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Preview: Glastonbury 2013 – The Main Stages

Lisa Ward


For those of you who’ve only ever seen Glastonbury on the TV, I’ll forgive you for believing that the main stages are Glastonbury. To be fair, if it’s The Rolling Stones you want to see amid 100,000 other people, then The Pryramid Stage is the only place to be. Its steep hill means there’s generally a good vantage point of the stage regardless of where you stand and though it’s perhaps one of the busiest places to be, that also means it carries with it an incredible atmosphere. What’s more, it’s also home to the Cider Bus with it’s locally produced warm spicy cider which is sure to keep the evening chills at bay.

Also located in the middle of the valley is the Other Stage. Aptly named it’s here that you’ll find the bands who are emerging as leaders of their genre. Like the Pyramid Stage, it’s main attraction is the super sized stage and smattering of food and retail vendors. From sock to air beds to tacos and burgers, there’s little you can’t locate, with the exception of a guy named ‘Alan’.

Further in towards the east side of the site lies West Holts, which brings with it a diversity of music from every continent. It’s here you’re likely to experience merging beats and melodies, and a decent array of food. It’s also home to the Brothers Bar and it’s mix of ciders, so if you prefer strawberry cider to spicy apple, this is the place to be.

If it’s kudos you’re after the John Peel Stage is one of the places you’ll be able to watch bands and say ‘I saw them first…’ as well as catching plenty of established acts. Named after the Radio 1 DJ who passed away in 2004, it’s tented set up means you often find yourself swept up in the crowd, bouncing along to the rhythm.

Higher up the hill sits the Acoustic Field, dominated by the giant Acoustic Tent and it’s here you’ll discover a more laid back atmosphere. The tent runs counter to intuition, placing the stage at the top of the hill but this in turn leaves the crowd with a constantly clear view of the stage. It’s also here you’ll find plenty of places to sit and also the cinema tent if you feel like catching a film.

The Field of Avalon┬áhas always felt a bit like the acoustic field’s hippy brother. With a similar style of music it draws in a more relax crowd and the Avalon Cafe serves a great cup of coffee. With a helter skelter for the kids and art work displays, it’s one of the quirkier areas which is well worth a wander through.

Left Field is curated by Billy Bragg and is where the ethos of the festival and it’s quest to see positive change in the world comes to life. With music meeting debate, expect appearances from the more political performers and don’t be afraid to air your thoughts. With comedy also thrown into the mix, it’s an eclectic stage with something for everyone.

Elsewhere don’t forget the check out the newer Spirit of ’71 which was launched in 2011 to mark 40 years of the iconic festival and boasts everything from roots to space rock and electronica. Tucked between Arcadia (which finds a new home near the Other Stage) and West Holts, it’s rapidly garnering a reputation of its own.