Friday, 28 June, 2013 : Issue One
A very long time ago at Glastonbury Festival, a photocopied page of information was passed from hand to hand round late night bonfires in the Green Fields. Covering shift rotas, practical advice and the occasional political rant, for a few brief years in the 1980s, The Firelighter was the independent on-site newspaper. Now – if you are actually reading this – we finally have another one. The Free Press is your own local newspaper from the heart of this temporary city. Thirty years on from the Firelighter, the Glastonbury Free Press is born.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Photographer Jason Bryant captured the key moment last night as the first full lighting check took place on the Pyramid Stage, ready for the music to begin.
After a the normal fallow year in 2012, the world’s attention is focused on Worthy Farm’s most iconic landmark, with the BBC’s live broadcasts set to kick off from 7 am.
Last night there was a huge air of anticipation among the 90,000 plus revellers who had already arrived at Worthy farm, with another 30,000 scheduled to arrive today. There were bonfires all over the site, including a giant 50-foot high conflagration in King’s Meadow. Meanwhile bursts of soundchecking from many of the 58 stages scheduled to kick into life over the weekend raised everyone’s spirits.
It’s been almost two full years of preparation, and now we’re finally ready.
Now let there be SOUND!
HATS OFF TO GLASTO DRESS SENSE
An otherwise naked man poses for photos in his Iron Man helmet. “It’s Glastonbury, innit,” he says. Translation: “anything goes.” Our Iron Man wannabe is an amateur; with the sun beating down, his headwear is doing a poor job of covering his neck.
Other impractical hats spotted include ‘road kill-alikes’ and one made out of a disco ball. Decorated cowboy hats win the vote for being sensible and acceptable festival fancy dress, and there are plenty on show. Can’t help but think that’s all a bit 2001, though.
The award for originality goes to Theo, whose stall is located at the gateway from Green Fields to Stone Circle. Inspired by films like Clockwork Orange, his crafted headwear includes a “futuristic” animal mask welded to a medieval knight’s helmet and topped off with feathers. Scary… Even Iron Man would be shitting it.
PUTTING THE FAIR BACK INTO THE UNFAIRGROUND
Esme and her gorgeous ladies are putting the fair into the Unfairground in their sweet little haven of delight that is the Banana Bar. Just at that moment you think the omnipresent Unfairground image of a baby’s heads contorting à la that Trainspotting scene might haunt you for life, Esme’s Glasto glam reminds you of the good things in life – and the good things about Dads like hers who brought her to work with him at Glasto while she was still in the cradle, looking a lot healthier than that infantile face of The Unfairground. She says to make sure you take a trip to Bez’s acid house. Be ready to have your mind
WORTHY FM UPDATE
Worthy FM, Glastonbury Festival’s onsite radio station, is broadcasting 24/7 throughout the festival with news bulletins, live music and performer interviews, bringing the sound of the festival to you on 87.7FM and online at worthyfm.com. This year we have a second studio in the heart of Arcadia and we want YOU to join us. It officially opened to the public last night, so pop in and say hello, meet our presenters and tell us what you’re loving about
Glastonbury 2013 so far, live on air.
At 8pm tonight we’re looking forward to hearing from Bobzilla from the Burning Man festival who has travelled all the way from San Francisco to be with us, followed at
10pm by the legendary Daddy Teacha Reggae show. Then Stalker and Paul take you through the night with dance music and guests from Silver Hayes.
NEWS FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD
Due to some “shrewd” investments by the “Crown Estate”, one English pensioner will be seeing a 5% increase in welfare payments. Elizabeth Windsor of London can now look forward to spending 37.89 million a pounds a year – nice work if you can get it.
Double Dip Uncertainty?
Fears of a double dip recession were waved away yesterday with the news the GDP had actually risen by an astonishing 0.3%. Party time!
New Prime Minister, Paul Rudd has been “sworn in” at a ceremony in Australia. We are still awaiting clarification of what the actual swear word was.
Andrew Murray’s chances of winning a second Grand Slam for Scotland have improved following the surprise early exits of Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon.
Federer, multi slam winner and allround good guy, was once presented with a cow for winning the event. However, the much loved family bovine was later slaughtered due to low lactose production leaving the tennis player devastated. Perhaps he just couldn’t stand the thought of going through all that again.
Cash strapped Conference side, Macclesfield Town have gone back on an offer to allow fans to play ten minutes of a league game in return for 20,000 pounds. Originally the idea was open to any male aged between “18 and 35, in a physically fit condition”. That certainly rules out there current squad of players, then.
Holly Willoughby’s “The voice” dress has caused a tirade of complaints to the BBC. 139 people contacted the station to air their dismay at the low cut number. The BBC stood firm in supporting the star’s decision and it is unlikely that they will be upheld.
A LITTLE PLEA NOT TO PEE
Lucy Smith, Green Issues Coordinator
We have tried to provide you with plenty of toilets across site so you will never feel the need to pee anywhere else.
There is a river running through Worthy Farm and because of the warm weather it is running low from lack of rain.
This means that pee will enter the river more quickly, which is bad because urine produces ammonia which starves the river of oxygen.
Any changes to the water chemistry have a negative impact on fresh water fish and other species which are sensitive to change.
Help us to give the farm the respect it deserves.
RABBITS RIBBONS AND MUMS
Glastonbury Festival’s infamous Rabbit Hamish, joined the White Ribbon Alliance at the Glastonbury Festival 2013 to say ‘HELLO MUM!’ via the charity’s Festival HELLO MUM giant Polaroid photo opportunity.
The White Ribbon Alliance is at Glastonbury Festival putting festival-goers in the picture about their important work to stop mothers and babies dying in childbirth, and literally in the picture with their HELLO MUM polaroid picture frame.
The HELLO MUM Photo is a new addition to the charity’s hugely popular Mum’s Tattoo & Picture Parlour in The Park, where they are also tattooing mums, dads, kids, babies, policemen, performers and random celebrities with ‘HELLO MUM’ tattoo transfers for a donation.
The original ‘must have’ festival tattoo, as seen on the likes of Emma Watson, Florence Welch, Michael Eavis, Emily Eavis, Jarvis Cocker, Lilly Allen, Sienna Miller, Will Young, Nick Grimshaw, Henry Holland, Jameela Jamil , Billy Bragg and Jamie Cullen, Matthew Horn to name but a few. All of whom have worn their heart on their sleeves (and other places!) to join the fight to stop women and babies dying in childbirth around the world.
THE BIG INTERVIEW: DICK TEE (PYRAMID HEAD OF PRODUCTION)
This morning, the Pyramid Stage will lift its curtain for the first time in two years. So we asked Head of Production Dick Tee, to tell us more about the workings of the Festival’s iconic main stage.
Hi Dick. Have any changes been made to the Pyramid / Other stage production this year?
The basic stage – sound, lighting and screens – remains similar to past years. But many of the acts, especially the headliners, bring a little bit of their own “magic” to the production with enhancements, special features and effects so that every day and every act looks that little bit different and special.
How does the different weather affect the sound?
Rain is unpleasant but not as much of an issue as the wind. Wind effects structures and also has a noticeable effect on the sound which almost literally, can be blown around. However we also have problems if it is very hot and dusty. The best for us is clear, still weather, with a little bit of hazy cloud, temperatures in the late teens/early twenties with possibly a little shower overnight to keep the dust down and the site looking fresh.
How many crew do you have working on the Pyramid Stage over the weekend?
I am blessed with a fantastic team around me at the Pyramid. There is a back room and admin staff of around 12 people, a production site crew of a similar number, a dressing room team of around 20, traffic marshals numbering 15, stage crew of around 50 and technicians for sound, lighting and screens, totalling nearly 40. And then, on top of that, there are the crew and artists’ catering staff, security and stewards, medics etc. I would estimate that there are somewhere in the region of 200 people directly involved in the delivery of the production on the Pyramid alone. And that’s before you take into account each artist and their performers and crew.
The phoenix was announced just before the Festival. Has that been a big challenge for you?
Challenging is a good word. The idea of placing a large animation onto the outside of the roof at the Pyramid was certainly not in the average, everyday production plan. But then Glastonbury would not be Glastonbury without such magnificent inspirations. And those incredibly creative people at Mutoid have come up with a truly spectacular Phoenix which will look absolutely amazing and, without doubt, will form a lasting memory for those who see it over the weekend.
Where do you tend to be when the Pyramid shows are on?
It really depends. As Head of Production for the entire Festival, I have direct responsibility for the Pyramid and Other Stage, coordination and supervision of West Holts and John Peel, and a support role for all other ‘production’ aspects across the site. Unfortunately the size and scale of the operation which I oversee means that I spend more time than I would like to in my production headquarters behind the Pyramid. But this year I shall be aiming to get out and around the site as much as possible and during the evenings, I will normally be on the side of the stage at the Pyramid or Other Stage for the last two or three acts to make sure all runs smoothly.
How did you become involved with the Festival?
I was first approached by Michael Eavis in 1996 to site and production manage a new show called the Glastonbury Extravaganza – a series of classical and contemporary concerts staged each year in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. A year later I was asked to assist with the management of the Other Stage, and a year after that, I assumed the Production Manager role for the Pyramid as well. All these years later, the Extravaganza is still running and the next show will be a concert with Bryan Ferry on Sunday, 11 August. And my role at the main Festival has continued to grow. I consider myself very lucky to have such a fantastic job at the best festival in the world and I remain very grateful to Michael for getting me involved.
Do you have a favourite ever Pyramid performance?
I am asked this question a lot. David Bowie on the Pyramid in 2000 remains to this day my favourite ever performance. I remember that he wanted to have a trip around the site; I drove him in my old 4×4 and he was absolutely charming. Then later that night, I was at the side of the stage for his show. He was an icon of mine when I was a teenager and I remember seeing him in concert during the Alan Sane phase. I could not believe that I was now watching him on stage at Glastonbury.
What’s your top Glastonbury food stall tip?
That’s a difficult one. Unfortunately I don’t manage to get out to the food stalls that often, but if I had a tip I think it would be to look for something local. Somerset has some fantastic food and around the Williams Green area this year, there will be a great range of local produce, so why not check it out…
NB: Unfortunately, due to mechanical issues with our vintage printing equipment, the first issue of the Glastonbury Free Press will be online only. We’re keeping our fingers tightly crossed that Saturday’s paper will hit the presses later tonight and be at Info point in the morning…