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Relive Glastonbury Festival 2011!

Highlights in news, pictures & video from Glastonbury 2011

VF scribe: I played Glastonbury 2011

How Greenpeace allowed our writer to air his tracks

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United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Alex Fahey | 25 June 2011

With nearly 50 stages ranging from music to comedy via trapeze artists and poets, there is always an act for everyone and this year proved no exception.

Although there is no accounting for bias here (surely even Bono’s mum can be overheard telling the backstage area that, "my Paul and his friends are playing this evening,") but on a balmy Saturday morning it was my mum who must have thought she'd won the gold ticket as she saw her son take to the Cowshed/Mi7 stage with acoustic guitar in hand.

Supported by Greenpeace, who this year were celebrating their 40th anniversary, London-based studio the Cowshed and Mi7 raised a fully-functioning recording studio on site, complete with projection screens so those outside the tent could still be involved and watch the recording process.  Kitted out with a grand piano and the finest amps, it certainly was a step up from the battered acoustic guitar that graced many of the campsites across Pilton.

Music producer, Joe Leach of Cowshed Studios sent out the call to all budding musicians: "We're calling on all left-field artists, musicians, writers; everyone who opposes exploitation, destruction, corruption, manipulation and fraud - stuff that has become staple fodder of the increasingly half-baked media reporting we routinely ignore. Raising Voices aims to use the uniquely positive environment that is Glastonbury to build momentum around the protest song.”

As a first time performer, I felt slightly fraudulent trying to manipulate an audition panel into choosing me to exploit their fantastic studio equipment but the opportunity was too good to side-step.

As I strutted towards the audition stage, with my mum's cheers still vibrating in my ears, my mouth was drier than the ink on my lyric sheet and my heart was racing faster than any beats coming out of the Dance Village.

Keeping in tune with the festival, there was no X Factor nastiness here and luckily for me I was able to numb the nerves with a few swigs of scrumpy. You don't get that on Britain's Got Talent - similarly I didn't see any blubbing, fat, seven year olds ousted for their failed ballet routine in Cowshed Green Room either.

With true festival footage (yes, it's someone's camera phone), see how I got on above.

Even if my attempt hasn't successfully launched a career in music I can always say, "I played Glastonbury 2011," as dream for many musicians across the country.  And Emily, if you're reading perhaps I can extend that boast to, "and 2013…" as well?


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