The Glastonbury Festival database



September 18, 2020
Glastonbury Festival, 1979
Image: Glastonbury Festival, 1979, Dave Walkling. Submitted via the Memories Project.

It is really exciting to be able to share some news which we have been working towards over the last few months – and at a time when Glastonbury Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will be supporting the V&A to create a Glastonbury Festival database – a pioneering resource which will allow researchers and the general public to trace the rich performance history of the festival across time, stages and performers. The database will be developed in partnership with AusStage, an Australian online resource documenting past, present and future live performing arts since 1999.

The database will enable users to consider the following types of questions: Who performed on which stage and with who? Who were the teams behind the Festival’s epic events? Which performer influenced who? How was a particular performance a response to its social, political, cultural context? How did a performance shape collective memory and identity?

Glastonbury Festival, 1979
Image: Glastonbury Festival, 1979, Dave Walkling. Submitted via the Memories Project.

As part of this work, we have been inviting festival-goers to contribute to the archive by sharing their personal festival memories. Do you have story to tell? Please send your written memories to: glastonbury@vam.ac.uk. Tell us which year you attended the Festival, where your memory took place and describe your experience, the performers and its significance.

Glastonbury Festival, 1970
Image: Glastonbury Festival, 1970, Robert Blomfield. Submitted via the Memories Project.

The last few months have shown us how much we miss live performance and everything that goes with it – the interaction, the emotions, the shared experiences, the sheer entertainment, the creative networks. But they have also allowed us an opportunity to reflect on the global significance of UK performance culture and its contribution to our economy and identities. Whilst we eagerly await the moment that Glastonbury Festival can reopen its gates, today we can treasure its unique legacy and fascinating history through the creation of a digital hub that will capture the past and document the future of the world’s largest greenfield festival – and the greatest show on earth!

Glastonbury Festival, 1970
Image: Glastonbury Festival, 1970, Robert Blomfield. Submitted via the Memories Project.
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