Our latest Q&A with the Festival’s area/venue organisers features The Common‘s Bridey Watson (pictured below in the King’s Meadow in 1987, wearing the blue and white jumper).
1. How would you describe your area of the Festival to someone who hasn’t visited it before?
Think vibrant carnival, debauched bordellos, the Day of the Dead and twisted voodoo parlours. The field has had a complete re-vamp since last year, so even those who have been before will be in for a surprise. It’s an all-new late night Latino playground – our take on Latin American culture but with a Glastonbury twist.
2. Have you made any changes/additions for this year?
It’s all change – new venues, new theme plus we’ve swapped fields with Arcadia. We’re really excited about our new home. It’s our favourite field on the whole site!
Timelapse film of 2011 preparations for The Common – see more here
3. Which of your acts are you most excited about in 2011?
I can’t wait for Friday night at Zona Bassline with Gentleman’s Dub Club, Example, Toddla T and Shlomo all performing in support of Médecins Sans Frontières. Then there’s Fairtunes’ Latin American programming on Sunday, the giant tomato fight and Mexican wrestling at Campo Pequeno and the return of Ken Fox’s Wall of Death. My other hot tips are Copperdollar’s ‘Back of Beyond’ and Invisible circus’ ‘Photo Booth’.
4. Do you have any good food recommendations in and around your area?
The El Penol Cantina is the perfect place to chill out after a long day (or night) – Authentic Latin American cuisine, comfortable seating with traditional board games and performances from Latin American artists whilst you eat! We also have roasted corn sellers, fruit stalls, Brazillian doughnuts, and Latin ice shavings.
5. How/when did you first get involved with the Festival?
Glastonbury Festival is one of my earliest memories. I first went to the Festival in 1987 – just in time for my 6th birthday. The queue to get onsite was huge and it was a hot night, so we ended up sleeping in the road in front of our vehicle. Then the brakes went on the van in front and we had to dive out of the way! We stayed in Kings Meadow, which was then home to lots of bow-top trailers and horses. One of the horses called One-Eyed Jack was crazy, wild and always galloping off on a rampage. I remember seeing the Mutoid Waste Co.’s Car Henge (pictured, below) and little did I know that I would be working with them later in my life. I also sat on someone’s shoulders watching the Bundu Boy’s. I’ve been to almost every Glastonbury since and spent most of my birthdays working on the site – this place is in my blood.
6. What’s the best thing about running an area at Glastonbury?
I love working with such an inspiring team of people. The field is Co-produced by Steve Stavrinides, Kerry Veitch and myself, plus we have an extended team of people working very hard behind the scenes to bring it all together. I think we’re all driven by a love of transforming our wacky dreams into reality. It’s also brilliant to be able to support and give a platform to artists and creative groups, to give them the space and resources they need to create new work.
7. And what’s the worst?
Waking up at 5am with a head full of things that need adding to lists before you forget them.
8. Is there anything outside your area at this year’s Festival that you’re particularly looking forward to?
The Unfairground for sure. The Mutoids are Glastonbury legends and their sculptures are completely awe-inspiring. Plus I’ve had a sneaky peek at their line-up and it’s incredible.
9. What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen at Glastonbury?
Without a doubt the Arcadia show in 2010, I managed to see it on the Sunday night, truly spectacular. Arcadia, Block9, The Unfairground and The Common all grew out of the team we had in Trash City back in 2008. Then when more space became available there was a creative explosion. It’s been inspirational to be a part of this and I can’t wait to see where it all goes in the future.
10. Finally, what’s your top Glastonbury tip for people coming to the Festival for the first time?
Our corner is a wee bit popular, so if you want to get into the late night areas without queuing come nice and early before the one way system kicks in at 11pm!