Somerset, South West England. 200,000 people. From 24th June to 28th June. Each summer, every year. What am I talking about? … … … Okay, I’ll make it easier for you.
It’s GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL!
First of all, how is ’Glastonbury’ pronounced and… what is it?
Glastonbury is a town with lots of stunning medieval buildings, sites and elements. However, it is most famous for its festival.
A lot of Americans approach it with their accent and pronounce it wrong, well, not in the British way: /ˈɡlæstənbəri/ [glastonberry]. And here is the proper English way for the pronunciation: /ˈɡlæstənbri/[glastonbrie].
Glastonbury has been one of the most popular annual music festivals for almost 50 years. The festival was inspired by hippie ethics and movements; it is still considered an important event for British culture. Nowadays, it’s a big mixture of contemporary music, lots of Pop, Rock, but you’d also enjoy different types of dance, comedy, cabaret and circus/theatre performances. What’s even better? Each year, the festival manages to raise a huge amount of money (millions of pounds) because a lot of staff members are only volunteers. This money goes to great causes and charities.
Let’s have a quick trip down Glastonbury’s memory lane…
Beginning of the decade:
There was a lot of Pop and Blues music. Unlike today, there only 1500 people who attended the festival. How expensive was it? Well, £1.00, not more, not less. This price included FREE milk from the nearby farm. Pretty cool, right?
End of decade:
Ticket prices went up to 5 pounds, and attendance was around 12,000 people.
Beginning of decade:
There were about 180,000 tickets and passes sold in total, even though the price of one was £185.
End of decade:
Outstanding rock and roll shows, epic performances and a number of new artists were entertaining the festival goers throughout the four days.
A ticket cost £248 last year, and more than 200,000 people enjoyed Glastonbury.
Now you definitely see how much history and what a huge group of followers Glastonbury has. Despite all the fun, festivals usually get very very messy. What’s left when festivals are over? Even if you haven’t been to one, you can guess. People go home, but all their rubbish is left behind. Imagine the millions of plastic cups, plastic bags, bottles, shattered glass, dirty clothes, tents, and everything else. In 2016, Glastonbury was fined because all the sewage (waste water) polluted the closest river nearby, the River Brue. Unfortunately, this meant that more than forty fish were killed. A year later, the Festival’s entireclean up procedurecost £785,000 and it tookforty-two whole days to fully recover the area.
So, as in today, is Glastonbury eco-friendly? Not 100%, but definitely better than it was, I’d say. Of course, success doesn’t happen overnight. The organisers are taking steps to offer the same festival experience, but in a non-polluting way. Luckily enough, in 2019, plastic bottles from the festival bars were completely banned. Everybody had to use their own (reusable) metal bottles, and refill them from water fountains when it was necessary. The organisers decided to put 850 water taps and plenty of water kiosks spread out on the site of the Festival. Although people were allowed to bring their own drinks in plastic bottles, everyone was actively encouraged not to use single-use plastic.
Would you like to go and have the Glastonbury experience sometime in the future?