Friday, 14 August 2009


Down yere, we've just had a couple of thanks from Michael Eavis, in the form of the Extravaganza - two concerts put on in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and we're gearing up for another one which I'm going to be keep quiet about, because one year Jo Whiley opened her big old mouth and we all got swamped.


It's fair to say that the festival does cause a fair amount of upheaval. From the obvious traffic problems to little niggly things, like not being able to get your hands on things like babywipes, antibacterial hand gel and beer for a few days.

During most of the year, Pilton's got a population of around 14 people and 300-odd cows, so it's not that surprising that the locals do get hacked off with needing a car pass to get home and needing to take time off work because it's almost impossible to get out of the village.

On of that, the noise generated by the site has to be pretty immense, and while the days of the new-aged travellers setting up camp in people's gardens and using their porches as toilets, it's not hard to see why a lot of local people aren't always best-pleased when the end of June rolls around.

So as a thank you, Mr Eavis brings big names to our humble towns and villages. Traditionally, the first night of the Extravaganza has been some timeless band - we've had Squeeze, Jools Holland, Kate Nash, The Feeling, Lulu and this year it was Bjorn Again and Quo.

('s generally someone who played at the festival.)

And the second night tends to be of a classic nature - so on Sunday it was Aled Jones (it was meant to be Mylene Klass, but she pulled out due to other commitment - filming a shampoo advert, probably) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and some rather impressive fireworks.

The concerts are held in the Abbey ruins in Glastonbury and the town is full of people carrying picnics, fold-up chairs, and inflatable guitars (for the Quo) and presumably, inflatable batons for the classical night.

This year among the revellers was occasional local resident Nicholas Cage, pictured wearing a very natty bowler hat and dodgy green jacket, but presumably he was enjoying himself.

I have to admit that I've never made it to one of the extravaganzas - mostly because there's never been a headliner there I haven't caught at the festival a few weeks previously, but also because I'm a smug local who can sit out in her back garden, see the abbey, hear the music and cop a look at the fireworks without having to cough up for a ticket.

And also because I find it highly amusing to hang out of my window and shout at people who park outside my house or block my drive way as they look for a place to park.

By all accounts, they're a decent enough night. They tend to be popular with the natives and people do tend to be pretty good natured about the whole thing (apart from me shouting at people blocking my drive in, apparently) because it's harder to be huffy about inconvenience when it's people you know doing the inconveniencing, it seems.

..maybe I can talk Michael into a 'sorry for the inconvenience concert' for me. After all, I do have to put up with people parking outside my house for a few hours. It's highly traumatising.

If he can hook me up with a performance by Led Zep or Trivium to say thanks for putting up with the hassle, I'd be prepared to forgive him.

..or not.

But it's nice to get a thank you. And when you live in a place that (apart from one weekend a year) tends to be fairly devoid of huge concert venues, it's a rare chance to get up close and personal with people who'd most likely never even consider playing within a 60 mile radius of our little towns and villages.

As for me, I'm gearing up for my annual pilgrimage to Godney Farm to see the Wurzels play in a cow shed. I'm deadly serious. And you know what's worse? I can't wait.


Anonymous said...

That is one snazzy outfit. I want that hat. I will fight him for it.