How one family's love for the land became an iconic festival

Glastonbury was a small music festival when it started in the 1970s. Nowadays thousands of people attend, and that means there's a lot of waste! Watch the video to find out how the organisers are dealing with this issue. 

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember, you can read the transcript at any time.



Emily: I have grown up here on Worthy Farm. I now co-organise the festival with my dad, Michael, who started it in 1970.

Michael: Well, we've been farmers here for over 200 years. So the nature, and the land, and the trees, and the grass, and the cattle, and the birds is all part of really where we belong, really.

Emily: Somerset is ruled by farms. Growing up here was very quiet and very peaceful, and we spent a lot of time just roaming the fields, to be honest. And now my children are here, growing up on the farm like I did, so it's lovely.

The festival, when I was growing up, was quite small. Pretty much just occupied these two fields. People used to drive up, leave their car there, camp next to their tent. Now it's expanded to occupy ten farms and beyond, really, with car parks.

The festival's, you know, quite different now, and a lot's happened to it, I suppose, over the evolution. We're always thinking of green initiatives. We want to incentivise people to leave less waste, to pack consciously, to not buy single-use items that they will just be disposing of or leaving here. This year we're banning the sale of single-use plastic bottles. You know, people are just saying to us 'There's no way you're going to be able to do this', because we had to get all the soft drink companies, and all of the traders, and all of the wholesalers and everybody on board. We've been working in 2018 all year. It's been a vast, huge job, but it's so satisfying to be able to say that we can do it. We're selling watering cans instead. We're also having 60 refill points, so we've got a combination of kiosks, or you can do, like, a self-service. And I think it'll probably take two to three years for something to really kind of bed in, because it's so large, so we'll be learning a lot from the first couple of years.

I'd say it's quite appealing as a family festival. Kids are free and everything's free when you get here. But it's quite hard to pack light when you're bringing lots of small children. But we are asking people to use less disposable items, like wet wipes. You know, you just have to consider these things 'cos we've got so many items we're left with and we're really asking people, just, from the very first stage, to be aware and conscious of what they're packing.

The best feeling, for me, is when people arrive on the Wednesday, because the city just fills. The festival site just turns into this enormous city of, like, celebration, and just the atmosphere is just so amazing and high, and people are so excited to be here. And that is the moment when you go 'This is, like, the best place in the world'. It's amazing, like, the attitude of the festival-goers and the whole atmosphere that they create every year. That's what's really special and unique about it.

Michael: I mean, we all want to live, and to love, and to have great lives, and to feel fulfilled, and feel happy, and satisfied with our contribution to life, and what an opportunity I've had. It's unfair!



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Submitted by Saniya on Thu, 30/05/2024 - 02:22


Good warmup exercise