Meet Tony Cordy – Founder of the Kidzfield at Glastonbury Festival

This year marks the first time the V&A packs its tent and sets off excitedly to Glastonbury to experience the sights, smells and sounds of the world’s largest greenfield festival. But in amongst the excitement there is also a more serious element to the V&A’s involvement at this year’s festival. The V&A is collaborating with the Glastonbury Festival to create an archive of over 40 years which will include an incredible treasure trove of posters, programmes, ephemera, films, designs and maps stretching back to the first festival in 1970.

The V&A with Glastonbury will capture some of this year’s festival stories – as we work together to consider how to preserve and document a living performance archive.

Tony Cordy is a regular contributor to the festival. This year is the 20th anniversary of the KidzField at Glastonbury Festival which Tony has been running since 1984. Every year Tony arrives on site in his bus about 10 days before the festival starts and oversees the creation of the spectacular and magical Kidzfield.

The Kidzfield is an extraordinary explosion of creativity just for kids – including workshops, rides, performances and talks. Kidzfield is free to all kids aged 12 and under, making it the largest free festival for kids in Europe.

A display of selected exhibits from the Glastonbury Festival archive will be on display in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Galleries from March 2015 – January 2016.

3 thoughts on “Meet Tony Cordy – Founder of the Kidzfield at Glastonbury Festival

Emily LeQuesne:

This makes it sound as if there was no kids area before 1984 and that isn’t the case. I remember the ubiquitous swing boats , donkey rides, inflatables and a giant fly agaric mushroom house in the kids area right next to the pyramid field as early as 1977….

Katharine Kavanagh:

I agree with Emily – the title is misleading, and your article misses the setting up of the Children’s Area of the festival in 1979 by one of the original Festival Founders Arabella Churchill (who also launched the Theatre and Circus area in the same year, which she ran and organised until her untimely death in 2007).

Tony Cordy:

Back in 1970, when the festival was created in a surge of euphoria, by a bunch of utopians, the festival was generally open to all comers. Specific areas were yet to be invented and back then, we were all children. Gradually, as we all grew up and started to have children of our own it became more and more a priority to ensure that children had somewhere specific to play. The children’s area moved several times as the festival grew in size and popularity. Arabella did indeed set up the original children’s area, went on to create the Glastonbury Town Children’s Festival and to create a children’s charity called Children’s World.
Having worked in festivals, particularly free festivals, since the 70’s, and being involved with Glastonbury since the early 80’s, in 1994 Michael noticed that the children’s area of the festival had gone off the boil, and he asked me to take charge of it. Together with my children, and drawing on the spirit and crews that I had worked on free festivals with, we invented The Kidz Field. Over the last 20 years this area has flourished and grown and we can now proudly boast that we are Europe’s largest free festival for children.

The important thing is that all children of 12 and under are allowed into the festival completely FREE (this means untagged, unticketed and uninhibited). All the rides, shows, workshops and various activities are completely FREE!

We support the UN Convention on The Rights of the Child, article 31 – “Every child has the right to relax, play and a join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities”.

The Kidz Field motto is; It’s NEVER too late to have a happy childhood (or enable someone else’s)

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