A major part of Glastonbury are The Green Fields, which incorporate The Healing Field…
The Green Fields
There is a definite divide at this festival: The Babylonians and The Hippies. The Hippies inhabit The Green Fields. The Babylonians have the rest of the festival.
The Hippies feel they are being pushed out even though they founded the festival. But they seem not to, on the whole, mind the Babylonians: more people to convert, to convince to look after the planet.
Some Babylonians like an insight into Hippy culture – it can be quite entertaining. But many look down on Hippies as Weirdos. Many seem not even to be aware they exist.
As I wander through the Healing Field I hear people singing African songs. The sound of a gong blends with their voices. You can have osteopathy in a tipi or join in a Buddhist meditation session. If this doesn’t appeal there are a plethora of other therapies available, many of which I’ve never even heard. If the future fills you with trepidation go down Soothsayers Avenue to have your fortune told. Whilst you’re thinking about what to do, you can sit in the beautiful garden, watching the world go by. In my brief stop there a man pushes a wheelbarrow full of carrots past me and a woman sells me some raw fruitcake. This is the field where I offer massage therapy, away from my massage therapy practice in York.
Green Crafts are as they sound – talented individuals running workshops on making ecoproducts. If you feel adventurous you could forge iron and bronze, or carve stone, or join in the construction of a full-sized timber building.
As I go past Speakers Forum I notice there are some well known people appearing on this stage, including Michael Eavis, Jonathon Cainer and Tony Benn. Lesser known speakers include Rakesh Aggarwal (I think he’s talking about increasing happiness).
I end up in some mysterious woods. Exploration of them uncovers a one room house built for £300 and an amazingly cheap and atmospheric café (complete with badger shaped wood burning oven) hidden in their depths. This is the Permaculture Area – complete with large, smelly compost heap, of course.
Be warned – Glastonbury can get cold. Especially if you visit the North Pole. This is the Greenpeace encampment, complete with The Arctic Experience and artificial snow blowing across a field, with an extremely realistic animated Polar Bear roaming around it.
As night falls, I go from venue to venue. The walk between them is punctuated by a security guard who is playing a trumpet. Someone is pulling a sound system and lighting rig up and down the crowded lanes and causing traffic jams as people follow him, stopping when he stops. A piano is left out for anyone to play. Somebody does. A crowd gathers around, singing along and going crazy with applause as she finishes. Another crowd gathers around a mime artist, who uses drama and comedy to move the laughing audience with his genius. At a marquee a young man proposes to his girlfriend on stage. She accepts. The crowd goes wild.