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Glastonbury festival
Photography © Ann Cook, courtesy V&A

Submit your messy, personal Glastonbury memories for V&A’s online archive

The 50th anniversary of the iconic festival was supposed to take place this weekend, before it was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

If it wasn’t for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, right now, thousands of people would be waking up in their tents at Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary festival. The sun would be shining, your head would be pounding from last night’s bonfire at the Stone Circle, and you wouldn’t be stuck inside your living room working from home.

But, you are! And so, this weekend, instead of moping about how sad you are, head to the V&A’s website and transport yourself to the festival with soundscapes, archive imagery, memories, and more.

The museum has been working on a Glastonbury archive with the Eavis family since 2014, and, in honour of this year’s cancelled event, has launched a new online collection featuring some of the items it’s acquired over the years. These include archive posters and photos, details about the festival’s history, fashion, and stage design, as well as immersive soundscapes taken at the 2014 event.

The V&A is also asking for festival goers to add their own contribution, sharing their memories of Glastonbury’s gone by – this will be part of a bigger project mapping the festival’s history – and contributing to a playlist made up of the public’s favourite sets.

According to the V&A, the ever-growing archive currently includes posters, programmes, designs, interviews, film, photographs, correspondence, t-shirts, and tickets, as well as personal accounts, maps, and press cuttings.

Speaking to The Guardian, V&A curator Kate Bailey said: “Generally each year we are acquiring new material. You couldn’t just invent a Glastonbury now. There is something about the organic way in which it has developed from that moment from the first festival.”

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis urged past attendees to share their memories with the museum. “The festival is witness to decades of creative, social, and political change,” she said, “and your memories are an integral part of this story.”

The BBC is also honouring the festival this weekend, with a ‘celebration of Glastonbury’ airing from today (June 25) to Monday (June 29). You can watch standout sets on iPlayer, listen to hours of audio highlights on BBC Sounds, or watch classic performances in full on TV, including David Bowie’s 2000 set, which will be aired for the first time ever. Find out more here, and look back at our list of iconic Glastonbury moments here.