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The Big Glastonbury Interview, from the man who was there

Last week was the biggest music festival in the UK, Glastonbury, which saw artists like U2, Coldplay and Beyonce perform over 5 days. Almost every genre of music is played on over 50 stages and there’s lots of drinking, plenty of dancing and huge amounts of dirt!

This year over 130,000 people attended, mostly staying in tents and caravans. One of them was our very own SGI teacher, Charlie Allen, and he answered a few questions about his experience.

  1. How many times have you been to Glastonbury? I’ve been three times in total. I first went in 2005 when I was a student, and went two years later in 2007. I had a few years off while I was living abroad so was desperate to get back there this year now I’m back in the country!
  2. Who did you go with and how long did you stay for? I went with 4 other friends, and we all met other people we know when we were there. I bumped into my cousin who I didn’t even know was going to be there! We got there on Wednesday and left on Monday, so stayed for 5 days.
  3. How many artists / performances did you see and who?I saw loads of acts perform, probably about 15 in all. There’s so much variety at Glastonbury so I was able to see artists ranging from American folk to UK drum and bass – too much to list here!
  4. Who, in your opinion, gave the best performance and why?This is a difficult one, but I would probably say the best performance was given by The Streets – a seminal UK group from the last decade. The lead singer really knew how to get the crowd excited and singing along. Plus he dived into the crowd at the end of the show!
  5. What was the funniest or most random thing you came across (try and keep it clean!)? There are so many weird and wonderful things at Glastonbury it’s hard to pick just one. Perhaps the funniest thing I came across was a really short man dressed as a clown but wearing a smart suit and drinking a bottle of wine. When we spoke to him he thought it was Thursday, but actually it was already Friday!
  6. Didn’t you secretly miss the traditional rainy weather? Well, the first few days were actually pretty rainy, and certainly very muddy! Everyone was wearing wellies (Wellington boots) and rain jackets, and we all got very dirty. Luckily the weather got better as the festival went on, and by Sunday it was so hot we were wearing shorts and t-shirts and had changed the wellies for flip-flops!
  7. For you, what is Glastonbury all about? For me, Glasto (as it’s commonly known) is all about enjoying yourself. There’s something for everyone – world class music, comedy and even circus, so it’s impossible not to have a great time!
  8. Finally, could you tell me what advice you would give to anyone thinking of going in future?If you want to go you have to get your ticket far in advance, and you’ll have to get up early on the day tickets go on sale to beat the competition. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until 2013 as the festival isn’t on next year. As Glastonbury is held on a fully functioning farm, the organisers want to give the cows a rest! If you do manage to get to Glasto, make sure you take some wet wipes (like the towels they give you on aeroplanes) as you probably won’t be having a shower while you’re there!

Charlie Allen is a specialised business teacher. He is also a music-lover, a great footballer and all-round good guy.

Glossary

Dirt (n), Dirty (adj)
not clean
To bump into (pv)
o meet by accident
To dive (v)
to go quickly, head first, into something
Wellington Boots (n)
traditional English rubber boots, usually worn to protect from water
Flip-flops (n)
Usually rubber sandals with separator between the big toe & the next one

Question Formation:

  1. To make questions with modal verbs and with tenses where there is an auxiliary verb (be, have, etc.) invert subject and modal / auxiliary verb. “How many times have you been to Glastonbury?”
  2. With present and past simple, add do / does / did before subject. “How many artists / performances did you see and who?”
  3. We often use negative questions to show surprise or when you expect someone to agree with you. “Didn’t you secretly miss the traditional rainy weather?”
  4. If verb is followed by preposition, the preposition comes at the end of the question. “Who did you go with and how long did you stay for?”
  5. When who / what / which etc. is the subject of the question, don’t use do / did. “Who, in your opinion, gave the best performance and why?”
  6. Use indirect questions to ask in a more polite way, with “Can/Could you tell me…” or “Do you know…” The order would then be subject + verb. “Could you tell me what advice you would give to anyone thinking of going in future?”
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