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27 June 2021, 10:00
With Glastonbury cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some of our favourite images from the legendary festival.
The 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus, and sadly the 2021 edition was also shelved, with lockdown restrictions still in place. The event was due to kick off this weekend, so to mark the occasion, we decided to pick ten of our favourite images from the archives that sum up the spirit and magic of Glastonbury.
Glastonbury was first held in September 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died. Its roots were in the hippie and free festival, but it went on to embody the spirit of peace, unity and care for the planet. The first Pyramid Stage was literally built out of corrugated iron used for cowsheds.
It's incredible to think that for a long time, Glastonbury lived in the shadow of other festivals like Reading. This shot from 1983 shows how small the festival used to be - you could watch the Pyramid Stage artists close up from the comfort of your own tent.
Very few festivals can compete with the sheer diversity of activities that take place 24 hours a day at Glastonbury. You'll see some sights as you make your way around!
There are so many stages to take in at Glastonbury oustide of the Pyramid... The Other Stage, the John Peel Tent, The Park, West Holts, the multiple dance stages... there's so much to absorb.
Well into the 21st Century, the spiritual side of Glastonbury continues to have its influence. The festival apparently takes place on ancient ley lines and has its own prehistoric stone circle, whether revellers gather at all hours.
The gian fire-breathing Arcadia spider may be gone from Glastonbury, but we will never forget the pyromaniac arachnid. Recent additions include the replica seaside pier, the Unfairground, the "drive-in" Cineramageddon and the ever popular Shangri-La and its predecessor Lost Vagueness.
June in Britain can be a bit of a lottery when it comes to weather - and the hundreds of thousands of people can soon turn a downpoir into a swamp. But, occasionally, there will be a scorcher of a year, and a muddy Glastonbury experience is a music fan's rite of passage.
It's not just about going to watch performances - Glastonbury is about throwing off the shackles of everyday life, getting in a tent and getting back to nature with your mates.... And it's also about stumbling through hundreds of identical looking tents at a million o'clock in the morning.
The sight of flags waving in front of a headliner on the Pyramid Stage is one of the enduring sights of modern Glastonbury festivals. Some think it's inconsiderate to other festival-goers, others think it wouldn't be the same without them. But there's no denying that people coming together to enjoy music, art, debate and more is something we should celebrate.
Glastonbury is less of a music festival and more of a mini-city that springs up for a week, complete with its own rules and regulartions, philosophy and lifestyle. Roll on 2021!