Science | Music | PSHE

The world’s most lively festival is back

Are experiences more important than possessions? As Glastonbury returns for the first time since Covid, experts say that modern life means we want special memories more than we want things. The lights on the Pyramid StageThe main stage at Glastonbury. Others include Avalon, Wow and the Rabbit Hole. are dazzling. Once more, for five days, a Somerset farm has become a place of magic. Glastonbury rocks again! The festival, started in 1970, had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. So now it is belatedly celebrating its 50th anniversary. The array of performers is amazing. Billie Eilish will be there, along with Kendrick Lamar, Sam Fender, Little Simz, Paul McCartney and Diana Ross. “It’s like the ultimate escape,” says Francis Whately, the director of a new documentary about Glastonbury. "When you’re there, you don’t really think of the outside world at all.” The festival, run by Michael EavisThe festival takes place on his family farm, which he inherited when he was 19. and his daughter Emily, is not the world’s largest. Austria’s DonauinselfestIn German, Donau is the name of the Danube, insel means island and fest means festival., held on an island in the River DanubeThe second longest river in Europe, it runs for 1,770 miles from Germany to Romania., attracted over three million people in 2015. But for many people Glastonbury is the most special. “It is a family affair,” says Whately. “It’s not for profit. Everything is ploughed back into the festival or into good causesThis year they include aid for Ukrainian refugees.. And that makes it unique.” In the past, most festivals were not about making money. Instead, they brought people together through a shared love of music. WoodstockThe acts included Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Santana and the Grateful Dead., held in New York State in 1969, inspired a host of others. Bands used to get most of their money from selling albums. Now they rely more on live performances. For fans, the ease of downloading recordings makes a live version much more special. Carlos Chirinos, a professor of clinical musicMusic used as therapy for people who are unwell. and global health, says people are now more likely to spend money on experiences than on material things. Being able to share a clip of Billie Eilish on Instagram is more exciting than buying expensive clothes. In one survey of millennials, researchers found that 57% thought travelling and seeing the world was more important than buying a flat or house. Are experiences more important than possessions?  Glasto blasto Yes: When most people think about the best and most memorable things in their lives, it is wonderful adventures, holidays or family occasions that come to mind, not a new bicycle or pair of shoes.

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