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Glastonbury 2009 Review

Each year it seems that the world famous Glastonbury festival has reached its zenith, it can’t possibly get any better can it?

Mounted Police
Mounted Police

2009 was an epic year for Glastonbury. Each year it seems that the world famous Glastonbury festival has reached its zenith, it can’t possibly get any better can it?  This year Michael Eavis claims it was the best festival EVER – but then he would wouldn’t he?

So, could Glastonbury 2009 beat previous years? There have been some pretty impressive and spectacular Glastonbury’s after all. Astonishingly 2009 surpassed all expectations and showed once and for all just why Glastonbury has earned its place in history and why it’s carved out an unbeatable festival genre all of its own. 

As Glastonbury 2009 got under way the news spread that Michael Jackson had died, bringing shock, heartbreak and tributes from festival goers and artists alike. There was almost a birth on site as a woman went into labour, there were tears of joy and tears of pure raw emotion at the wonder of being at the world’s most astonishing event – and there was laughter, a lot of laughter, mayhem and madness as every emotion was felt and expressed and all human life was condensed into 5 impossibly short days. Where else in the world would you see Bruce Springsteen, revellers in ball gowns and mounted police on duty sporting fairy wings?

Michael and Emily Eavis are not content to sit back and say "job well done, we can take it easy now"

There was no indication way back in 1970 when dairy farmer Michael Eavis decided that a little festival of his own was on the cards that some 39 years later music lovers from all over the globe would be clamouring to get their hands on prized tickets to spend five days in a field in Somerset. This field is part of the 1,000 acres of a working farm and is often a mud bath, difficult to traverse and in many ways utterly impossible to describe. Each year Worthy farm in Somerset is transformed into a beacon of magic and possibilities, made possible by the thousands of people who work all year round toward those few days when the festival is open to us all. Whilst it’s held the crown as the King of festivals for many years it has to be said that 2009 saw Glastonbury soar to superstardom.

It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re into, you’ll find something to suit and something new, the impossibility and the genius of Glastonbury lies in the fact that there are many different festivals going on in the same site and there’s not one other festival around that can boast that.

The Glastonbury phenomenon raises far more questions than answers, the unquantifiable nature of the event defies you to try and describe it in all its glory, it won’t be categorised and it won’t be pigeonholed – this is Glastonbury – a festival bigger than the sum of all its parts and a festival that’s somehow hit the stratosphere in terms of its achievements. Glastonbury is ever changing and evolving, it doesn’t stand still and it doesn’t rest on its laurels, Michael and Emily Eavis are not content to sit back and say “job well done, we can take it easy now”, instead they prefer to contemplate what they’ve done and wonder what they can do better, and doing it better is something they excel at. 2008 was described as a vintage year, 2009 will go down as the year that Glastonbury simply outdid itself, the perfect festival? Ask those who were there!

"I seriously don't think that we can ever do it better than we have this year," Michael Eavis

And if you believe that you’ll believe anything! What we’ve learnt over the years is that if any festival will improve it will be Glastonbury, and that’s one of the main reasons why we say that this really is the festival you need to experience because it’s only by being there and actually feeling the enormity of a festival this diverse that you can get a measure of what can only be described as the wonder of Glastonbury.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis
Glastonbury’s ability to tempt acts to the event is nothing short of miraculous, even more so when you consider the number and range of events, festivals and lucrative contracts on offer in the UK. So why do top acts fall over themselves to play Glastonbury? There’s a combination of factors, with top of the list going to the fact that Glastonbury is legendary, it’s the event you want to be at and it’s the event you want to play at and a large Kudos attached to having played there. But it’s not that simple, Glastonbury has a huge legacy that’s not just about the music, it combines the wow factor with a history of charitable and political aspects attached to it and now it can also boast an environmental legacy that’s second to none.

The line-up is always diverse, eclectic and mouth watering at Glastonbury, but 2009 brought so much more than could be hoped for or expected with a number of legends set to play the most famous stage in the world. Neil Young was set to perform the headline slot for Friday so there was an even bigger buzz around the site than usual with people slithering hither and thither in an attempt to get from A to B in order to catch a glimpse of as many acts as possible. This, of course, is impossible within a site that encompasses 1,000 acres with quality entertainment happening at every corner, you quickly understand that you’re going to miss more than you’re going to see – so each day some very tough choices have to be made. Don’t underestimate the pain of these choices, with so much happening all around the site, surprise gigs and appearances,  smaller bands that you really want to see on other stages working out your itinerary is tough, probably the toughest choice at any festival anywhere. Glastonbury is defined as much by what you saw and did as what you missed.

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Review of:
Glastonbury 2009
29th June 2009
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Glastonbury 2009 Review
Review Pages Index
Part 1. Glastonbury 2009 Review
Each year it seems that the world famous Glastonbury festival has reached its zenith, it can’t possibly get any better can it?
Part 2. Glastonbury 2009: The Festival Starts
Sun, mud, Neil Young and the death of Michael Jackson. It could only be Glastonbury
Part 3. Saturday at Glastonbury
The site awaits the Boss
Part 4. Sunday at Glastonbury
All good things must come to an end
Glastonbury Festival

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