The weekend of June 27th-29th will see the world famous Glastonbury music festival taking place. The festival is held in south west England at Worthy Farm, which is some 6 miles from the town of Glastonbury.The immediate area is reputed to have a number of ley lines, and has long been considered to have spiritual and mythological sources of interest for 'new age' followers. Since 1981, the festival has been organised by local farmer Michael Eavis, though the first festival at the farm was held in 1970 with T. Rex as headline act.
Over the years, the likes of David Bowie, Oasis, R.E.M, The Cure, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Al Green, Dame Shirley Bassey, The Who and Iggy And The Stooges have all performed there in front of ever-growing audience figures: this year's attendance seems likely to peak at just under 180,000. Unfortunately, the decidedly inclement English weather has often put a lot more than a dampener on proceedings with the nearby Whitelake River causing flooding problems when the obligatory rain comes tumbling down.
This year's line-up offers the usual wide choice for music lovers. On the famous Pyramid stage, you can look forward to Kings Of Leon, The Fratellis, KT Tunstall, Kate Nash, James Blunt, Crowded House, Leonard Cohen, Goldfrapp, Neil Diamond, The Verve, The Raconteurs and many more. Vampire Weekend, The Hoosiers, Massive Attack, The Zutons, Jimmy Cliff, Joan Armatrading, Sinead O'Connor, Joan Baez, Suzanne Vega, John Cale, Pete Doherty, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Proclaimers,Kate Melua, The Levellers and Billy Bragg are just a mere handful of the other acts who will be performing on the various stages during the weekend.
For those of us unable to attend, BBC television will be undertaking live coverage of the festival, and those lucky enough to have access to digital television will find the best coverage on there. There's also a Glastonbury web cam at the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/glastonbury/2008/webcam/
So, once again thousands of people will make the annual pilgrimage to this glorious festival of music and, for a few days at least, thoughts of the 'credit crunch' and the prospect of an extremely rocky year ahead will doubtless be banished. Let us hope that the weather God smiles benevolently upon this area and that the miserable English 'summer' gives way to a warm, sunny weekend.
To all the bands, their road crews, the organisers, the festival staff, and of course, the fans, I hope you all have a truly wonderful and safe festival.