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Festival Season

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Rob Rob | 16:42 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hello, it's Rob here again.
It's summertime in the UK so unsurprisingly, as I look out of the window it's raining.

OK, we know it rains in the UK but for thousands of festival goers the rain is a pain! Summertime is festival time where numerous outdoor music events take place, some lasting all weekend.

To make the most of the occasion people tend to stay on the festival site and sleep in tents - or what we call camping - and this is when the rain can make things a little messy.

Let me give you a flavour of the kind of festivals that take place. There's Wakestock, a sporty style wakeboard music festival. The name Wakestock is a play on the title of the original hippy music festival, Woodstock, which took place in the 1969.
There's the Latitude Festival, which is more of an arts festival, featuring a mix of poetry, theatre, comedy and dance.
Then there's WOMAD, that's short for World Music, Arts and Dance.

But probably the most famous music festival has to be Glastonbury which kicks off this week. It takes place across a number of farmer's fields on Worthy Farm near the town of Glastonbury in Somerset. It is an incredible event with more than 700 acts performing across 80 stages.

Michael Eavis, founder of the Glastonbury festival

The festival started back in 1970 and was set up by a farmer called Michael Eavis. Back then around 1,500 people attended but today, more than 150,000 turn up for a weekend of live music, theatre, comedy and cabaret. And this is where the rain can be a problem. With all these people walking around and camping the ground gets churned up in to mud, making it like a quagmire. However it doesn't seem to stop anyone having fun and the entertainment continues regardless of the rain.

A wet day at Glastonbury

If this is something you want to experience, you need to book well in advance. This years' event is sold out and when next years tickets go on sale they get snapped up immediately.

I have to admit I have never been but would love to go. For now I will have to watch all the action at home on TV, at least I won't have to worry about the weather. This year's 'headline acts' include U2, Coldplay and Beyonce who'll be performing on the Pyramid stage.

Toilets and mud at Glastonbury

Have you been to a music festival? What is the appeal of attending one of these events? And would you like to go Glastonbury?

There's more about Glastonbury on this bbc website

Festival goers - people who go to festivals
Kicks off - starts
Quagmire - an area of soft wet ground
Regardless - paying no attention to the difficulties
Snapped up - taken very quickly
Headline acts - The big name acts that everybody wants to see


  • Comment number 1.

    I really like to see the nice article you have written.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Rob!

    Thank you for the post! It’s true that summer turns any city or town into a ‘happening’ place. Yes, because we always hope for good weather :). When I read about raining and that it’s not unsurprising in the UK, I remembered one book by Gerald Durrell, a British naturalist, - ‘My family and other animals’. His family fled to Corfu, Greece, to enjoy warm and rainless weather.

    But, actually, not only in the UK rain spoils plans, I live in Russia, near the sea; and in the summer, the weather here is similar to the weather in the UK :).

    But in spite of the weather, every summer, a jazz festival is held in our city, and it’s wonderful to see some stages across the city, where jazz musicians play their music. I’m not a fan of jazz and, unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about jazz. But I like it, the atmosphere it creats - relaxed and elegant. And so nice to feel yourself in the whole city as if you’re in a jazz cafe, having a cup of coffee or tea :). Even if you’re busy at that moment, it makes you feel at ease.

    Would I like to go to Glastonbury? Sure, but, honestly, the quagmire like in the last picture would ‘scare’ me :). And what I’m interested most is dancing. Therefore, I think, the Latitude Festival and WOMAD would be the festivals I’d like to go to first.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hello Rob,

    I like it ..It seems so funny . I have never seen such thing neither by own eyes nor on TV.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Les. The jazz festival sounds great. I think jazz and a cup of coffee would be a perfect combination even if it is raining! Thanks for your comments.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Rob! But don't all the English prefer tea :)?

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Rob ! Thank you for your interesting Blogs . Please keep going the good Job ! Yesterday I listen one of your latest mp3 ( six minute English ) it 's nice to have a image of a person when we are listening theit voice !
    Have a nice day and send my hello to all your Fab group
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank you, Pary! Thanks, because before I read your comment, I hadn't realized that was our Rob :). Rob, yes, it's nice and exciting to listen to the voice of a person whose blog you've been reading for a while. I'll become your regular listener :).

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi, my dear moderators!
    Here the sixth comment would be my comment to Les with such content: "Hi, Les. Those who think all the English prefer tea, they just didn't read the post "Who are you? What's your view?" by written Sean."
    Please, answer me if it will be not so hard for me to hear - where is it?
    Best regards,

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Emat,
    Actually, it was some sort of a joke :). And, yes, you are right, I haven't read the post you wrote about, but I'll do it. But it's not a secret that the British like tea much more than most of other nations. At the same time, I'm not British, but I prefer tea to coffee :); and I suppose that some British men and women love coffee.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter which of these drinks you prefer, the most important is that one of them in combination with music can make you feel happy :).

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Rob.
    The pictures I can see in your post reminds me a bard’s festival we have every summer on a Volga’s bank near Samara city called Grushensky Festival . Every time it starts with rain. I can’t remember a year when there was no rain in festival days. The ground under thousands feet immediately becomes sticky slush. Against all the odds festival goers look quite happy. And of course billions of local mosquitoes are happy too.
    Samara, Russia.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Victor, thank you for your comment about the Grushensky Festival. It is good to know that rain isn't just a problem in the UK but it doesn't spoil the fun - not for the mosquitoes anyway!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hello Emat. I see that my blog has started a discussion about tea and coffee! Traditionally the British drink tea but coffee has become a trendy and sophiticated drink - especially cappuccinos and lattes. I still need to drink tea first thing in the morning!

  • Comment number 13.

    Hello, Rob!
    :) I believe, the word "Glastonbury" as an idea compired of not only the famous music festival but another different nice things else that it's so easy to slide towards from one topic to another ones when we talk of Glastonbury, and that is what happens in my case: I'm so sorry. Oh... how my these scribblings to you? is it clear enough what I'm saying about?
    Best regards,

  • Comment number 14.

    I want be there in Glastonbury, I like rain in my country never rain this festival is good for me I see funny.



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