Glastonbury Holds Onto Its Massive Crown With 2016 Lineup
As far as music fests go, the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is one of the originals. Taking place on an English farm just outside Pilton in Somerset, Glastonbury, is a mecca for like-minded creatives, artists and all around free-spirits. Notice that it’s not simply called a music festival and for good reason. This utterly massive annual event consists of theater productions, circus acts, comedians and hundreds of musical acts. This year’s headliners include Adele, Muse, Coldplay, PJ Harvey and Jeff Lynne’s ELO along with Beck, New Order, LCD Soundsystem, ZZ Top, Earth, Wind & Fire, Disclosure, Ellie Goulding, Band of Horses, Foals, M83, Grimes, Sigur Rós, The 1975, Kamasi Washington, Santigold, Underworld, Of Monsters and Men, Bastille, Vince Staples, The Lumineers, Lapsley, Jack Garratt and many, many more.
Glastonbury was first premiered back in 1971, the golden age of boho. Back then, tickets cost around £1 and the cover included free milk from the Eavis family’s Worthy Farm, the same place the festival is held today. Arabella Churchill, (yes, that Churchill; Arabella was the granddaughter of Winston Churchill) co-founded the festival with Michael Eavis and a fellow named Andrew Kerr. Performers from the inaugural fest included none other than the late David Bowie and a cheeky group called The Worthy Farm Windfuckers, among others.
Environmental advocacy has always been a core aspect of Glastonbury. In fact, the festivals’ leaflet from 1971 talks about human’s abuses toward nature like pollution and the “neurosis” brought on by a “basically urban industrial society.” The pamphlet cites the festival’s aim to conserve our natural resources, to respect nature and life and to promote a “spiritual awakening.” From year to year, Glastonbury seems to dig its roots deeper and deeper into environmental conservation efforts and this year is no different. Glastonbury’s 2016 green initiatives are plentiful including their campaign to dissuade festival folks from urinating on the land. They also, like any good organization, promote public transportation as a preferred “green” way to arrive at the event.
As with every heavy hitting music festival, food is important. Glastonbury invited an array of purveyors ranging from, as they say, “the Far East to the Wild West to the good old proper English Country grub.” The event is well known for having some of the best festival food around with prices to fit every budget from “a cheap bowl of porridge and a cup of tea . . . to a top quality silver service meal.” When it comes to drinking, the Brits don’t shy away either, and Glastonbury is a prime example of this. The Cockmill Bar is set in the center area of the acoustic stage featuring a rustic vibe serving genuine ales amidst a panoramic view of the festival grounds. The G-Star Bar was an ode to “techno-Egyptians of tomorrow.” The Park Bar highlighted Bollywood in the spirit of the Indian city of Rajasthan. Rock the Kasbah shined a light on Morocco. The Cornish Arms was a 1970’s beach shack and the Avalon Inn was a medieval themed haunt. As you can see, 2016 should once again provide a smorgasbord of eclectic bars.
Most attendees of Glastonbury camp out, the price of which is included in the ticket. These mini tent cities are highly sociable areas and you’ll be making friends with your neighbors in no time. Different areas will provide different atmospheres. For example, Pennard Hill Ground is at the center of it all with lively folks returning to this spot year after year. Conversely, areas on the outskirts of the property can provide a quieter experience (there’s even a family-friendly camping area). If you’re looking for a more comprehensive camping option, check out their pre-erected camping experience, which they describe as “unpretentious, custom made” canvas tents set up in neat rows ready to receive you. What would an English countryside music festival be without caravan camping? Check out camper van availabilities in order to book your tickets in advance.
Glastonbury can be a daunting, albeit incredibly exciting proposition. There’s a lot to take in, a lot to see and many, many artists on which to feast your eyes and ears. Michael Eavis, one of the festival founders and current owner of Worthy Farm, recommends you take the “tapas Glastonbury experience.” As their motto goes, “if in doubt, just wonder.”
Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts will take place from June 22-26 on Worthy Farm near Pilton, Somerset, in England. Information regarding tickets and accommodation can be found here.