The Archive .
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Formatted at 1280 X 1024. Updated Feb 2012 .
June 20-23rd 1979.
Peter Gabriel, Steve Hillage, Mother Gong, Tim Blake, John Martyn , Tom Robinson, UK Subs, Sphynx ,Sky,Footsbarn Theatre ,Nona Hendryx , Alex Harvey, Leighton Buzzards,The Pop Group/The Slits and The Only Ones.
© Paul Seaton
June 21st -23rd 1979.
Peter Gabriel, Steve Hillage,Mother Gong, Tim Blake, John Martyn , Tom Robinson, UK Subs, Sphynx ,Sky,Footsbarn Theatre ,Nona Hendryx , Alex Harvey, Leighton Buzzards,The Pop Group/The Slits and The Only Ones.
Poster courtesy Rich Deakin
Peter Gabriel and Friends - Glastonbury 1979 . Photo © Steve Bayfield
Stage at Glastonbury 1979. Photo © Steve Bayfield
Mother Gong .Photo © Steve Bayfield
A resumption of a commercial festival , the first since 1970 , with an established roster of artists , was a step not to be taken lightly. Costs were considerably higher than any free gathering and permits had to be arranged , councils negotiated with and various local Tory MP's placated ( if this is ever possible to achieve regarding rock festivals ) .
The festival was very well organised and unlike many of the day, received a glowing report from the Festival Welfare Service
As 1979 was the Year of the child, it seemed appropriate that the purpose of instigating a fee paying festival was to raise funds for charity.The profits were to be donated to the UN Year of the Child and to help found the Children's World charity.
Tim Blake made a largely unheralded appearance and technically headlined the festival, appearing after Peter Gabriel . Tim wrote :
, thats Life...
( swelling up" Oh of course "
Gail, "Ok Tim , You'll be playing after Peter"
End of meeting, I say to Gail, "who did You say you're working for now? Oh I manage Peter, Peter Gabriel..."
I almost fainted!
I spent the whole evening shitting myself !!
No Jam though, Just the New Jerusalem set with Jean-Phillipe Rykiel.
Peter played with a quickly assembled group, Steve H on Guitar, Phil Collins on drums etc, they rehearsed every afternoon of the Festival and played so well !
I didn't want to do concerts in 1980, and Michael found that unfriendly, so that must be why they chose to "leave me out of Glastonbury History"
But Yes , I headlined the '79 Festival with P.G. as support ! Never forget it!!"
The Pop Group © Brian F
Michael Eavis, owner of Pilton Farm- ( the long term site of the festival ) had to put up the deeds to the farm to get a loan to cover the expenses that the festival incurred .Unfortunately , even though 12.000 turned up , these numbers ( at five pounds a head ) were nowhere near enough to cover the costs of the festival over three days . Somehow money was found to donate to the charities, but there was no festival in 1980 whilst the organisers licked their wounds and re-assessed their financial strategies. This was the last year that the festival was known as a Fayre, from 1981 onwards it became the Glastonbury festival.
The festival was apparently extremely well run, with excellent facilities such as crash tents, great food, health care , childrens resources and a state of the art sound system . This was designed by Jerry Gilbert of Funktion One who says this about the system
|Although there were some horn-loaded systems around at the time - Dave Martin's Philishave system comes to mind - they were of inadequate sonic integrity and argumentative dispersion pattern when used in quantity. Maybe it's these factors that meant the continuance of multiple direct radiating loudspeakers in the US. You know, glorified guitar cabinets with screeching horns stuck on top. Yuck! The fact was they weren't much better off and needed tons more units to make up for the deficiencies in efficiency. Naturally enough, the Festival system had the big, fat, firm, bass of the 2x 18in bin I mentioned earlier, coupled with the unprecedented mid-range projection and clarity of the then new early Turbo devices. In fact it's still in use today.|
the most important aspect was the excellent coherence of such a large
rig achieved by treating the sound footprint as narrow slices of a pie.
Hence my fixation with narrow dispersion units. I tried to get it so that
any given person in the audience would only hear one, or at the most two,
loudspeakers. All the now standard array principles naturally fell out
of this approach and were being fully employed in the late '70s, despite
the claims of others that came later. All in all, with its excellent size,
weight and power ratio, it represented a paradigm shift in large scale
PA design approaches. We did an AES presentation on this work, in I think,
1978 and some said that we were out of our minds. I feel this conveys
the standard reaction when some of humanity is faced with information
that rocks the foundations.
The system was based on dual 18" bass bins, 2 x 10" low mid drivers and a central high-mid and HF section.
One of the 'biggest 'spelling mistakes ever © Grant Abbott