The Archive

Formatted for Netscape Navigator at 800 X 600- created Feb 2002.




28th June -8th July 1978.

   The venue was different from 1977, six miles up the road at the farm itself. Apparently there should not have actually been a festival at this particular site ,but the site that had been planned to use was cordoned off by the police . After a lot of persuasion , it was decided to run a mini festival. It was all very impromptu , but great fun, power for the stage was provided by an electric motor in a caravan close by. About 500 attended and it was declared to be a success, which may have prompted the revivial of the 'official ' festival which was held in 1979.

As you can see , the weather was NOT kind, but possibly a bit nicer then it had been at the Henge. All pics courtesy of Roger Hutchinson ©

Nik Turner

The free festival at the farm in 1978 happened when a convoy had left Stonehenge after the solstice to go to another free festival we were planning. It was the early days of making the vision of festivals being a summer-long nomadic culture real. We'd identified a field at Cinnamon Lane in Glastonbury as the site there had been a small alternative culture settlement for a number of years, caravans and a tipi. I'd lived there myself. But when we turned up the farmers and police knew about it and had blocked off the access. The police radio'd around and eventually came up with the venue of Worthy Farm, so we all headed there under police direction. I remember seeing Andrew Kerr there, and him saying 'This is better than '71'.

Despite Andrew Kerrs positive opinion, our intrepid festival goer Roger Hutchinson felt rather differently about 1978.

Muck and Misery - Glastonbury 78

    After the sunny '77 festival on NT land at Street, wild horses couldn't have stopped me from going to the next event (I wished they had!) I hitched down to Michael Evi's farm at Pilton, uneventfully only to be held up at the gate by some bored DS officers who just went through the motions of looking at the contents of my pack. Once inside the site, I too went through the motions to remove the cling film wrapped lump of black that was up me arse and a welcome spliff was mine.
    The festival site was a minute fraction of today's massive festival sprawl, tucked up at the north end of the farm by the entrance with the green pyramid stage facing downhill towards where the silver pyramid cowshed stands today. Friends had kindly carried my tent and canopy down in their van a few days earlier so it was not long before I was established and set off for a walk about. The weather had not been kind and already, despite the low numbers of folk at the festival, the routes through the site were turning to sticky mud with a vengence. In fact, this festival seemed clinically depressed as everything seemed like too much effort to bother with given that it was unseasonably cold and wet.
    Musical entertainment did happen but it did little to lift the spirits and we were just going through the free festival motions (once again!) I look at the few slides that have survived and they do not conjure up any feelings of joy or good times just the grind of survival - just people standing in mud watching vehicles being towed through it by Michael's tractor.
    Shamefully all I can clearly remember of the week was the occasion when a not-so-young couple copulated fully clothed (including gloves and hats) lying in the mud in front of the stage, under a midday sky of grey clouds. They seemed orgasmically unaware of the dis-interested audience as he humped her relentlessly without pause for what seemed like hours. The general consensus was that they were both tripping, some were concerned that if they continued much longer she would disappear from view into the liquefying mud. I went off to the bogs and then for a cup of tea and when I came back they had ceased to move and the ragged crowd had wandered off.
    And that's it! Nothing else to report.
There you go - chalk and cheese or was it heaven or hell?

Spike has a very different recollection to that of Roger

   We do have photos of Glastonbury 78 (which was a brilliant festival and nothing like your miserable corespondant described it). It always rains at Pilton -and anybody who saw the lightning hit the pylons and dance down the cables towards the tor must have blown away by the experience.

   At 78 we ran a stall called Greasy Joes half foods and we think we were the first people to start selling egg and bacon butties at festivals. Up till then it had been all vegie stuff ,dammit we even offered corn flakes for breakfast+lemon meringue pies,these were all sold to the bloody stage crew.The event finished 2 days early due to micheal getting hassle from the cops,so everybody who had been saving their more interesting substances had to take them all in one go (paranoia about leaving the site carrying) it turned into a mother of an interesting party highlighted by a marked lack of tobacco !


As usual, click on the photo to see a bigger image, blah, blah.....

Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact email

Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

Back to the main Archive.