I'd expected a hippie to have written this book; a hippie
or someone with dreadlocks and a garish waistcoat, or maybe
a lady in a kaftan with a far away look.
image couldn't have been further from the truth when I met
Crispin Aubrey, who led a recent talk in Bristol on the festival's
looked very respectable, wearing chinos and a blue shirt,
AND with a normal haircut.
I saw him he looked like the sort of person I'd imagine him
to be if I looked beyond the misconception that everybody
who enjoys Glastonbury is some kind of weirdo.
incidentally, was similarly normal looking.
background is true 'Glastonbury': he
has attended the festival in many guises, initially as an
awed punter and then as a stall holder, running a jewellery
stall with his wife.
would Churchill have said?
even worked the gates for CND and is now in the Festival's
first extract he read from the book was, appropriately, from
in the beginning, 1970, was Michael Eavis, a not so willing
filled in the gaps between extracts, explaining that the second
festival in 1971 was pushed along by a gang of hippies from
by the mysticism of Glastonbury with its connections to Jesus
Christ and King Arthur, this 'gang' included Andrew Kerr and
Arabella Churchill (Winston Churchill's granddaughter), who
were key to the 1971 success.
festival really took off in a big way when people who'd heard
about Michael Eavis' event, and were what you might call genuine
hippies - a lot of from Notting Hill - decided they wanted
to do a similar thing in 1971," he said.
book manages to capture the thoughts and feelings of every
kind of festival goer: it captures its essence, the life-changing
moments and the hassle and headaches for those that work behind
questions at the end of the session focussed more on the festival's
politics than the book: one member of the audience was interested
in the money and how it was spent, for example.
goes to good causes, mainly Oxfam, Greenpeace and Wateraid
with a lot of money also going to local charities.
questioned the security arrangements and the way in which
the fence has changed the festival; the way in which the festival
isn't what it used to be and the way in which the festival
will never be the same again.
seems that everyone who has experienced Glastonbury refuses
to allow it to evolve, for it to change and develop.
me, reading the book evoked a sense of nostalgia for the years
I'd missed at Glastonbury, whilst the reading offered a taste
of the author's favourite snap shots.
a great insight into the ethos of the festival. Even for someone
unaware of its roots, this is an excellent introduction and
a fascinating read.