Glastonbury

Wednesday, 1st July 2009 by

This year’s Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts drew 177,000 party people to deepest Somerset, reaffirming Glastonbury’s position as the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.

Some went for the music. Some went for the mud. A few might even have gone for Bruce Springsteen – but no doubt a good (if slightly damp) time was had by all.

farm

Despite its name, the festival is not actually held in Glastonbury, but at Worthy Farm in the village of Pilton, some six miles to the east.1 Google’s aerial photos clearly weren’t taken at the end of June, as they reveal a remarkably unsullied rural scene – the site is still a working dairy farm. The famous Pyramid Stage is missing, but the foundations (and surrounding dried mud) can clearly be seen, as can the electricity pylons that cross the site.

pyramid pylon

Of the second stage (known, with a great deal of imagination, as the Other Stage), there is no sign at all – it is situated here, in a peaceful-looking field. (If you squint a bit, perhaps you can just make out a vague dark semicircular area.)

otherstage

Near the southern edge of the site, you can see the stone circle, a favourite hippy hangout that was built for the festival by a druid, no less.

stonecircle

“Glasto” will be 40 years old next year, but it remains a brief annual blip of madness in the Worthy Farm routine. Once the music is over, the stages dismantled, the last hungover revellers departed and the vast quantities of rubbish cleaned up, Pilton’s cows can once again live in peace – until next time. :)

cows

It’s interesting to compare this map of this year’s festival site to the aerial photos, so you can see what happened where.

Thanks to Barry.


  1. The distinctive tower-topped hill of Glastonbury Tor, said to be the Avalon of Arthurian legend, can be seen on the skyline from the festival site.