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The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.
The festival organiser Michael Eavis, a farmer in a Somerset valley stated that he decided to host the first festival, then called Pilton Festival, after seeing an open air Led Zeppelin concert at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music 1970. Fourteen people, including John Hoare, invested everything they had to build the stage.

The first festivals in the 1970s were influenced by hippie ethics and the free festival movement. The festival retains vestiges of this tradition such as the Green Fields area which includes the Green Futures and Healing Field. After the 1970s the festival took place almost every year and grew in size, with the number of attendees sometimes being swollen by gate-crashers.

The size and nature of the festival, held over three or four days in the open air, with performers, crew and paying festival goers staying in tents, caravans and motorhomes, has meant that the weather is significant. It is now attended by around 150,000 people. The majority of staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for good causes.

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Last Updated: 02 November 2017

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