For just pounds 1 a ticket, the little music event advertised on a cheaply printed red and black poster was very good value. It was happening at a nice farm in the wilds of Somerset from Saturday
The tickets this year cost pounds 210, and the
The archive already holds boxes, crates and cartons containing programmes and posters from every festival, miles of tape recordings and films which nobody has ever had time to play back, acres of photographs, backstage passes, set lists for bands and correspondence including negotiations with superstars who often yearn to play Glastonbury - the Rolling Stones made their first triumphant appearance only last year.
There are also site maps showing the ever expanding and frequently all too permeable security fence, the trench warfare that is the lavatory blocks, and how the original little village of tents in the sheltered fields gradually spread to the far horizon and beyond.
All the memorabilia has been hoarded by
The archive is not intended as a static collection transported from the Eavis attics, and Bailey will not be conducting her research in a nice warm, dry office. In a few weeks she will be packing her cagoule and wellies and joining the lucky people who managed to get tickets before all 130,000 for this year sold out in less than 90 minutes. She will be staying in a tent - "of course, it wouldn't be right to do it any other way" - and scouting around for artefacts including flyers for everything from tofu burgers to shamanic healing, political T-shirts, exceptionally fancy fairy wings, customised welly boots, and the fantastic dragons and demons built from recycled junk which regularly appear at the site.
She will also be looking for stories not just of the stars but of the food sellers, the security guards, the local people who have worked there year after year. "Without the stories of the people who go there, a ticket is just a bit of paper," she said. She and her colleagues will continue documenting the festival every year, and a team will be making a film this year which will be shown at the Prague Quadrennial arts festival next year. There will also be an exhibition in the
The main stages are well documented, but Bailey says very little is preserved of what happens in the tents, stone circles, circus rings and campfire gatherings in the far fields: "There is an extraordinary explosion of creativity on the fringes, which we really want to capture," she said.
Hundreds of thousands of people have treasured souvenirs of the festivals, but persuading the owners to hand them over can be difficult: "Even a scruffy grubby old lanyard - people are very attached to them and very reluctant to give them up."
The most famous aspect of Glastonbury will only be represented in the collection by photographs: Bailey has lost her nerve about collecting a bucket of mud. "I don't think our conservation people would be at all happy with it."
Advertisements, scrapbooks, programmes and pounds 1 tickets, these are a few of the things that the V&A's Glastonbury memories will be made of. But when it comes to glorious mud, curators will be content to collect photographs like the one below
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