Glastonbury At 40: From Avalon to Jay-Z Review

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

GLASTONBURY AT 40 – FROM AVALON TO JAY-Z: Sunday 20th June, BBC4, 9pm ALERT ME

There are more festivals in Britain these days than there are people with England shirts, but for all the pretenders, Glastonbury is still the unquestioned no1. If you don’t agree then you probably haven’t been, becuase not many people come away from Pilton Farm with anything negative to say that is non-rain related.

For anyone who has ever fallen over in the mud of the Other Stage, watched the sun come up at the stone circle or got lost in the Dance Village, Glastonbury at 40 is an absolute MUST.

Celebrating a rich history of music and alternative culture in Somerset, this A to Jay-Z of the last four decades is packed with the most memorable performances (just too many to mention), tributes to some of the people who made the festival great (did you know Winston Churchill’s granddaughter created the Kidz Field?) and some utterly golden behind-the-scenes footage of Glastonbury’s inner workings.

But on top of all this talk of headliners, fences and mud, there are some wonderful tangents which true believers will absolutely wallow in (pardon the pun). Seeing footage of the first ever festival in 1970 which was attended by less than 1,500 people (around 150,000 tickets were sold this year) is probably just as strange and interesting as watching future mayor of London Boris Johnson arrive at Shepton Mallet in 2000. The clumsy toff mis-pronounces the name of the festival (“Glarrstonbury”), hangs out with some nudists and brands the place a ‘hot-bed of capitalism’. For all his chat about ‘lefties’, even he seems to be loving it…