Since 2012 I am fortunate to live in the Somerset village of Pilton. Not only a beautiful place to live but also home to one of the worlds largest music and performing arts festivals.
Thankfully I don’t have to do any camping out these days though I started going to the festival in 1990 so I certainly put my time in trudging across miles of fields which were often ankle deep in clawing, energy sapping mud.
The Glastonbury Festival takes up a couple of square miles of fields just down the end of the lane from the house where I live. Most of the year its rolling hills thought for one week 150,000 people turn up accompanied with the world s top music artists including David Bowie, U2, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Neil Young and hundreds more. Not only that we also have some of the best takeaway food money can buy. All in all it is the perfect playground for someone like me.
Painting the Glastonbury Festival
Because the festival is so close to home it is easier to get the paints out and do a few scenes here and there. I generally like to get any paintings done early on in the festival as the late night partying tends to dull the senses to say the least, especially at my age.
The featured one at the top it The Park Stage. There are about 80 stages in all at the festival and The Park is my favourite. The only aggravating thing is that it is the one furthest from the house. At least 3k
I love the unfairground. They use salvaged material to create a sort of Mad Max dystopian fair ground. Here you will find scrapped planes being used as bars, up ended cars, and giant babies as sculpture.
“the Unfairground, the mind-altering zone for subversive, radical, art and music. Infused with equal measures of anarchist spirit and satirical wit, we believe the act of repurposing both ideas and salvaged material turns the unethical cycle of consumerism and wastefulness into a virtuous one.”
I sat down to paint the festival goers entering the Unfairfround in the morning while my batteries were still full. In the evening it turns into a series of mad nightclubs. I was long gone by then.
Other Glastonbury Paintings
The pieces below were painted over past years of the festival.
The three vans below were just randomly chosen really, though each I felt had a particular charm which I felt exemplifies the festival. I had to dodge the weather on occasion though got what I wanted in the end.
One thing I miss about living in London is takeaway food on the doorstep. So it’s paradise for me just once a year to tuck into the very best the world has to offer in takeaway fayre, gone are the days of just Hog Roast or Nut Bake, you can get almost anything you want across acres and acres of stalls.
The Tree Cafe
At the top of The Park Stage, you will discover ‘The Tree Cafe’. It is built in the shade of a vast tree, sells great pizza and has one of the finest views in all Christendom.
If you paint the festival then to my mind you have to paint the ablutions. They are a legend in themselves. I worked on this piece just below the old railway line on the way to ‘The Tiny Tea Tent’. The taps were next to a few rows of ‘drop toilets’ which are to the right of this image.
The smell was unspeakable and nothing was hanging around the toilets for long aside from me and the flies. I have to say however after 20 minutes or so you hardly noticed it and I managed to work away quite happily in amongst the reek.
The Cocktail bus
If your desperate enough for a Tequila Sunrise you simply won’t notice a half-naked fat bloke, in a cage dancing beneath a disco ball on the roof of the cocktail bus.