News unfolded this week of the frankly almost unbelievable turn of circumstances in the McCartney divorce case, to whit that the blonde large-breasted model with a penchant for taking her clothes off was apparently not the best marriage prospects for Sir Thumbs-a-loft, the well known ex-Frog Chorus leader. As Mrs Merton once asked Debbie McGee, “What did you first see in the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
Now, this is the sort of thing that normally leads us to write an highly amusing chortle filled piece vaguely pretending that Tom Riddlemetimbers is divorcing Jason Dormouse and running off with the money to set up a limb based jape infested charity operation offering free Unlabel CDs to the masses. That’s what we’d normally do, but this month a whole series of absolutely howling press releases have come across our desk that we can’t resist bringing you up to speed on, air headed fantasists with a paranoia complex the size of Lichtenstein notwithstanding.
Yes, it’s that annual time of year when Saint Michael of Eavis is given a free ride by the UK press to make a series of completely unconvincing statements about how we are all in it together, there’s no need for paths, there’s no need to announce the line up, and the people who go to Glastonbury Festival enjoy being treated like Battle of the Somme recreation enthusiasts with an added dose of George Orwell’s 1984 interrogation techniques thrown in.Now, we know that a lot of you at The Forum are confirmed Glasto enthusiasts, and as dedicated music fans you probably try and make the best of the opportunity it gives you to see as many bands as possible. But the truth is (OK, it’s not the truth, it’s just an opinion, but it’s not an opinion that you can read anywhere else so stick with me) that Glastonbury has completely lost its way, that its one of the most badly run and yet most profitable festivals in Europe, that’s its infested by people who don’t actually like music but are “there for the experience man”, that’s its overhyped, that it’s way too much money, and that for the last ten years its been coasting by on its reputation and the compliant self interest of the UK music media – last year’s coverage by the BBC should have come with a warning that it was paid for advertising; did anybody else see Jo Whiley and co desperately trying to suggest that people were having so much fun in the rain and the mud that they were all funned out and needed to go home early on Sunday?
Anyway, this year registration for the opportunity to buy a ticket (a process akin to giving the National Lottery details of your DNA in order to be able to buy a scratch card, only with the added delight of being automatically added to their ever expanding database so they can spam your inbox on an hourly basis to let you know what a great time you could have been having if you’d won) has dropped dramatically. How dramatically? They won’t say. And nobody will ask them who could probably get an answer, cos that might involve their guest passes being revoked. To add injury to this, Radiohead then announced that they had been approached to play, but wouldn’t because of the environmental damage the festival goers cause. And finally, Mr Eavis was forced to confirm that the headliners were indeed Jay Z, The Verve and Kings of Leon, as this had been widely leaked throughout Europe.
Now, let’s look at the evidence. The entry price this year is £155. Which means that most people should budget £500 minimum to get there, eat, have their tent stolen, catch some sort of eradicated third world disease, see five bands and get back again, provided of course that the gestapo will let you in. So, what we’re expecting from Mr Eavis would be some recognition of those facts within the way that the festival presents itself to the public. More fool us.
Those three crap headliners? They’re thrilled to have them, and they never went after anybody else, honest. They certainly weren’t trying to keep them secret in case anybody ended up not buying a ticket, and anybody who says they did is just trying to spoil the fun so there. Glastonbury is the greenest festival there is by miles. All those thousands of people polluting up the countryside, filling up acres of landfill with human excrement and burger wrappers and then driving hundreds of miles back home in mummys 4 x 4? Ignore that! We’ve got biodegradable tent pegs (they won’t keep your tent in place, but then that was going to happen anyway when some weekend hippy decided it would be right larks to piss about at 4am). And the massive drop in applications? That’s not that less people want to go, or are prepared to put up with the ridiculous process require to get a ticket, it’s that they are super delighted that this year the audience has become “more selective”. HA HA AHA AHAHAHAHAHA (falls off chair). MORE SELECTIVE??? Christ on a bike………
We at The Forum could learn a lot from the Glastonbury press department. Next time you’re down the Forum on a cold Wednesday night with only your parka and the barman for company watching three local bands trog through their wares, just remember kids: It’s not that they are less popular than Blood Red Shoes, it’s that they attract a more selective audience. And the lack of bog paper? That’s just our environmental policy in action.
If you’re wondering how all these things hang together, its our believe that the Glasto press department is solely manned by Heather Mills. And we want her for Blam.