Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival
26 Jun 2022

Glastonbury Festival

Visitors to the Centre are always surprised when they find out that Glastonbury Festival, the world-famous pop concert in a field which attracts around 210,000 people from all around the globe, is not actually here in Glastonbury.

Worthy Farm in the village of Pilton, some six miles outside the town is taken over for several weeks, including the build up and take down process and apart from the main travelling days, Glastonbury town is often very quiet. A lot of the locals leave town to volunteer at the festival, and so as long as you avoid the Wednesday and the Monday it really is a good time to visit us.

Glastonbury Festival (formally Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts and known colloquially as Glasto) is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, in England. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. Leading pop and rock artists have headlined, alongside thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas. Films and albums have been recorded at the festival, and it receives extensive television and newspaper coverage.

Glastonbury is attended by around 200,000 people, thus requiring extensive security, transport, water, and electricity-supply infrastructure. While the number of attendees is sometimes swollen by gate crashers, a record of 300,000 people was set at the 1994 festival, headlined by the Levellers, who performed on The Pyramid Stage. Most festival staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for charity organisations.

Regarded as a major event in British culture, the festival is inspired by the ethos of the hippie, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the free-festival movement. Vestiges of these traditions are retained in the Green Fields area, which includes sections known as the Green Futures and Healing Field. Michael Eavis hosted the first festival, then called Pilton Festival, after seeing an open-air Led Zeppelin concert at the 1970 Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music

The Glastonbury Festival stone circle is a recent monument on the British landscape, yet it is one that is visited by huge numbers of people over a very short period of time. Estimates of the numbers of people gathering at the Glastonbury stone circle are subject to speculation, however with a large proportion of the hundreds of thousands of people at festival visiting the stone circle it’s influence, and draw is undisputed.

The stone circle at Glastonbury is a megalithic monument located at the site of Worthy Farm, situated in a valley lying between two low sandstone ridges. The monument lies in Kings Meadow at the far south of the area enclosed by the Glastonbury Festival. 

The monument comprises about 20 stones ranging from over 2.5 metres to approximately 1.5 metres in height and includes a balanced horizontal stone resting on a number of smaller stones. The stones form an oval with a maximum length of 25m and a minimum of 20m in diameter with a central band of stones. To date no excavation or survey has been recorded for this monument.

Historic accounts date the monument’s construction to 1992. Oral and written accounts indicate that the design of the monument specifically references prehistoric henges for example Stonehenge, a site that dwarfs the Swan Circle both in area and the number of stones. Since the inception of the Glastonbury festival in all its forms there has been a link between the festival, the solstice and Stonehenge.

It is only possible to access the stone circle if you are attending Glastonbury Festival.

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