#LetsMakeWednesdays – 50 years of the Glastonbury Festival

June 24, 2020

Let’s make our own music festival! This week is the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival, a major music festival held in Somerset, England, (nearly) every year. At Glastonbury, famous musicians play all different types of music to audiences over five days. Although Glastonbury isn’t going to run this year because of the COVID virus, that doesn’t mean we can’t make our own personal music festivals! Share your fantastic festival creations with us on social media using #LetsMakeWednesdays

Poster, 1999 Glastonbury Archive Image © 1970 – 2013 Glastonbury Festivals Ltd

The V&A has been collecting objects from theatre and music festivals since 1924 as part of our Theatre and Performance collections. We have posters, stage plans, wristbands, and even outfits worn by the performers at Glastonbury. The V&A curator of Theatre Design, Kate Bailey, says that music festivals are important because ‘they are a chance for people from all different backgrounds to get together and enjoy live music and performance away from the stress of daily life. Looking back, each year of Glastonbury can be a time capsule of what people were enjoying and what issues were important to them.’

Glastonbury Archive Image © 1970 – 2013 Glastonbury Festivals Ltd

Let’s make a playlist!

Who are some of your favourite performers? They could be a band or a singer from any time in history. Why do you like them? Is the music fun to dance to, or sing along with? Write down what songs you would like to hear. Think about how the songs work together, and the order you want to hear them in.

Glastonbury, 1970s © Brian Walker

Let’s make a festival flag!

At Glastonbury, many people make flags about things that are important to them. It might be for an important cause, like the environment, or to make people laugh. What message would you like to send to people at your festival? Using a piece of paper, draw your design. What symbols can you use to make your flag stand out from far away? Next, ask a parent or carer to help you fly your flag. You could tape it to a broom handle or use a piece of string and hang it from a piece of furniture. Make as many flags as you want if you have more than one message you would like to send.

Flags at Glastonbury © Andrew Allcock

Let’s make a festival outfit!

Part of being at a festival is choosing fun clothes to dance around in. However, sometimes, it can rain very heavily at Glastonbury. So people like to mix fun clothing with rain protection to better enjoy themselves. What can you design that would be fun to dance in? Draw your ideal festival outfit on a piece of paper. Maybe it has fringes on the arms that move, a flower crown for your head, or sparkles to catch the light. Do you want to add something practical for it? Maybe it has a pocket for water and snacks, a button to call your friends, or a special rain-proof cape. Use your imagination – the sky is the limit!

You could even look around your house to make your own costume using clothes you have already. Be creative: you can tie a jumper around your head as a hat, or wear something back to front so it moves better when you dance. Here is a hint: a pillowcase can make a great cape!

Poncho rain cape and carrying bag, designed by Mary Quant, 1989 – 90, Britain. Mus. no. T.195:1, 2-1997 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Now, let’s put it all together! You have your costumes and flags ready to go. Ask your parent or carer if they can play some of the songs you want to hear at your festival. What dance moves can you make for your songs? How can you use your flags when you dance?

Don’t forget to share your fabulous festival with us on social media using #LetsMakeWednesdays

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