Anniversary of The Glastonbury Festival

06/22/2012
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(Gibson) On this day in 1971, Melanie, Quintessence, The Edgar Broughton Band, Pink Fairies, Terry Reid, Gong, David Bowie, Hawkwind, Arthur Brown, Brinsley Schwarz, Fairport Convention and Family all appeared at the second Glastonbury Festival in England. Gibson looks back:

Current Glastonbury Festival chief Michael Eavis put on a small music festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset in September 1970. The following year, the same location saw another more ambitious, more magical festival, where ancient ley lines met in some mystical pattern and which organizer Andrew Kerr and his cohorts called the Glastonbury Fayre, setting the spiritual tone for Glastonbury festivals to come.

Eavis, writing an obituary for Arabella Churchill (granddaughter of Winston Churchill and one of the Andrew Kerr gang) for the Independent newspaper remembered the 1971 organizing team as a "crowd of upper-crust hippies who wanted me to let them have the farm to put on a free festival to coincide with the 1971 summer solstice."

Bill Harkin, who would design the original giant wooden pyramid stage that was designed to focus the energy of the solstice, met the upper-crust hippies while out walking on Glastonbury Tor (hill). He writes on pyramidstage-glastonburyfestival.co.uk:

"I found myself at the foot of Glastonbury Tor at about midnight and on making a brew of tea on my Primus in the back of the van, I was surprised to see a group of freaks, big hats, long scarves and cloaks stumbling down the Tor path towards me with shrieks of laughter.

"They said that they were meeting a farmer the following day, Michael Eavis who had staged a small music event, Worthy Farm Pop Festival some weeks before they wanted to rent a farm for a free festival the following year. They had all been so horrified by the steel fences and commercialism of the Isle of Wight Festival and wanted to do something very different."

Eavis was happy for the plan to take place and explained in his Independent piece why he was not actually involved in 1971. "When I had a disagreement with them they threw a load of Tarot cards on the kitchen table. The message read: 'No one with the name of Michael should be involved with the festival.' And I said: 'Hang on a minute, isn't this my farm?'" more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for the antiMusic.com.
Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

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