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Museum exhibition brings spirit of Glastonbury to life

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: September 15, 2012

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The Spirit of Glastonbury has been brought to life at Radstock Museum in an exhibition that brings together iconic images that capture the partying, people and performances over the festival's 40-year history.

The museum invited seven photographers – Brian Walker, Ian Sumner, Anna Barclay, Ann Cook, Steve Roberts, Jason Bryant and Matt Cardy – to display their favourite images to give a snapshot of how the world-famous festival has evolved over the decades.

Alongside images of A-list performance artists are the pictures of festival goers who make the event so unique – from the early days of strung-out hippies in love beads to recent shots of dancing girls covered head to toe in the infamous Glastonbury mud with aerial shots of the massive site and the 3,000 portable toilets all included for good measure.

The exhibition includes a wide selection of programmes, memorabilia and personal memories which feature alongside a festival tent created by young people from Peasedown St John Youth Centre.

The youngsters worked together to create bunting, banners, masks and pillows and recreated some of the distinct colourfully painted bins which are dotted around the festival site.

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis officially opened the exhibition and used the opportunity to speak of his debt to miners in Radstock.

For two-and-a-half years Mr Eavis spent his working day down the mines while also toiling on the farm in the early mornings and during the evenings before inspiration hit and he first dreamed of creating his own music festival after watching the Moody Blues perform in Shepton Mallet.

He said organisers were "all fired up for next year" which he promised would be "one hell of a good show".

During the preview evening two short films were shown which were created during the 2011 festival by Mr Bryant.

One showed the festival in full flow complete with the mud, dancing fans and performances while the other looked behind the scenes at the mammoth clean-up operation needed to bring Worthy Farm back to lush green fields after the 200,000 revellers return to home with little more than their memories.

The film showed the aftermath that blights the beautiful patch of Somerset countryside as hundreds of tents and tonnes of discarded rubbish get left behind for disposal by a team that remain at the site carrying out the clean-up for many weeks after the festival ends.

Spirit of Glastonbury will run until November 30.

The museum is open Tuesday to Friday and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm, and on Saturdays from 11am to 5pm.

For more information visit www.radstockmuseum.co.uk.

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