A pyramid stage, an attendance well in excess of 100,000 and a worldwide TV audience. With the GDP of a small country, The annual Glastonbury Festival is far removed from its very humble beginnings, today in 1970.
The first Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival aka Glastonbury Festival began in Somerset. A crowd of around 2,000 paid £1 each to attend the two-day event organised by local farmer Michael Eavis - and were all entitled to sample unlimited free milk from the farm’s dairy herd.
Despite some setbacks, including Hells Angels torching a hay cart after Eavis turned down their offer of providing “security” and news of Jimi Hendrix’s death the previous day spreading, the event was kicked off by Stackridge and judged a success, revellers returning in larger numbers the following year.
Both The Kinks and Wayne Fontana & The Mindbinders pulled out – the former citing “sore throats”. Eavis however was able to substitute T-Rex, who had played in nearby Bristol the previous night – Marc Bolan turning up in his velvet-covered Buick!
With “DJ Mad Mick” on compere duties, the rest of the lineup comprised of Quintessence, Amazing Blondel, Steamhammer, Keith Christmas, Sam Apple Pie and Ian A. Anderson (not the IA of Jethro Tull fame, but the esteemed founder of Folk Roots Magazine).
Also appearing was singer songwriter Al Stewart, who would return to feature on the bill of the 2010 event. By then the milk was organic, but had to be paid for – while the admission fee had risen to £180….
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And here’s some footage of Worthy Farm alumni Al Stewart in action: