This year was DLTM’s second time at Glastonbury, after making our debut last summer. It’s what we would call a true music festival – not only because it’s one of the original large-scale music events, but also because of the values it holds on to, the ethos, the principles and the entire communal, socially reponsible attitude that permeates throughout the event. What seems to be lost on a lot of so-called festivals these days is that sincerity, replaced instead by a consumer-focused, money-making outlook. But enough of that, we’re here to praise the ‘mother of all festivals’, not criticise the imitators.
“Oooo, that mud!”, was the response from most people we spoke to after the event. If there’s one thing you can almost guarantee at Glastonbury, it’s that you’ll need to bring your wellies. This year was a particularly muddy one, but nevertheless, everyone just got on with it. Likewise, our adventure involved accompanying our partner’s mother around the festival site. Side by side, both were tough at times, but you’ve made a commitment to be there and enjoy yourself, so very little will get in the way of that – which not only allowed DLTM and our family to have a blast, but clearly many other visitors to the festival also refused to let any obstacles get in the way of having a good time; mothers and fathers with push chairs, disabled people, elderly people – so many of those who we may consider to be ‘disadvantaged’, simply knuckled down without complaining and immersed themselves in the Glastonbury experience.
This was the catalyst behind a strong feeling of unity and a comfortable, sociable atmosphere, where striking up a conversation with a stranger would happen regularly without a hint of awkwardness. In this kind of atmosphere people really relax and become themselves, free of the social constraints many of us are affected by out there in the ‘real world’. With that feeling at the core of our experience, jubilation and celebration were the order of the day no matter how many downpours and muddy bogs we encountered.
Mix that with a selection of some of the world’s most talented and popular musicians, on stages that really give them room to express themselves to the fullest and you’ve got one hell of a festival. A slew of critics lamented the lineup at Glastonbury this year, which is crazy when you read through the list of names; Grimes, Shy FX, David Rodigan, Carl Cox, Adele, Coldplay, Muse, Hot Chip, Gregory Porter, LCD Soundsystem, Earth, Wind & Fire, Art Garfunkel… the list was almost endless. How anyone can turn their nose up at that is beyond us.
And that is that, really. A simple list of ingredients make Glastonbury the legendary festival it is, and have kept it at the top of ‘Best Festival’ lists for decades. It deserves to remain the jewel in the UK’s festival crown and stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Burning Man for its transformative, community-building capabilities.