Glastonbury Fayre – 1971

“You’re an architect, right?”
“I’m a constructivist.”

Screened as an episode of Channel 4’s Late Shift – 1988, this is one of the better festival films, using performances as punctuation for the scenes of festival life and community, rather than the focus of the documentary. Directed by Nicolas Roeg and, later, Peter Neal, and produced by David Puttnam, the quality of the film making really shines through, even though this Google Videos embed is hardly good quality (and the embed isn’t working – click on “Google Video” ➜ “Go to Google Video” bottom right of screen).

The shots of the construction of the Pyramid Stage, temporary living domes, tree houses and of vehicles being maintained are a reminder that revolution, or the building of an alternative lifestyle, means work. Hard work. That doesn’t mean that hard work is unpleasant – working towards a shared ideal will always be more rewarding than working to make a profit for others.

David Bowie’s headline set was dropped from the final cut along with Hawkwind’s, which is a shame. To the best of my knowledge, the running order of live acts in the film is as follows. Let me know if I’m mistaken.

Pink Fairies drum march
Terry Reid with Linda Lewis
Fairport Convention
Magic Michael ?
Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Mighty Baby?
Gong – as background music only.


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Filed under counterculture, Film and TV, hippies, Music

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