RITES OF PASSAGE ?
I`ve never really `got` Glastonbury and the fact that I`ve never been or even felt the urge to do so probably disqualifies me from making any sort of comment about it. But, anyway, here goes. It can`t be just a generational thing as these `festivals` have been around since, when, the early sixties? I have vague recollections of hearing about Woodstock in those far off days but even then it was peripheral to my other interests.
I suppose I`ve never understood the attraction of spending a small fortune, hanging around for days in conditions reminiscent of a refugee camp to hear a bunch of `performers` hell bent on making as much noise as possible and, this year, headed by a geriatric outfit who seem prime candidates for the attentions of Age Concern. Sorry, not for me. Never has been.
So what`s it all about? I can only hazard a guess that it taps in to some primeval urge to `belong,` to gather together in order to have the badge of honour that says, `I was there` as if it was something to cherish, to be proud of having done, to have got the tee shirt, been there, done that. It strikes me as a kind of rite of passage, in which case I wondered if I might have missed out on something fundamentally important in my life.
And then I recall the rite of passage that was presented to me when I was invited by Her Majesty to give service to the nation for two years of my life, to experience conditions reminiscent of a refugee camp, to be shouted at, ordered about and suffer the effects of simply being one in a crowd who were also going through the same experience. I guess, looking back, National Service was a kind of rite of passage for me, going in as a callow youth and coming out a lethal killing machine. Now, those who go to Glastonbury do so voluntarily. Mine was forced upon me, which probably accounts for my inability to see anything at all attractive in the badge of honour that Glastonbury and its ilk have become. And the music`s crap anyway.