In every sense of the word, Glastonbury is expansive. Whether you're talking about the almost inconceivable size of the place, the event's 40 year history or the range of different music on offer, the upshot is always the same: Glastonbury simply has more than anywhere else. It's the only place in the world that you can wake up; drink hot cider with hippies; see Stevie Wonder; then dance the night away with bearded cross dressers in a fake New York Hotel. There may have been a conspicuous lack of mud this year, but the festival's unique vibe remained unchanged.
Although the focus often hones in on the performances on the main stage, anyone who's ever been will tell you that Glastonbury is as much about the unexpected experiences the festival's quieter corners continually provide. It may be a cliche but it's true; there's simply too much in Glastonbury for any one person to ever see it all. With this in mind, RA assembled a crack team of photographers and let them loose in Pilton Farm for four days.
Jamie JonesYou can't compare Glastonbury to something like Ibiza: It's a very English thing. The location makes it; it's a beautiful place and you're surrounded by green. The British are known for complaining about the weather, and I'm not complaining, but it was really hot! The highlight for me was probably Snoop Dogg. For some crazy reason I passed out and missed the first half of it. I woke up, could hear it going on and was like "Agghh!" I ran out to The Pyramid Stage and just had it on my own for the second half. There's everything you could possibly want here... Whether it's jazz, Matthew Herbert, The XX, La Roux; really good DJs playing, quirkiness like Vanilla Ice and Stevie Wonder headlining. It's all just good music! You'd be hard pushed to find a moment in the day where there's not something interesting, even if you don't know what it is. As much as I think about leaving Britain some days, when the sun's shining and there's such a great energy Glastonbury reminds me why I'm here.
Riva StarrThe vibe was even happier than usual. Because it was sunny all day I think people were less tired by the evening. I'd never been to a Glastonbury without heavy rain. People rolling in the mud with bottles of Jack Daniel's is what I'm used to seeing! There's not a heavy atmosphere at Glastonbury; it's very wide open and it's very spread out. I would like to bring my family here. I have a kid now and I would definitely like to do that in a couple of years. My set was crazily good; the first time I played Glastonbury I opened the Dance West stage, and there was no one there. This year the band before me was just playing ska and rocksteady. It was pretty good, but the crowd was completely different; around 40 or 45 years of age. After the band stopped younger people started coming in. From then on I played a five minute intro and then it was an hour and 15 minutes of bangers. The crowd response was very, very good! I finished my set with "I Was Drunk" and people were really singing along.
SkreamThis was my third or fourth Glastonbury and the weather was amazing; it was roasting! It's the same good vibes as usual; I ain't seen no trouble, ain't seen no dickheads! I ended up stepping in and doing the Radio 1 Essential Mix. Rusko weren't there and the guy who runs Radio 1 came up to me and asked me if I could do it. Next thing I'm live on radio. I played a bit of everything bit of house, a bit of techno, a bit of garage, a bit of dubstep. At one point I told the whole front row to open their mouth and ran back and forth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. They had to get lively as I was playing after drum & bass. I was really looking forward to seeing Stevie Wonder although I only got to see half of his set because I was at 11. I was meant to go and see Jamie T but I missed him. The thing is there's too much stuff, it's impossible to fit in! You've just got to hope you end up there. The highlight was Gorillaz, they were wicked. I'm so glad Gorillaz replaced U2. Bono's like a fake Bob Geldof. Damon Albarn's a don!
Will SaulI grew up 10 minutes away from Glastonbury. When I was in my early teens and even late teens there was very little dance stuff. It wasn't an appealing place to go when I was into hip-hop, funk and soul, so for me Snoop Dogg was the real highlight. I grew up listening to a lot of hip-hop, and that was the main reason I didn't go to Glastonbury in my teenage years. There wasn't a lot of hip-hop in deepest darkest Somerset either so I never got to see any hip-hop acts in my youth [really]. It was amazing to see him in that context. I think Glastonbury now is much more representative of a wider audience, it's such an all-encompassing festival. I played this year at Cubehenge, but I went on 7:00 so the cubes weren't turned on. It doesn't get going until it gets dark, but I enjoyed it for sure. My Mum and Dad were down the front. My Mum and Dad have always been very supportive, and even came to one of my first gigs at Turnmills. It felt weird, [though]. Everyone was like, "Dude, your Mum and Dad are here!"
Subb-anOne of the best shows I saw was in the NYC Downlow area. There were loads of guys dressed up in heels. Grabbing each other's genitals; getting really involved with each other and really working off the crowd. Just generally being pretty offside in a very entertaining manner! For some people maybe it might not have been their thing, but Glastonbury's such an open-minded place. They were playing some very flamboyant '70s disco music. I had bought a silly but distinctive Egyptian gold head piece that had all these beads down my face a few hours before. I left and told Matt Tolfrey and Geddes about it: They were intrigued. When we went back, they weren't letting anyone else in. We started chatting to the door guy and he was having none of it. Most time you can speak to the right person, but we didn't think we could blag this one. Then the big, massive doorman in charge said he remembered me because of the head piece and I managed to get Matt and everyone in with me. It was good!
ChromeoLast time we played Glastonbury (and it was such a small stage we called it off-off-off Glastonbury, in fact it was probably in Glastonborough), it took us two hours to haul our gear back to the van, in the rain, in the mud, using medieval schlepping techniques such as the wheelbarrow. I think I kissed the van when we finally got to it. The girls covered in mud. I think there's a fetish in the British collective sub-conscious about it. And that's what makes Glasto so popular. Even I was getting turned on by the end of the rainy one. This year, there was no problem. We smiled, we were hot, we walked around, we ate and drank. I thought I was in California. Then I heard the dubstep go "wa-wa-wa-wa-waooooooonw" after us and I regained my bearings. We were a bit worried at first because the tent wasn't full, but by the time we started, it was popping. When people sing the Chromeo chant between songs, it's a good show. They sang. It was the first time we played "Night by Night" in the UK and everyone knew it already.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
a) 40 years of Glastonbury
b) Clothing: optional
c) The (remarkably unmuddy) field
d) The (remarkably unbeardy) Beardyman
e) Music under the big top
f) The many flags of Glastonbury
g) Red light
h) Green light
Friday, 25 June 2010
a) Beers in the air
b) Jamie Jones: Don't you remember the purple smoke?
c) Fists in the air
d) Tha Doggfather
e) Rowdy geezers
f) Chromeo day by day
g) Mexico representing
h) Lights, camera...
i) ...Simian Mobile Disco
j) The lone Aeroplane
Saturday, 26 June 2010
a) Wonka and friends
b) Waving a flag for anything and everything
c) Riva Starr making lemonade
d) King of the World
e) One of the many hands-in-the-air moments
f) Kelis bringing the boys to the yard
g) Dubfire about to have a hands-in-the-air moment
h) High Contrast in the mix
i) The Dance East Tent going off
Sunday, 27 June 2010
a) Cubehenge by day
b) Jaguar Skills keeps it under wraps
c) Gnome fisherman in repose
d) Socialized medicine at its finest
e) Four Tet wowing the crowd
f) One of Glastonbury's few somber moments: England v Germany
g) Norman Jay bringing the good times
h) Tayo: A man of styles and trends
i) Breaks galore with Stanton Warriors