2009, the year that shook the nation and flung them into cold despair and angst. Micheal Jackson the one and only King of Pop had died dancing his way into the afterlife, leaving fans mourning his loss. I was one of those fans, having performed in stage school as a child Micheal Jackson was one of my biggest inspirations and he taught me that being different meant that I was talented and I stood shell shocked at the news of his loss. A celebrity death has never affected me as much as his and in my eyes there will never be another King of Pop. It was a mournful period but I did not wallow for a long for another period of celebrating music fell into my lap; Glastonbury’s record breaking 2009 festival would leave me spell binded for years and I was not the only one. All 90,396 of us set up camp on Worthy Farm’s rolling hills and despite the muddy puddle s and threat of a monsoon type environment, the mood of Worthy Farm’s inhabitants was surprisingly chipper and it was infectious. They say that you must smile otherwise you will cry and it is true, despite our united suffering over the loss to our music legacy we were celebrating old and new music as though it was our last days. Glastonbury was more than just a music festival but a cultural gathering and in some ways the strangers that crossed our paths on those torrential rain filled days created a bond and a unity that will never be forgotten.
We began our music bonanza on the 24th June and at the tender age of 16 it was an alien environment for me to be in. Everyone seemed so much older than me and even my own friends were classed as ‘adults’ and it was surreal. It was surreal because at first I thought to myself what the hell am I doing here? Yes I love music but I don’t like the cold, rain and I am not what would strike you as a festival type. How quickly I was proved wrong; from the incredible line up featuring Little Boots, Lady Gaga to the mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil’s Fulcrum, the effortless combination of ‘magic’ and ‘music chemistry’ made Glastonbury 2009 my most memorable festival to date. I will never forget seeing Lady Gaga perform for the first time; her magnetism and unbridled energy was refreshingly invigorating. Her music was like honey to my ears and the wackiness of Lady Gaga’s set was unmatched by anyone on stage.
Other notable acts included the charming grime rapper Dizzee Rascal on the crowded Pyramid Stage and the hypnotic allure of Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes whose psychedelic basslines infused delightfully with the calming tranquility of her voice on the ‘Other Stage’. The mix of contemporary music fronted by musicians like Prodigy and classics like Bruce Springsteen meant that there was an artist to suit all tastes. The effortless blend of pop, rnb, indie, new age and dance/trance stages is part of Glastonbury’s allure; there really is something for everyone, even jaded music critics who I noted actually ‘smiled’ and looked like they were ‘having a good time’. So despite Micheal’s death the mood remained electric, especially in ‘Trash City’ [the] apocalyptic dream sequence of surrealism and Dance Village whose aura of positivity [through the medium of dance] was infectious in itself. The smaller stages tucked away at the fringe of the festival provided light relief while the ‘chill out’ vibe of the Other Stage allowed us to be mellow and rest up for the chaotic sets that followed on the Pyramid stage.
Of course the Glastonbury Festival would not be the same without its incredible sound systems; with total power of 650,000 watts and the Pyramid Stage having 250 speakers alone, the bass boosted production of artists sets was made possible by Advanced Diesel Generators. With over 25 years of experience ADG was the perfect brand to provide acoustic enclosures for generators, high quality sound, modular equipment housing for LV and HV switchgear, transformers, substations, UPS and compressors. On the most part the production of sound and acoustics complimented the artists sets efficiently but on Thursday night, Techno ‘great’ Jamie Jones’s new MGMT remix ‘Electric Jones’ did not receive the rolling bassline production it deserved and subsequently was quite ‘flat’. This was not necessarily the fault of the production team or generators but was largely due to the the late night restrictions which cut Jones slot to a disappointing 40 minutes.
Despite a few initial hiccups Glastonbury 2009 has been named the ‘best’ Glastonbury to date and rightfully so. The delightful mix of genres, food stalls, incredible sound quality and the unification of music goers celebrating life made the hole left by Micheal’s death a little easier to stomach. Tributes poured out and the tears were flowing but there were tears of joy. For in death there is re-birth and in that rebirth there is new beginnings. In that new beginning I discovered that music was a healer and it healed all us jaded music-goers and taught us to appreciate life once again.
Have you been to The Glastonbury Festival before?
Please note this post has been sponsored by Advanced Diesel Generators but all thoughts, opinions and research are my own and have not been influenced by monetary compensation.