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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, June 24, 2007
    An injustice to the vibe
     
    I gave up watching Glastonbury on TV, partly because the featured line-up was feeble and uninteresting (on the whole, Lily Allen aside), partly because of annoying repetition across four channels, but mainly because it may be dry and warm on my settee, but watching it there leaves me somehow cold.

    I think the BBC have grasped that a festival isn't really that much about the music but they still haven't found any way to get to the heart of the thing onscreen. Pretty tough task, that. Probably impossible. The closest they ever got were the cosy and genuinely affectionate late-night conversations between Jo Whiley and John Peel in the years before the great DJ's demise, of which she says,

    "Some of my best Glastonbury memories are of the shows I did with John Peel. Of him carrying me on his back at two in the morning when it felt like Armageddon with the storms of '97. The hardest Glastonbury was the first without him - it was a real struggle - I wasn't alone in missing him very, very much."

    Which suggests that it's about the banter, the shared experiences, the human exchanges of all kinds, a festival. A story, lived and shared. All those shots of punters sliding in the mud can't really reflect the feeling they have in being there; the prospect of half-an-hour's coverage of the frankly now-pitiful Who feels like the very opposite of festive; and all those quirky roving reports from the Green Healing Energy Massage field can never do justice to the vibe.