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UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Velvet Underground, Tinariwen, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Terry Riley, The Bravery, Morrissey, Faithless, Melanie, Prodigy, Toots and the Maytals, Primal Scream, Richie Havens, Alabama 3, Billy Bragg, Ernest Ranglin, Black Uhuru, Cypress Hill, The Skatalites, The Scissor Sisters, Radiohead, Babyshambles, The Levellers, David Gray, Bjork, Stereo MC, Coldplay, Chemical Brothers, Dr.John, Blur
Director: Julien Temple
USA & UK: 138 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains very strong language and drug use
USA Release Date: 23 February 2007 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 14 April 2006
In 1970, a young farmer named Michael Eavis opened his 150-acre farm to 1,500 people who paid one pound each to watch a handful of pop and folk stars perform all weekend long, and the Glastonbury Festival was born. The following year, several rich hippies, including Winston Churchill's granddaughter, provided funds to enlarge the event, and 12,500 people turned up to see David Bowie and Joan Baez. For most of the past 30 years, the Worthy Farm in Glastonbury has provided a delirious outdoor concert for thousands of people over the summer-solstice weekend at the end of June. Julien Temple, (director of the Sex Pistols documentary THE FILTH AND THE FURY), has spent the past few years collecting footage from every single Glastonbury Festival, ranging from professional outtakes from the film Nicolas Roeg made about the 1971 event to amateur home videos collected from the attendees themselves, often retrieved from forgotten corners of closets and attics. Interweaving images of impromptu art happenings, sceptical locals, and stirring performances by music legends, not to mention the unbridled energy of each successive generation of youthful music fans, Glastonbury skilfully chronicles the evolution of the longest-running music festival in the world.
Musical artists featured - Velvet Underground 'All Tomorrow's Parties' (1993) Tinariwen 'Qualahila ar Tesninam' (2004), Quintessence Jam session only, hence no title (1970), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 'Red Right Hand' (1997), Terry Riley 'Dean' (1970), The Bravery 'Fearless' (2005), Morrissey 'First of the Gang To Die' (2004), Faithless 'We Come One' (2002), Melanie 'Please Buy One' (1971), Prodigy, 'Firestarter' (1997), Toots and the Maytals 'Pressure Drop' (2004), Primal Scream, 'Swastika Eyes' (2003), Richie Havens, 'Freedom' (1982), Alabama 3 'Mao Tse Tung Says' (2002 and 1998), Billy Bragg, 'Waiting for the Great leap Forward' (2002), Ernest Ranglin 'D'Accord Dakar' (1999), Black Uhuru 'Sponjie Reggae' (1982), Cypress Hill 'Rock Superstar' (2000), The Skatalites 'Phoenix City' (2003), The Scissor Sisters 'Laura' (2004), Radiohead 'Fake Plastic Trees' Babyshambles 'Kilimangiro' (2005), The Levellers 'The Riverflow' (1992), David Gray 'Babylon' (2000), Bjork 'Human Behaviour' (1994), Stereo MCs 'Connected' (1993), Coldplay 'Politik' (2005), Chemical Brothers 'Hey Boy Hey Girl' (2000 and 2002), Dr.John 'Right Place Wrong Time' (1998), Blur 'Day Upon Day' (1992), Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros 'Straight To Hell' (1999), English National Opera 'Die Valkyrie' (part of) 2004, Ray Davies 'Waterloo Sunset' (1998), Pulp 'Common People' (1995), David Bowie 'Heroes'.
Background To The Festival
Glastonbury Festival is the largest Greenfield, music and performing arts festival in the world. Experiencing the festival is like going to another country. It involves travel, and probably a queue to get in. On arrival one enters a huge tented city, a mini-state under canvas. The Law still applies, but the rules of society are a bit different. Everyone is there to have a wild time in their own way. The site has distinct socio-geographic regions. The more commercial aspects are around the 'Pyramid', 'Other' and 'Dance' stages - imagine if the West End of London on a Saturday night has been removed to a field and one is on every guest list, including the night time cinemas. There are more relaxed areas like the 'Jazzworld' and 'Acoustic' areas, and the family oriented areas such as the 'Kidz Field', the 'Theatre' and 'Circus' fields, and an increasingly alternative aspect - the 'Field of Avalon', the 'Tipi Field', and the 'Green Fields' at the end of which is the hedonistic madness that is 'Lost Vagueness'. At the top of the site is the Sacred Space - its stone circle being a modern construction, and yet perhaps it has already seen as much celebration and ceremony as some of its foregoers.
The site is in a beautiful location - 900 acres in the Vale of Avalon, an area steeped in symbolism, mythology and religious traditions dating back many hundreds of years. It's where King Arthur is rumoured to be buried, where Joseph of Arimathea walked, where leylines converge. The site is ENORMOUS - more than a mile and a half across, with a perimeter of about eight and a half miles.
There is only one common characteristic of a Glastonbury-goer - they understand that Glastonbury offers more opportunity than any other event to have the best weekend of the year or even of a life-time, and they are determined to have it! All kinds of people, of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities, lifestyles, faiths, concepts of fashion (or lack of it), musical taste attend.