Every year on the last weekend of June (around the summer solstice), more than a hundred thousand people flock to the legendary Glastonbury Festival in the small village of Pilton, England (about six miles from the town of Glastonbury). For three days, lucky concert-goers partake in music, dance, weird sculptures, and Woodstock-esque hijinks. And the music is always some of the best contemporary bands you could hope for—past headliners have included Radiohead, the White Stripes, and David Bowie, among other huge names.
I've never been to Glastonbury, but I've always wanted to. This year's festival, which starts today and goes till Sunday, has upwards of 400 performances, with a lineup touting such big names as Kings of Leon, the Verve, and hip-hop icon Jay-Z, as well as college radio favorites like Hot Chip, Elbow, and MGMT. If this year's festival is anything like last year's, it will be muddy. In fact, Glastonbury has been muddy a lot over the years. (This sounds fun, and it probably is at first, but by the end of the weekend I'm guessing being covered in mud loses its luster.)
Another interesting element of the whole thing is the location. The area has all kinds of mystical associations. The Glastonbury Tor, which overlooks the concert grounds, lies at the convergence of several ley lines (that's "new age"-speak for geographical alignments of mystical monuments and megaliths).
Take all that spiritual energy, combine it with great music, then add all the camaraderie that comes with spending a weekend on a picturesque farm with 150,000 strangers—it sounds like a mix for good times. And thanks to modern technology and Facebook, we can watch the '08 festival ourselves.
Next year in Glastonbury?