Glastonbury the movie: the next best thing to being there

A call for old festival footage led to hundreds of hours of performances turning up and being edited into an evocative account of everyone's favourite mudfest. By Ian Burrell

They don't call Dave Henderson the "Monster of Rock" for nothing. As head of Emap's string of music mags Q, Kerrang! and Mojo, he has built an association with the Glastonbury festival that has spawned a whole media empire.

Not only does Q produce the daily newspaper at Glasto but, with the festival not taking place this year, its readers have helped to provide much of the footage for a feature film that will serve as virtual alternative.

Together with the readers of Mojo, in which notices were also placed asking for amateur film from Glastonbury, the Q readers have supplied hundreds of hours of material for director Julien Temple to work with.

The film will be released this month but has already triggered a host of spin-off projects, in the shape of soon-to-be-released Glastonbury CDs and DVDs, dedicated to the performances of specific bands at the world's most famous festival.

The first in a series on a new Glastonbury label ("It will be like the Peel Sessions," says Henderson) will showcase Pulp and their appearances at the 1994, 1995 and 1998 festivals. More CD/DVDs are planned with Orbital, Stereophonics and Paul Weller. A 30-minute EP of the The Cure is also lined up, in spite of singer Robert Smith having been previously convinced that the 1986 performance was "never filmed", until it was discovered in a BBC archive.

The relationship between Emap and Glastonbury goes back nine years to when the company attempted to profile its brands at the festival. The wily festival organiser Michael Eavis might be a farmer but he's so media savvy, you'd think he'd been lunching in Charlotte Street all his life. Using the argument "What can you give back to the punters?", Eavis, who will be 70 this year, used his powers of persuasion to get Emap to produce a 50,000-circulation free newspaper for every day of the festival, working out of two Portakabins and distributing across the fields.

Henderson and his team rose to the challenge, even sending up a helicopter to photograph the tented city that Eavis's Worthy Farm usually becomes for a few days at the end of June. Eavis was so impressed with the results that he "rewarded" the journalists by placing straw on top of the mud around the Portakabin. "By the end of the festival we all looked like Catweazle," says Henderson.

Q has made the Glastonbury newspaper ever since. From this relationship, Eavis and Henderson, along with director Temple (a West Country local) and the film-maker Robert Richards, put together the idea of a Glastonbury film two and a half years ago. "They asked if Emap would like to help because we knew lots of bands who might have some film in their cupboards," says Henderson. "We also agreed to put something in Q and Mojo asking for people to come forward if they had any Super 8 footage."

The 600 hours of film that the process brought forth contained scenes of excess and eccentricity. "A lot of people don't go to Glastonbury for the bands but to see things they've never seen before," says Henderson.

Temple was staggered by the response. "I had so many options, millions of ways to go. For a while I did go down under it and was quite depressed." The director says his challenge was to "fit this dead VHS stuff which had been left in someone's garage and put it together with other stuff that will make it come alive".

That was not easy. "A lot of it was rubbish, to be honest," he says. But snippets contained moments of spontaneity that would have been hard to capture with a film crew. "Putting a microphone in a tent would kill everything off immediately."

By editing the amateur film together with BBC footage, Temple has created a fantasy festival. "There are many ways you could make a film about Glastonbury but I wanted to do it from the crowd and make the audience feel they're among them."

The film contains coverage of 40 of the most memorable performances seen at Worthy Farm. Featured acts range from Radiohead and Faithless to David Bowie, Björk and The Velvet Underground.

With Eavis taking a year out from Glastonbury, Henderson thinks the film will plug a gap. "When we sold tickets for the festival last year it sold out in less than an hour." And at least you can watch this Glastonbury in the dry.

'Glastonbury' is released on 14 April

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Sport
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Sport
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Arts and Entertainment
A top literary agent has compared online giant Amazon to Isis
arts + entsAndrew Wylie has pulled no punches in criticism of Amazon
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £100,000: SThree: If you would like to work fo...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission £100k +: SThree: Trainee Recru...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities