Friday, 9 July 2010

Glastonbury Festival Part 6: Architectural & Other Weirdness

Next up was a dodgy looking hotel, half ruined at the top, with actors as transvestites in the windows, a car half-sunk into the corner of the roof - which during the evening, had its wheels spinning and smoke coming out of it - a film set with a good dose of surreal. There was a queue for the dancefloor inside, and also for the larger venue nearby - a life-size smaller high rise block, ruined and jagged at the top, lit up...

In the Shangri La area, a tiny booth caught my eye which had a sign declaiming 'The Gamble', and one curtain led to a prison cell with newspaper sheets plastering the walls, and the other a genteel little room with gilded mirror, fancy velvet chair, candlesticks... and bars divided the two - which one will you end up in? A nice moment.
It was a little hot for the 'Slumberave' where one went in past hotel style check outs in red velvet, and through mock rooms with double beds, and walls that stopped long before the marquee roof, to enter a 'dance' area, with loud music and huge beds/sofas everywhere. But a great idea nonetheless.

Walkabouts included folks in LED rope-light style costumes, so they were sudden luminous sketches against the darkness...from skeleton to ballet dancer with butterfly wings. Best installations included a garden/'outdoor room' near the Leftfield stage, with white painted jagged fence enclosing a mantelpiece, sofa, fireplace, armchairs, surrealist suspended chair, doors, mirrors on overmantles, and generally a drawing room with Cocteauesque features and no roof, all drawn out in white. Excellent.

Was that everything? Undoubtedly not - one person can only see so much whether working there or not, and there was so much I have forgotten already... But this has been an attempt at cramming some of the crowd of impressions down, because - Glastonbury is billed as a Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. And (aside from having got famous for popular music) that is what I took it for.

As I said to the Crew when asking them if they were up for this one - there's loads of visuals, and fireshows, theatre, searchlights and fireworks, lasers and circus arts, aerial dance, gardens, sculptures, walkabouts, sideshows, stalls, great coffee, a good variety of food, lights, political talks, crafts, skills workshops, oh yeah...and some bands.

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