Friday, 9 July 2010

Glastonbury Festival Part 3: Lightshow

Then of course there were all the things to see... Spoilt by the last time I went to/performed at Glastonbury, I look (generally in vain) at other festivals for massive searchlights lighting up the night sky, arcing over the site, and generally adding an air of the atmospheric and spectacular, and complementing any other light or spectacle whether near or far. And finally, while chiefly an effect speaking of 'an event', when really beautiful, they are of course an event in their own right. My memory says that there was just one white searchlight/spotlight last time...but this time there was a huge light - not bright or intrusive enough either to take anything away from the starlight, nor to be a pest and take away one's awareness and enjoyment of the amazing full moon, but instead, just right. It swept over part of the site, visible from most places, and, like the lovely Ribbon Tower, a great way of getting one's bearings (as the site was so huge this time, that even the most seasoned an competent navigator, couldn't necessarily find the place with the best coffee twice!). Crossing the big white searchlight, which split into many beams, seemingly, were smaller spotlights, at least three, placed so as to cross it, and they were colour-changing. With incredibly pure, deep colours, I guessed they were most likely to be LED spots. One of the best views of the lightshow was in a garden/small outdoor stage space a few metres from where the white spot was reeling about. Not only because it was so near, but because at certain times in the evening, the torches around it were lit, and so began to smoke... What a beautiful sight it was, beams of white light sweeping and splitting overhead, seemingly brushing your head, and lighting up great swirling clouds of smoke, like sun through a fog in a dark storm, and then the cobalt blue beam turning to sky blue to turquoise and then forest green, crossing it, and rolling over the smoke and slight mist of temperature differential as night proper fell, and it lit up like stained glass, with the movement of a sea wave breaking, in a dynamic, hypnotic rainbow cascade of colour and light above...with on the other side, shafts of deep purple crossing by the silver gilt full moon...what could be finer? And of course, with lots of folks hurrying to catch this or that music, and the acts on the little outdoor stage having finished for the night, I had perfect peace to enjoy it in even with all the riot of events going on everywhere. A surreal and exquisite time and space.

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