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Where to go with no Glasto...

08 March 2006

Whether its the Green Fields, the headliners, the crazy goings-on, the Somerset dirt, or just the general ambience of Glastonbury, you can still find little bits of the festival in your travels elsewhere this summer...

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

Think back to the weekend of 24 June, 2005. Picture the majesty of the Pyramid Stage, remember the ethereal magic of the Green Fields, and indulge once more in the hedonistic delights of Lost Vagueness. Take a walk up to the Stone Circle where thousands congregated to watch the sunrise, and reflect fondly on the first time you found yourself stuck in three feet of mud, only to be pulled to safety by a complete stranger. Imagine the rain, the sun, the music, the magic, the people ... And now forget it all, because it ain’t happening this year.

That’s right, in 2006 Glastonbury Festival is taking a breather. The fields are being left to fallow, Pilton village is being allowed at least one summer without the roped-off fun that normally ensues when the hordes descend on the Vale of Avalon, and Michael Eavis is taking a much deserved sabattical. But the absence of the world’s greatest greenfield music and performing arts festival has invoked a common response amongst its 160,000-strong following that goes something like "What in the name of Moses are we going to do?" Luckily, this question can be answered. For while Glastonbury takes a break, there are loads of alternative events that, while not pretenders to Glasto’s crown as the world’s greatest festival, do offer pockets of similar experiences or at least have something in common. Below are just a few:

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
29 – 30 April
Empire Polo Field, USA
If you go to Glasto every year kidding yourself that the sun's going to shine all weekend, furiously swearing you'll never return as you soggily trudge towards your mud-engulfed car on Monday morning, then this could be for you. Wipe the tears from your eyes, hop on a plane and start your festival summer by getting as far away from Somerset as you can. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a haven in the midst of the Texan desert, a festival whose eclectic line up is almost as impressive as the show’s organisation. Invest $165 in a full camping ticket and go a bit further afield to see acts such as Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Tool, Massive Attack and even the Queen Mother of Pop, Madonna.
Click here to WIN your way to Coachella!
Click here for more.
Click here for tickets.

26-28 May
Turnpost Farm, Leicestershire
A cheeky take on Glastonbury, Leicestershire's Glastonbudget promises similar sounds to the ones you'd find at Worthy Farm, just with cover bands performing the tunes instead - although the real Chas N Dave (Glasto legends in their own right) will be performing this year! Bands booked to play include the Ded Hot Chili Peppers, Robbing Williams, Stereotonics, Pink Fraud and Oasish. There will also an unsigned stage, a festival village, real ale bars, and free camping for weekend ticket holders. And as the name suggest, its pretty kind on the wallet - stay the weekend for less than £40.
Click here for more.
Click here for tickets.
Isle of Wight Festival
9 – 11 June
Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
History geeks might be mistaken into thinking that by treading over Glasto's ancient laylines they're tapping into the original hippy fest - they would be wrong. For while all sorts of
ritualistic weirdness has been taking place in the West Country for centuries, it's the Isle Of Wight where the biggest ever congregation of free-loving beard platters took place. Between 1968 and 1970 more than a million music fans made the hazy pilgrimage across the Solent to see the likes of Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Dylan and Fairport Convention. (Michael Eavis started up his farmyard bash the year after the Wightian locals said 'not on our isle', in 1971.) So if it's festival folklore you're after, head for the ferry port and see if you can get closer to Coldplay than you did at the Pyramid Stage last year. It's just a shame those hoards of ancient hippies won't still be there for Primal Scream's Bobby Gilliespie to snarl at.
Click here for more.
Click here for tickets.

- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Article by: Nick Bruce, Ross Purdie

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