Glastonbury film fills the gap while festival takes a break

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It will be just like the festival but without the mud. Many of the big names to have graced the Pyramid stage and the bars over the past three-and-a-half decades will converge on London tomorrow for the premiere of Glastonbury, the movie.

Julien Temple, whose previous films include The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and Absolute Beginners, has woven together miles of footage, professional and amateur, to create a record of the festival by which all other outdoor music events are judged. Glastonbury veterans, from Björk to the Gallagher brothers, members of Coldplay, Radiohead, Faithless and the Chemical Brothers, are expected to turn out to relive their moments in the West Country sun - and rain.

Rolf Harris, whose unlikely appearance in 1993 was such a hit that he has returned three times, is on a guestlist that also features many of the DJs to have covered the festival, including Jo Whiley, Lauren Laverne and Edith Bowman. Kate Moss, the model who graced the mud in 2005 with her then amour Pete Doherty, is rumoured to be bringing the Babyshambles singer to the Leicester Square celebration.

All are captured on the film alongside such luminaries as The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Morrissey and David Bowie.

The English National Opera's stunning performance of Wagner's Die Walküre two years ago makes the final cut - although some vintage Glastonbury moments, such as Johnny Cash in 1994, do not. Nonetheless, the movie is the nearest thing to a Glastonbury festival this year as founder and organiser Michael Eavis, who holds the event on his family farm, is giving his fields a rest. "I think he's done a brilliant job," Mr Eavis said of Temple's film. "It's very bold, very brave and will raise some eyebrows."

The project began in 2002 when the future of the festival was in question and Mr Eavis decided he wanted a record in case it turned out to be the final year. Robert Richards, a long-time festival worker, took on the role of producer and enlisted Temple, who lives nearby in Somerset to help. In the event, the festival survived and Temple returned in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also re-cut clips from the film Nicolas Roeg made of the event in 1971 and invited attendees to submit their own amateur footage.

More than 900 hours were sifted to produce the final film which, said Temple, had been made from the point of view of the audience. "Hopefully you get the sense of surviving this event rather than being guided through by some narrator," he said.

Details of how to apply for tickets for the Glastonbury Comes to Town Tour, sponsored by Orange and Sony Ericsson, are on the www.glastotour.com website. The film goes on general release on Friday.

Mr Eavis, a dairy farmer, held the first festival on his farm in the village of Pilton, Somerset, in September 1970. It became a regular event only a decade later but there have been occasional gap years, either to rest the fields or because of battles over the licence for the event which was marred by violence in the early 1990s. The festival now raises considerable sums for charity.

Comments