Live!: Glastonbury Festival 2016
By Jake Sebastien
Before going to Glastonbury for the first time, I had never really heard many stories from people about what happened there or what goes on. It was a whole new field to explore, which brought on a lot of excitement about what I was going to find there.
Artwork submitted by London-based graphic designer, Thomas Hedger. This year, Glastonbury Festival fell on the same week as the referendum results, which left a sour note amongst the festival-goers, not to mention the torrential weather conditions that ensued also.
I came to Glastonbury to see what the festival was about with no real intention of seeing any one particular band or bands, which gave me a real sense of freedom to explore without the stress that comes with keeping ahead of festival running times. I found Glastonbury to be unique in its own way, its vastness and sense of scale gave it a city feel and it felt like everyone in it shared a similar frame of mind. I did not encounter any bad attitudes or negative personalities during my whole period at the festival. It has its own aura to me , a sense of relentless positivism which was backed up by the incredible efforts that go into its incredible construction and building elements.
One of the most outstanding features of Glastonbury is its level of production, creativity and thought process that embody the festivals main appeal as arguably an adult playground, and, as someone who helped build one of the main stages, I can appreciate the level of work and formulation when I see what is called the "naughty corner" - like Shangri La and The Commons. Of all the festivals most un-inhabited areas however, the Irish bar, situated next to the Stone Circle, was a small tent filled with many stereotypical Irish drinkers and louts. To enter this place you have to swing across a small moat using a rope provided. All these things combined just make you feel separated from the festivals main attraction - but all the while still attached to its general gaiety.
Gentlemen’s Dub Club, The Skints & John Staple Band were my most favoured acts over the the 3 days. But of all my electronic music experiences here, there is only one worth mentioning - Aphrodite. A couple of friends and I went to watch the jungle DJ play on The Temple, the massive circular shaped stage of capacity around 5000. As we arrived we noticed a massive cue of about 1000 people. As the group were about to start, the queue had become such a burden that we decided to leave, and so proceeded to walk around towards the bar. As we escaped the crowds, my friend got called over by a close friend of his, who happened to be the stage manager for The Temple. He then invited us up into backstage at the temple, where he led us onto the stage with Aphrodite performing to a packed temple of 5000 people; fire blazing, the lot. We stayed for the whole hour and had what I can only describe as a special Glastonbury moment - a moment that could not have been undone, even by the weather.
This story outlines just one of the amazing experiences I had at Glastonbury and shows that something incredible can come out of a time of severe disappointment. The place is full of good energy and offers a seemingly deep spiritual vibe that you don't get with other festivals. LCD Sound System and Underworld turned the traditionally rural appeal of Glastonbury on its head however, submerging it in drum and bass. Aside from that however, it goes without saying that acts such as Adele and Muse hit incredible heights, with Coldplay lighting up the weekend in absolute technicolour following their fitting tribute to the late Viola Beach.
What more can I say. There never seems to be a dull moment on Worthy Farm. YOU SHOULD ALL GO!