of their huge erections when I was a kid.  There was a gap in the crowd which I made a beeline towards, and when I walked into a gigantic erection I realised why.  Also once almost fucking died.  Not on a giant erection, but after going down a rain-warped old helter skelter in the kids field and myself and my blonde Cornish mate fell into it.  He got a hunk of wood pierced through his leg, whereas I got nothing but a free field trip to Exeter hospital despite coming out of it fine.

Al Tha Funkee Homosapien

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2020, 08:03:36 PM »
Try and go every year (work it as a litter picker). Went first in 1999 as a teenager, paid a scary scouser £20 to let us through the hole they'd dug under the fence. Mostly felt overwhelmed, got very drunk, think I enjoyed it!?

Then started going late 2000s until now. I fucking love it, nowhere else like it. I'd love to be camped up there at the moment.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2020, 09:11:01 AM »


one of my shit pics of Glastonbury was published in Q magazine in their feature on readers bad gig pics.

buzby

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2020, 09:43:50 AM »
yes that night was great as New Order were on before Hawkwind and the 'Wind fans were not impressed with the pissed up electronic poppers and NO came in for all kinds of abuse, that may have contributed to Barney being so out of it, playing guitar on his back for ages and not because he was doing the rock god thing
Thankfully captured for posterity by Tony Wilson - the, er, unusual interpretation of Procession's chorus that precedes it is a highlight too (also spot Hook cheekily putting the boot in). Shortly afterwards thare were rumours they were going to split up due to Sumner's on-stage antics - Hook was going to leave to becme the manager of their perennial support act Stockholm Monsters.

It was their biggest gig up to that point so I suspect Sumner had used his usual tactic to combat stagefright and gone a little bit too far (they had played about 40 gigs as New Order up to that point, and about 30 since Sumner had been made the lead singer).
Quote from: Stephen Morris
Glastonbury was nothing like it is now. The Pyramid stage was basically built on top of the cowsheds, the backstage area was half a dozen Transit vans parked up and we all had a cup of tea at Michael Eavis’s house after we finished. But it did have that special atmosphere. Unfortunately Bernard [Sumner, singer] rather over-imbibed on Pernod and halfway through one song just completely fell over and started playing guitar on his back. As a performer you have to draw the line between enjoying the festival and keeping yourself in a fit state to play.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2020, 11:35:44 AM »
Thankfully captured for posterity by Tony Wilson - the, er, unusual interpretation of Procession's chorus that precedes it is a highlight too (also spot Hook cheekily putting the boot in). Shortly afterwards thare were rumours they were going to split up due to Sumner's on-stage antics - Hook was going to leave to becme the manager of their perennial support act Stockholm Monsters.

It was their biggest gig up to that point so I suspect Sumner had used his usual tactic to combat stagefright and gone a little bit too far (they had played about 40 gigs as New Order up to that point, and about 30 since Sumner had been made the lead singer).

brilliant thanks buzby, I've never seen that footage before and it confirms that I never imagined it!

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2020, 01:51:15 PM »
Annoyed that I missed Steve Winwood cos all my other mates wanted to see Kula Shaker or Reef or some shit

You can now rest easy, 23 years on. Winwood pulled out for some reason and his place was taken by a double headliner of Ash and (I think) Kula Shaker.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2020, 01:55:07 PM »
You can now rest easy, 23 years on. Winwood pulled out for some reason and his place was taken by a double headliner of Ash and (I think) Kula Shaker.

Thank you - I NEVER knew that until this post.

That also confirms we probably saw Reef.

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2020, 02:20:17 PM »
I really wish I could say I've fond memories of the one time I went, 2005, but it was one of the mudbath years. I guess I was luckier than some as it stopped raining by the Friday afternoon but there'd been flash floods the night before and the whole place was a mess, it took fucking ages to trudge from one field to the next, so I missed out on a sod load of acts that I really wanted to see. On the plus side the comedy tent was great, and seeing Simon Munnery and Stewart Lee there led me to catching the latter a couple of months later at the Soho Theatre and falling madly in love/lust with stand up, and I did see some really great bands too, but on the minus side I also saw Babyshambles as we couldn't be arsed to walk any more that evening, and fuck me they were the single worst act I think I've ever seen.

And now, here's some exciting pictures of that year where you can't really make out who's playing:

It's Coldplay!


It's Kasabian!


It's absolutely no one in the John Peel Tent!


It's not a band but me in a stupid hat!


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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2020, 02:36:32 PM »
one of my shit pics of Glastonbury was published in Q magazine in their feature on readers bad gig pics.



I've just remembered this was the year Suzanne Vega was threatened by a crazed gunman at the site, I guess this was why I was so far away.

from a Guardian interview:
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
"A death threat at Glastonbury festival in 1989. The police told me not to go on, but I said I had to because I was headlining. So I wore a bullet-proof vest. It seemed unlikely that I would be assassinated, but it was shocking and very stressful."

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2020, 02:47:51 PM »
It's Coldplay!


To be fair, you can tell that that is DEFINITELY Coldplay.  I think most people with a passing knowledge of them would immediately recognise the stance.


[I've just remembered this was the year Suzanne Vega was threatened by a crazed gunman at the site, I guess this was why I was so far away.

from a Guardian interview:
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
"A death threat at Glastonbury festival in 1989. The police told me not to go on, but I said I had to because I was headlining. So I wore a bullet-proof vest. It seemed unlikely that I would be assassinated, but it was shocking and very stressful."

The vest couldn't have lasted long, cos it doesn't show in any of the photos of her performance (not that there are many).

Re: Glastonbury Festival - 50 years old
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2020, 03:43:42 PM »
Thank you - I NEVER knew that until this post.

Apparently his bus got stuck in the mud approaching the site - not sure whether to believe that or not. I'd have been well up for Ash mind.

My Glastonbury career consists of four consecutive ones between 1998 and 2002, which was definitely the law of diminishing returns. Nothing has ever matched up to the wonder of the first one, my first ever festival, first time seeing bands that weren't in the back room of pubs and despite the pissing rain all weekend and massive cannabis and cider intake, still have clear memories of it which I don't of the others. Fucking cracking line-up as well. Nearly went back in 2005 but my mate couldn't get hold of me on the phone at the crucial moment to get my details when he finally got through on the phone - just as well as it was the wettest on record. Absolutely no way I could stick it these days, but I have been to much smaller fests like Nozstock and was due to go this year.

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