In A Field Of Their Own: The Bandstand

June 7, 2011

Our latest Q&A with one of the Festival’s area/stage organiers features Bandstand organiser Steve Henwood.

1. How would you describe your area of the Festival to someone who hasn’t visited it before?
We’re in the middle of the Markets area. It’s very busy and what we Festival old-timers used to call ‘Babylon’. But it’s kinda fun and there are always new people coming by who want to have a good time. Our function is to put stuff on the bandstand and around that’s going to make you forget what you thought you were going to do and hang out for a while instead.

2. Have you made any changes/additions for this year?
Wednesday. It’ll be different, but very groovy. If you’re onsite, come check us out.

3. Which of your acts are you most excited about in 2011?
I am in some trepidation about what one of my street theatre crews are plotting. Sounds scary. Will be memorable.

4. Do you have any good food recommendations in and around your area?
The Cider Bus. What do you mean it’s not food?

5. How/when did you first get involved with the Festival?
I worked on the Green Fields back in, umm, the mid ‘80s, then was on the Theatre fields for a while. The Bandstand used to be run by the legendary Don Pilliner, but I helped him with sorting bands – we worked together in Bath – and it was the obvious thing for me to take on the management when he left. That was about 10 years ago.

6. What’s the best thing about running an area at Glastonbury?
The crew. They’re fantastic. My bandstand crew, of course, are in first rank; but the whole markets and site and Festival crew are monster friendly and major ‘can-do’ people. It’s like an army of lurve that gets together once a year to do good vibes. No, I mean it!

7. And what’s the worst?
Not being able to fit in all the really good things people suggest to me. Or even all the entertainingly weird ones. Having to disappoint people who have had the love to suggest brilliant ideas for low or no money..

8. Is there anything outside your area at this year’s Festival that you’re particularly looking forward to?
The Spirit of ’71 stage.

9. What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen at Glastonbury?
Neil Young the other year. And The Kingdom of Mush on an illegal post-curfew stage in the middle of the night back in the ‘80s sometime.

10. Finally, what’s your top Glastonbury tip for people coming to the Festival for the first time?
Forget what you thought you were going to see. File the timetable in your bag to look at on the way home. Get lost. Check out small stages, roadside attractions, walkabouts, interactive stuff. Waaay better than standing 100 yards away from a stadium show and watching the screens.


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