News Column

Glastonbury 2014: from long drop loos to normcore - what's new this year?

June 29, 2014

Hannah Ellis-Petersen Josh Halliday, theguardian.com



Food

While the hundreds of thousands of campers may be willing to slum it in a tent for three days, at Glastonbury there are no sacrifices where food is concerned, with even the greasy burgers made from organically reared, hand-fed bison. This year, however, the Glasto gastro dish de jour took it up another notch, with the posh punters flocking to fill their paper plates with fresh lobster a bargain at 10. "It's all about the lobster this year, everyone's going bonkers for it", said Amy Gwyther, 36, who runs the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company stall, which is selling the shellfish at the festival for the first time this year. "Our lobster is fresh and sustainable and people love the luxury of it. It's so popular we actually ran out of lobster on Thursday and had to send the fisherman out in the boats yesterday to get more to meet the demand."

Event

While the Big Top tent is often populated with as many people seeking shelter from the electrical storm as those in search of contortionists on a hire wire, this year the debut of Circus Kathmandu made it one of the festival's most interesting venues. The circus troupe from Nepal is made up entirely of rescued victims of human trafficking, many of whom were sold into slavery to perform in Indian circuses from as young as five. Their first time in the UK, the Circus Kathmandu show - performing every evening of the festival is a hauntingly beautiful performance incorporating aspects of traditional Indian circus with contemporary experimental acrobatics and music. Sky Neal, a former circus performer who founded Circus Kathmandu after visiting the Nepali trafficking refuge four years ago, said the opportunity for the group to appear at Glastonbury was amazing. "When I was in Nepal I started to work with the organisation that were rescuing these young girls, doing raids on these India circuses, getting the kids back to Nepal and trying to repatriate them with their families," she said. "But quite often that wasn't possible because of extreme poverty or because they come back quite stigmatised from their families. Creating this group was their way of reclaiming circus on their own terms and in their own creative environment."

Fashion

The lack of showers and tent wardrobe space has never got in the way of Glastonbury's groomed masses taking every opportunity to show off their most fashionable looks as they strut down the festival's muddy catwalks. This year, however, the wet weather has brought out a noticeable new trend (or anti-trend) whose very existence is debatable. Normcore, described as "unpretentious, average-looking clothing" that "cops to the situation at hand" was evident across the festival this year as punters took inspiration from Prada's SS14 sandals-and-sock combo and Miu Miu's AW14 nylon rain jackets. As the rain fell, the normcore North Face anoraks came out in force, comfortable Levi jeans were seen on every trendy reveller, and practicality and fashion became fused in one big normcore blur. Chris Mandle, 25, from London, was sporting a shapeless waterproof Mountain Life walking jacket bought from a camping shop years ago. "I'm not an active follower of normcore, I'm just really boring," he said."You don't want to wear your favourite clothes if you're going to get them covered in shit. That is my rationale. I'm going to be wearing this jacket all weekend and I'm going to look forward to being very smug when it rains."

Environment

It's as much a part of the traditional Glastonbury experience as mudbaths, mass singalongs in front of the Pyramid stage and sunsets at the Stone Circle. But this year the filthy rows of portable plastic loos have been replaced by an altogether more eco-friendly and less smelly solution. Glastonbury organisers have installed 312 giant toilet blocks, costing 20,000 each, around the sprawling site. The thousands of new "long-drop" loos store waste in underground tanks before being turned into manure and spread across local farmland. The 620,000 initiative heralds the end of tractors hauling waste around the site day and night. Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis is effusive about the latest addition to his festival: ""This is the biggest and best thing about Glastonbury festival this year and many years. It's been something we have dreamed about doing for many years."

Music

Away from the BBC Radio 1-friendly offerings on the Pyramid stage, a small but enthusiastic clutch of Korean indie fans formed to see the avant-garde trio taking their scene by storm. The band Jambinai. Described by the Guardian's Alexis Petridis as producing a sound "so experimental that it's not entirely clear when their soundcheck ends and the performance itself starts", Jambinai blend free jazz with post-rock using traditional Korean instruments like the haegeum, the piri and the geomungo, alongside electric guitars and electronics. They might not be to everyone's taste, but there's no doubting the trio's musical prowess: they have swept the board at awards ceremonies in South Korea, including the crossover prize at the annual Korean Music Awards for their debut album DiffÉrance, released in February 2012. Their Friday afternoon slot on Glastonbury's open-air Gully Outernational stage is a coming-of-age moment for a band charting the difficult crossover from the experimental Korean indie scene.


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Guardian Web


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters