Director: Julien Temple
Producer: Robert Richards
In 1970, a music aficionado and entrepreneur named Michael Eavis staged a "pop, folk, and blues" festival on a dairy farm in the English community of Glastonbury, not far from Stonehenge.
1,500 attended the "Glastonbury Fayre," and a second festival followed in 1971. By 2005, The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts had grown into the biggest pop music festival in the world, playing host to the biggest names in rock, reggae, electronic, blues, and world music for a crowd of up to150,000 people over the course of a three-day weekend in June.
Filmmaker Julien Temple offers a backstage look at the history of this event, as well as a cross section of the memorable performances which have taken place on the festival's stage in the documentary Glastonbury.
Performers featured in archival footage include R.E.M., David Bowie, New Order, Radiohead, Coldplay, the Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Oasis, Blur, Björk, and many more.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Director Julien Temple's career has contained more ups and downs than a day at a theme park, but things are most definitely in the ascendancy on Glastonbury. A magical documentary recounting the 35 tumultuous years of the Glastonbury Music Festival, this is an exhilarating experience. As long as you take a vat of mud into the cinema with you and spend two hours queuing to use a toilet, this really is as good as being at the festival itself.
If ever a movie needed to be shown in Smell-o-Vision it is Julien Temple's enjoyable documentary-collage about the Glastonbury festival, a quintessentially English event maintained for over 30 years by its proprietor, the genial yet inscrutably shrewd west country farmer Michael Eavis. Surely for full appreciation you need to smell the mud, the Class B drugs, the ostrich burgers served à point from a tepee, the faeces of hundreds of thousands of people. Actually, come to think of it, perhaps you don't want Smell-o-Vision after all.
A terrific opportunity is squandered in Julien Temple's docu reviewing 35 years of the U.K.'s longest-running and most colorful rock festival. - Dennis Harvey