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News about Britain

UK summer music festivals

Glastonbury festival

What's your idea of a good time? What about dancing in a rainy field with one hundred and fifty thousand other people while a famous rock band plays on a stage so far away that the performers look like ants?

Click here for Glastonbury photos

It may sound strange but that is what many hundreds of thousands of young people in the UK do every summer. Why? Because summer is the time for outdoor music festivals.

Held on a farm, the Glastonbury Festival is the most well-known and popular in the UK. It began in 1970 and was attended by one thousand five hundred people each paying an admission price of £1 - the ticket included free milk from the farm.

Since then the Glastonbury Festival has gone from strength to strength - in 2004 one hundred and fifty thousand fans attended, paying £112 for tickets to the three-day event. Tickets for the event sold out within three hours. Acts included veteran superstars, such as Paul McCartney and James Brown, as well as new talent, like Franz Ferdinand and Joss Stone.

Although many summer festivals are run on a profit-making basis, Glastonbury is a charity event, donating millions of pounds to local and international charities.

Glastonbury is not unique in using live music to raise money for global poverty. In July of this year, the Live 8 concerts will be held simultaneously in London, Paris, Rome and Berlin. Superstars, such as Madonna, Sir Elton John and Stevie Wonder will perform in order to highlight international poverty and debt.



the raised floor on which artists play

happening outside

admission price
the amount of money you pay to enter a place, for example a concert hall

from strength to strength
with continuing and growing success

very keen supporters or followers of a famous person, group or team

three-day event
a thing (here: a series of concerts) that takes place over three days

sold out
if something is sold out, all of it is gone (bought)

here: artists

a person who has had long experience in some form of activity

new talent
here: successful artists who only just started their careers

bringing money

generosity towards people who are poor or in difficulties

live music
music performed by the artists (not played from the tape, CD, etc.)

global poverty
lack of money in various parts of the world

at the same time

act or play

something owed to someone else

Would you like to go to the festival in Glastonbury?


Have you ever attended a summer music festival? What was your opinion about it? Did you go to see a specific star or just to attend the event itself? Does your country have summer festivals?
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Glastonbury 2005
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Glastonbury festival
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More tickets for sale
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Silent disco
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Glastonbury to take a break in 2006
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