"If you focus on the soup," says
This was the Californian photographer's guiding principle when, as a young man working for Rolling Stone, he arrived at
So looking around at
"It was the first gathering of that many people for a concert," says Wolman. "I thought: 'There will be more music. But there will never be anything like this again.'" His photographs, some of them never published, collected in a new book and excerpted here, offer a fresh perspective on an event that has entered legend.
He photographed it all, the piles of rubbish, the people sleeping on hay bales, the shaman-like figure who wandered around for three days advising people not to eat meat. Wolman sought to capture some of the spirit of make-do and goodwill that allowed
"People had no idea what they were buying a ticket for. Now you know - you go to Glastonbury, and everything is planned, no question. The barriers, the tickets, everything that's typical of big modern festivals. At
Among his shots of a peaceful if increasingly grimy crowd, Wolman captured a group of spectators climbing up speaker scaffolding. There were great worries about this scaffolding, when a sudden storm hit
"You see nothing really was forbidden. I think that everybody made a compact with themselves and their neighbours saying that anything was acceptable, except violence. Even stuff that was fundamentally illegal at the time was permissible."
People bought and took drugs, freely, in front of his lens. "Any behaviour was permissible as long as it didn't negatively affect the people at the festival. I don't know how that got communicated but that was absolutely the character of the crowd."
In subsequent years there were attempts to replicate the
"I knew, man," he says. "I knew at the time this was going to be a significant moment in the story of music."
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