Glastonbury Festival 2016
Working with Greenpeace, WaterAid and Oxfam at Glastonbury 2016
Michael Eavis lamented Glastonbury 2016 as the muddiest in its 46 –year history, but we still braved the rain and the mud to join charities Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid in a special collaboration with our eco friendly cardboard furniture.
The cardboard event space was inside the joint charities luxury yurt in the VIP hospitality area. The yurt was split into three sections of Play, Chat and Chill – with our cardboard furniture making up the Play area. Every year the joint charities work together to plan how they can promote a common goal for a cleaner, greener, fairer Glastonbury Festival and the world. The joint charities yurt featured a stunning plant chandelier installation, virtual reality, large beanbags and our eco friendly cardboard furniture, as well as spreading their important global messages.
The PLAY area in hospitality wasn’t the only presence we had at Glastonbury Festival 2016, the joint charities set up a Meeting Point in the main festival site where you can dress up and sing on a mini Pyramid Stage. Before visitors took to the stage on the mini Pyramid, they could create their own GIF moment from our eco-friendly cardboard photo booth personalised by the joint charities, Oxfam, WaterAid and Greenpeace.
I guess now you want to know how the rest of our Glastonbury experience unfolded and it’s probably appropriate to start with quote from Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis who summed up the mood of the festival perfectly early Sunday morning, “I drove round the whole site last night. It took right up until 4.30am and the sun was up and there was just thousands of happy people with smiles on their faces despite the adverse conditions. It is extraordinary. I do not know how they do it, but they love it so much”. Not even Brexit or the worst ever mud on record could dampen the spirits of all the hedonistic festival goers – including the Eco Event team…
From a spectacular fireworks display on the sacred Stone Circle to watching friends DJ (including a friend’s dad) in the dreamlike worlds of Shangri-La and The Common to escaping reality by day in the Green Fields, where the festival spirit truly comes alive, you get a sense of why Glastonbury appeals to so many. It’s only once darkness falls and you stumble through parallel universes in the deep realms of the South East Corner of the festival where the other after hour haunts come to life and bring out the surrealism of an enormous pop up town like place. It was only Thursday…
Thanks to a referendum result that most fun loving liberals at Glastonbury Festival were not expecting, Friday morning began in unsurprising sombre mood at Worthy Farm. Blur and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn and the Syrian National Orchestra brought some joy to the Pyramid stage for all the early risers and showed us what amazing things we can do when we come together. As the sun peaked through the clouds, soul musical collective Jungle went behind the decks to funk up the mood in the Park area before legendary Texan rockers ZZ Top and Oxford indie rock stalwarts Foals played two high-octane sets to send the crowd into rock delirium.
As the sun settled over the farm, the music was still in full flow. Underworld’s nostalgic set got everyone shuffling on the West Holts Stage and The Feeling pulled in a crowd for a good ol’ indie knees up and sing along at the Avalon Stage. When the clock struck midnight it was the turn of one of many tributes to legends that have passed away this year. Hot Chip remembered Prince in the mind-altering Block 9 area with an hour long set celebrating the legend’s back catalogue from a huge music wall made out of 50 tonnes of concrete and steel. Just when you think the night is drawing to close, it dawns on you that Glastonbury is unlike any other place in the world and the chances of finding a party that lifts your spirit is always a possibility…and it just so happened we stumbled across it! Shy FX with the help of new reggae singing sensation Protoje played a set full of infectious raga-jungle anthems to get every bouncing all the way through to the morning – not before a quick visit to the Green Fields for a cup a Chai. Friday complete.
The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist art collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating.
If you are not exhausted yet from just reading this, imagine living in it in the mud?! Where as Friday you could blame the referendum result on a slight grouchy mood there was no hiding from the hangover that ensued on Saturday morning. Thankfully the hospitality area was a welcome escape from the far reaches of reality in the festival site and our cardboard furniture was being much admired for its durability against Glastonbury’s adverse weather conditions.
Aussie psychedelic rockers Jagwar Ma kicked off the music proceedings on Saturday, which led nicely into one of Scotland’s finest, Travis, playing an intimate set in the solar powered Croissant Neuf – the special guest set for Croissant Neuf’s 30th Birthday featured all the hits, ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’, ‘Driftwood’ and ‘Turn’ amongst many others left a smiley happy crowd eating out the palm of their hands and singing together harmoniously. Harmonious singing continued at the Acoustic stage for Art Garfunkel, who squashed any rumours about his relationship with Paul Simon and proved a bridge has been built over Simon and Garfunkel’s troubled water – a ‘Glastonbury Moment’.
Following a visit to the huge spectacle that is Arcadia, a large giant spider sculpture, with its vivid fire flashes of mayhem, we witnessed an emotional tribute to David Bowie with Philip Glass’s Heroes symphony conducted by Charles Hazelwood and members of the British Paraorchestra, accompanied by a stunning light show. Mark Ronson and Tame Impala, The Sweet Life Society and The Church in Hell Sunday Service brought the night to close in Shangri-la la la la – most of which was a bit fuzzy.
Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away…
We woke up on Sunday morning slightly disheveled and disoriented and wishing we remembered Glastonbury is marathon not a sprint. We had no option but to pull ourselves together, slide back into our wellies and jump head first back into the festival. It seemed cardboard fever had struck the festival when a giant Glastonbury Tor was built in the Avalon area out of old cardboard boxes – clearly inspiration from our unique range of cardboard furniture…
On the music front it’s impossible to list everything that happened on Sunday but in between the astrology talks, shopping and surreal conversations with a jazz band, Kamasi Washington marveled the crowds with his tenor sax and Nathaniel Rateliff, Fisherman’s Friends and The Bootleg Beatles provided singing in the rain moments with a healthy dose of soul, folk and rock n roll. All which led to one defining moment for the weekend, witnessing one of the biggest bands in the world, Coldplay, close the festival in the most stunning and spectacular fashion. Stadium like anthems, multi coloured LED lights, special guests including a Beegee and Michael Eavis singing My Way – Euphoria is probably an understatement.
At that point we should have parted ways with friends and prepared for a good night sleep ahead of the long journey home…but not us. Holding onto the festival for dear life at this point, we said goodbye to Arcadia, Shangri-la la la and watched the sun partially peep through the clouds and rain on the Stone Circle with every other festival reveler that just couldn’t let go. Glorious Glastonbury.