When we think about British culture - specifically British music culture - there are a few things that spring to mind, and one of them is Glastonbury festival. It’s a wonderful experience which is considered a cultural rite of passage for any music aficionado.
However, what is the Glastonbury festival? How did it come about? Who made it and why? To answer those questions, let’s take a deep dive into the history of Glastonbury, and talk about how it came to be and why it has such an enduring appeal.
Free Movement Origins
The ethos of the festival can be traced back to the counterculture indicative of the 1960s. In a time where large portions of society were actively rebelling against “the establishment”, and organised events, Glastonbury popped up as a free-spirited, relaxed and almost hippie-like celebration of music in 1970.
The bulk of the staff are volunteers, working to raise vast sums of money for charities, but Glastonbury itself is a fully-designed festival site - electricity, water and other basic infrastructure are all present.
The Who’s Who of Music
The festival has played host to some of the best and most influential names in music over the years. Stormzy, Billie Eilish, and others headline in recent years, but wildly successful groups and solo acts like The Kinks, Oasis, David Bowie, The Killers and The Who have all played at Glastonbury over the years.
It’s become common for many small groups and rising figures to make their mark at Glastonbury too. Typically speaking, there are often a bunch of big acts for the headline, followed afterwards by smaller ones.
Rite of Passage
What makes Glastonbury such an iconic part of British culture is the fact that it serves as a rite of passage for young people and even families. The appeal is pretty universal.
Festival culture is wholly unique, based on celebration of music and often a chance for wild parties and lots of socialisation. Friendships are made, relationships are started, it’s a very diverse place so there’s plenty of opportunities to explore other walks of life during your stay.
Since its inception, Glastonbury has been without doubt a key part of British culture. People go every year, save for the “fallow years” which is basically where people give the land and the area a chance to recover. it’s just iconic like that.
Nobody can deny that Glastonbury is an iconic part of British culture. It’s been going on since the 1970s, and is now a mainstay in the music world. Bands and artists from all over come to Glastonbury for the sake of performing because it’s huge. With the current festival taking place right now, and the next festival scheduled for 2023, it’s clear that Glastonbury has no signs of slowing down. It’s nice to know that they’re also raising money for charity whilst this is all going on. It’s a nice touch that really proves even though Glastonbury is so big, it’s about making a difference.