Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It's a Glasto State of Mind

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It's a Glasto State of Mind

Article excerpt

IT'S that time of year again. Tens of thousands of people and dozens of the world's biggest music stars have descended on a small village in Somerset to throw one hell of a party.

The first time was 47 years ago when dairy farmer Michael Eavis charged people a £1 entry fee (including free milk), to see a line-up topped by T-Rex.

In that time, Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts - to give the event its full title - has seen its attendance boom from 1,500 to more than 150,000 and forge itself as one of the world's greatest festivals.

The real buzz arrives when the city of colourful tents rolls out in front of you, according to Glastonbury veteran Jo Whiley, who returns once again this year for the BBC's radio and TV coverage alongside Lauren Laverne, Huw Stephens, Clara Amfo and a host of others.

"It reminds me of when you're a kid in the car on a long journey," she says. "And your mum and dad say 'who's going to see the sea first' and when you get that first glimpse you get a physical reaction to it, it's a special feeling."

"It's a really special place," she continues, "especially at around seven or eight at night, when the sun is going down and the hazy colours are beautiful."

This year's event saw Radiohead return to the Pyramid Stage on the 20th anniversary of their memorable Glastonbury set. Thom Yorke and co are joined at the top of the bill by Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters.

Sheeran's coming off the back of a stellar six months in which he has dominated the UK charts following the release of his third album, Divide, and will be "brilliant", Jo claims.

"He's never been a man who's shy of a big crowd. Nothing is daunting for him. I've never seen him fazed by anything and this will be a huge moment in his career and he'll make every single second matter."

She expects the Foos to "pull out all the stops" after the band had to withdraw from the festival in 2015 as Dave Grohl broke his leg.

Glastonbury also caters for mid-noughties nostalgia fans. Busted, KT Tunstall and Scouting For Girls are all on show.

There is also a notable appearance from Liam Gallagher making his solo debut at the event.

Meanwhile, grime continues to enjoy its moment in the spotlight with collective Boy Better Know headlining the Other Stage. Stormzy is also back and the genre's godfather, Wiley, is returning four years after he lashed out at heavy rain at the festival in a barrage of tweets.

But Glastonbury's muddy reputation has never been a problem for the rapper's nearnamesake, as the Thom Ed BBC's Jo believes any bad weather just enhances the experience.

"The more rain, the more madness that comes with it and the more stories there are," she laughs.

"It's painful because your legs kill you if you've been sludging in mud for four days solid.

But it's always good fun and you always see those mud people who have been rolling around in it caked in the stuff, from the top of their heads to the tip of the toes. …

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