The Archive.

updated Jan 2011

The stage *, recollections ,some press accounts and other snippets of info
    The stage was constructed by Bill Harkin and crew and it was made out of steel tube , covered with chicken wire and polythene, so it reflected light, but was also semi- transparent . Part of the side was cut away for the bands to be seen, although they were rather removed from the audience in terms of height. However, this did not seem to matter much as everyone says that there was a tremendous sense of intimacy and oneness at this festival.

Below: some stills of the stage under construction, the weather was not kind leading up to the festival and I don't envy the crew members who were adding the panels in the high winds . It must have been a good 50 feet at the very top of the pyramid and it would have been no fun trying to attach a panel whilst being battered by typical British weather. !

    The actual site was a natural amphitheatre which has to rank as one of the best ever in the UK. The surrounding  woods provided  ideal places for people to camp . Apparently some people built tree houses which could be scaled by climbing rope ladders, others constructed shacks from tarpaulins and polythene as you can see below.

    Someone sent me this press account, its incomplete and origin unknown

" The whole festival seemed to take off and people now, dancing , exotically dressed , happy , grubby, seemed more like those people who gaze from mediaeval paintings than if they belonged in present times, more like mediaeval mummers. jongleurs.

Everyone was dancing. In front of the stage, amidst the dense crowds there , people were dancing, their hands held high above their heads.
Carried away , a vicar entered the dancing throng and high on the scaffolding of the stage the dance went on and clapping hands were raised to the sky. In another part, where people were still sitting , the Jesus Freak  was also dancing . He is a visitor to many festivals , who combines frenzied dancing with lectures about the perils of L.S.D "
" As the festival reached its climax, it was as if the earth was vibrating too, vibrating like a long suffering drum.
Two of a group had taken off their clothes and were standing nude , arm in arm, the slightly taller one who had light ringletted hair and the other one with profuse hanging hair , the fairy and the madame. "

And besides the music of the professionals , there was another type of music . On the freshly trampled grass a young man was caressing the top of a skin covered drum with a spade handler. A man who was banging two crushed coca cola tins together had huge stars on the glasses of his dark specs and whitewash on his face. Every type of instrument was being brought into play , especially recorders. bongos , tin whistles , ocarinas , small cymbals. "

Glastonbury Fair, heralded for almost twelve months as a possible ultimate Good Vibes entity, or decried as just another flower power jerk-off, managed to satisfy both sides of the argument over its  four days.

   In the tradition of English  festivals it had the obligatory nudes, rain, Hells Angels, macro food and all the attendant phenomena of such gatherings .The one difference, undeniable by the most cynical, was its genuinely peaceful atmosphere. Not a specifically music festival, Glastonbury managed to avoid the uptight ego-tripping excesses that usually accompany any get together for superstars.

   The only problems, apart from the absence of the various West Coast bands who had been rumoured to appear—the Grateful Dead got as far as Amsterdam, but couldn't spare the time — came from the villagers, both in Glastonbury, eight miles distant and from Pilton, the village almost on the site of the Festival.

   Threats of an injunction against the Festival's organizer, Andrew Kerr, to stop the proceedings didn't materialize. Local worthies and villagers attacked the all-night noise, but attempts to stop the generators at midnight had no success, despite some press reports to the contrary.

   Everyone who wanted got stoned, the police were as charming as country forces always seem to be, everything was fine, if a little heavy on the mystical side.

   A good time was had by all. Though for those concerned with progress—isn't it time we got over 1967. . ?


Glastonbury Fayre pages .

Glastonbury Festival


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Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

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