WaterAid’s post-Festival report

July 26, 2010

WaterAid and Glastonbury go way back, so being there to enjoy and share their 40th birthday celebration was a bit like going to a great party held by a really good friend.

But it wasn’t all fun and games, honest! WaterAid had a pretty serious message to get across this year – that the Millennium Development Goals are seriously off track and world leaders must not be allowed to let them drop – although we tried to do this in a festival-friendly way.

Over at the stand, to the left of the Pyramid Stage, we were doing brisk business handing out cold, fresh tap water and water-bottle re-fills to the hot, thirsty masses. While they waited we asked them to sign our Don’t Let it Drop petition, wear a badge or get a tattoo. And people signed up in their thousands. 32,263 to be precise – more than double last year, sending a strong message to our elected representatives that the good people of Glastonbury Festival will not let it drop!

Speaking of the Pyramid Stage, it was great to see our Don’t Let it Drop film being shown on the big screens between the live acts. It seemed to be on all the time (thanks guys!) which is good because it’s a great film with loads of music stars, such as Goldie, The Cribs and Faithless getting behind our campaign and encouraging you do the same. If you’ve not signed the petition, it’s not too late!

As usual, WaterAid volunteers provided some essential services at the festival, including:
– The hardy recycling team, out collecting litter under the scorchio afternoon sun
– The lovely ladies looking after the famous she-pees (if you’re female and haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out big time, or so I’m told!)
– The guys and girls maintaining probably the cleanest, most environment-friendly loos on the whole site up in the Kings Meadow near the Stone Circle.

Prince Charles didn’t have time to check out are eco-loos (I’m sure he would have loved them) but he did have time to visit the WaterAid/Hunter Welly Shy. While there, he was a great sport and had a go throwing a tennis ball to dislodge a welly. You can re-live coverage of this mighty fine moment over on our blog, which was updated live via mobile throughout the weekend.

The Prince, in his role of WaterAid President, also met WaterAid volunteers and our Chief Executive, Barbara Frost, before being whisked off into the dust by his trusty Land Rover. The moment he came face to face with a WaterAid volunteer dressed as a tap also made the front page of Glastonbury’s festival newspaper, Q Daily. Result!

Our team also grabbed face-time with a few notables, including Alex James from Blur, who was getting on famously with Prince Charles, apparently; Billy Bragg, a Glasto veteran and great supporter of all the Glasto good causes; and Emma Watson, who couldn’t move for paparazzi but seemed to enjoy having her photo taken in the WaterAid photo booth!

Glasto 2010 will also be remembered as the year Glasto went football crazy – until England got knocked out of the World Cup on Sunday afternoon. WaterAid got into the football spirit too, thanks to a charity football match organised by our friends at E-Festivals which raised over £6000. Nice work, fellas!

All in all then, 2010 will surely go down as the best ever Glasto for WaterAid, and everyone else! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers for their sunny enthusiasm, the hard working events and media teams for handling the complicated logistics, and last but definitely not least Michael and Emily Eavis for sharing your farm with us and 170,000 other people once again! See you same time, same place next year.

Joe Downie
Website Manager

(Pics: Mark Pengelly / WaterAid)

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