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At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ism

The weeklong Glastonbury festival, UK's biggest music and performing arts carnival in Somerset UK drummed off on June 21 marking the summer solstice and World Music Day

Published: Jun 23, 2023 02:46:38 PM IST
Updated: Jun 23, 2023 04:36:16 PM IST

Music, mud and an embrace of diversity have marked the Glastonbury festival through the decades. Its open-air intimacy draws thousands - and their backpacks, airbeds and often, torrential rains - to the open gates at Worthy farm in Somerset for a weeklong descent into spirited mayhem. Over 210,000 attendees will be on site this year for the humongous event in Pilton, Somerset, which will see over 3,000 performers play across an incredible 62 stages. Its free, carnivalesque atmosphere embraces eclectic activism and a counterculture vibe, as seen in these photos

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Revellers throng to IICON, the immersive audio-visual arena. The sculptural head artwork, animated by state-of-the-art video mapping, delivers a vision of future music from the cutting edge of today’s underground. Glastonbury Festival site, Somerset, Britain, June 22, 2023.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Kate Green/Getty Images
Sportsbanger returned to open Shangri-La for the second year running, with their 10th birthday mega rave at Shangri-La on Day 2 of Glastonbury Festival 2023.

Also read: The Grammys set limits on the use of AI in music

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Jars of "Genuine Glastonbury air" are seen in the ‘anti-consumerist’ Shangri-Mart store, the world’s first supermarket for art, during Day 2 of Glastonbury Festival 2023.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Leon Neal/Getty Images
An aerial view of the 2023 Glastonbury Festival site in Somerset, England.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
A dairy farmer and co-founder of Glastonbury Fest, Michael Eavis, hosts the festival at his Worthy Farm in Somerset on June 27, 2015.

Also read: Three-quarters of musicians struggle to make a living from their art

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Robert Blomfield /Getty Images
At the first Glastonbury Festival in September 1970, a young hippy couple prepares food on a campfire by their tent.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/ Getty
Car Henge, Glastonbury’s own ‘Stonehenge’ is a monumental new installation by the founder of the Mutoid Waste Company and revolutionary underground artist Joe Rush at the Glastonbury Fest 2023. Made of 24 iconic vintage cars to emulate the ancient stone structure, Carhenge is a tribute to the pillars of counterculture and the free festival movement, the heroines and heroes from the margins of society.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Olivia Harris / Reuters
Festival goers inhale ‘laughing gas’ at sunrise at the stone circle at Glastonbury music fest 2013. Nicknamed laughing gas, inhaling nitrous oxide caused feelings of euphoria, calmness and fits of giggles and laughter.

Also read: How Jimmy Buffet spun rock anthems into a $1 billion financial and lifestyle empire

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Two festival revellers roll in the mud after taking part in a tomato fight at the Glastonbury Festival 2016. With the current forecast of periods of thundery showers, festivalgoers can look forward to sticky goop caused by trampling feet on the wet mud.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Jon Super /Redferns / Getty
A file photo of flooded tents after a month's worth of water fell over the festival site in just a few hours in 2005 at the Glastonbury Fest site.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Henry Nicholls / Reuters
Jack Watney and Sarah Adney celebrate after getting married during Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in 2019.

Also read: Can music festivals actually go green?

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Henry Nicholls / Reuters
American singer Miley Cyrus performs with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, on the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury Festival in 2019. Miley brought out her dad and Lil Nas X for a cover of ‘Old Town Road’ – a definite Glastonbury moment.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Two festival-goers pass a roll of toilet paper between toilet cubicles during the 2004 Glastonbury Fest. This year, the fest has over 1,300 compost toilets across the site.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
The legendary Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed on stage as Page & Plant at Glastonbury Fest on 25th June 1995. Formerly of the English hard rock band Led Zeppelin, the pair recorded and toured in the mid-1990s under the title Page and Plant, recorded a highly successful first album and embarked on a world tour.

Also read: 'Hallyu' goes global: South Korean pop culture booms in Europe

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty
Kendrick Lamar performs on the Pyramid stage during day five of Glastonbury Fest, 2022. Clad in a white shirt and a bejewelled crown of thorns, the Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper delivered his astonishing flows, making a case for women’s rights.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
Patti Smith kisses the Dalai Lama as she performs on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Fest, 2015. Honouring him ahead of his 80th birthday, Smith invited the Tibetan leader onstage and read a special birthday poem before leading the audience in singing happy birthday to the exiled leader.

At the Glastonbury festival, music and its diverse spirit still shines through all the woke-ismImage: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
Katy Perry performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Fest 2017. Katy was a must-see mainstream act, in that spangly outfit and an adorable vulnerability while she worked the crowd, performing her hits.