Glastonbury Fayre

Glastonbury Fayre

Glastonbury Fayre

directed by Nicolas Roeg and Peter Neal

MVD Visual

What do we really know of the hippies? That flourish of youth culture dominated the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s. It celebrated peace, love, dope, sex, rock and roll, Krishna, and every other escape for a generation afraid of both conventional and nuclear war. Their response to this existential dilemma created the music festival, and the UK hosted more than its share of these debauched gatherings. Tonight we visit the second Glastonbury Fayre, a celebration of DIY, innovative music, traditional sex, all sprinkled over with pot and acid and an alphabet soup of other still obscure chemicals of joy. This doc was tucked away for a long time, and its out now on a DVD that makes the 16 mm film look about as good as possible after 50 years. The bands here range from relics we recall (Traffic, Melanie, Fairport Convention, Arthur Brown) to one festival wonders: Gong, Family, Trumpton and the Riots, and my favorite band name ever: The Expanding Head Band.

As docs go, this one is as freewheeling as the era itself. Famously, David Bowie played here but no one bothered filming him. Bands appear with no introduction and no liner notes leaving me to guess as to which band name goes with which group. What’s most interesting is the footage of the kids camping, smoking, fornicating, and rolling around in the cold British mud. There’s more than generic male and female nudity here, so be warned. Nothing is erotic, but its all rather …earthy. There’s an audio commentary by Nick Roeg (director) but it sounds like he’s stoned and struggling to recall what he did a lifetime ago. This film is not by any means slick or well organized, but it is a time capsule of the high life of British hippies and the exciting events they lived through. We idolize the hippies and their free lifestyle, but honestly this camp it looks cold, damp and free of modern amenity like plumbing and clean water. Still, I’d give anything to have been there…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gary Wittner
    Gary Wittner

    Too Modern for Me. (Invisible Music Records) Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Willard Gayheart & Friends
    Willard Gayheart & Friends

    At Home in the Blue Ridge (Blue Hens Music). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Alex McArtor
    Alex McArtor

    Touch/Are You Alone (Bigmac Records). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Superstar

    Sex, drugs, adultery, murder and finally, redemption – it’s all intertwined in the tale of Trent Davis, the “star” of author Christopher Long‘s latest, Superstar.

  • Moloko Plus
    Moloko Plus

    Moloko Plus is a monthly experimental music event in Orlando, Florida.

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

From the Archives