Glastonbury started off as one of the first commercial ventures of the hippie scene in England in the 70’s, situated close to where pagan rites are conducted by modern day druids around Stonehenge for the summer solstice.
Glastonbury keeps its hippie roots in name and supports the usual suspects of Greenpeace, Amnesty and other liberal groups working for social and environmental change. There’s also a large section of the site reserved for New Age Travelers with a stone circle and plenty of small camp fires and a healing field.
The major part of the festival these days though is the plethora of giant stages hosting the most famous bands in the world, for whom playing at Glastonbury may well be one of the highlights of their careers. Numbers at Glastonbury can reach half a million when the fences get knocked down by those who don’t want to pay the exorbitant entry fees.
In fact, for many years, no self-respecting freak would buy a ticket to enter Glastonbury, preferring instead to try and climb the fence or squeeze through a hole, paying some thug 10 quid for the privilege. In recent years though the security guards have been known to beat up people for trying to sneak in and these days it’s getting really hard to get in for free. Maybe you should just bring some guarana and make energy balls to sell and supplement your weekend.
Glastonbury is always around the summer solstice (June 21st in England) and although it officially runs from Friday to Sunday, many arrive on Wednesday or Thursday to make the most of the camp atmosphere. Bring Wellington boots though as if it rains the mud can get 3 feet deep.
Glastonbury is like attending a small city for the weekend where the population is made up of hippies, partiers, drug dealers, families bickering in tents and people blissed out on ganja cakes everywhere. There are comedy tents, juggling arenas and just about every kind of activity you can think of, making it a giant playground to wander around and trip out.
The official Glastonbury Festival site