With the Dalai Lama topping the bill of this year's festival, the focus was firmly on politicsby Serena Kutchinsky / July 13, 2015 / Leave a comment
I met the Dalai Lama. Ok, not quite, but I got close during his “secret gig” at Glastonbury. It was one of those special moments that linger in the mind long after you’ve cleaned the last traces of mud off your wellies. The rumour that his Holiness was due to appear had been flying around Britain’s biggest music festival. As someone who has made the pilgrimage to Worthy Farm on and off for the past 20 years, I was sceptical—surely Glastonbury is a place for partying, not preaching? If the organisers had failed to book rock legends Fleetwood Mac, had they really managed to woo the Dalai Lama? But, on Sunday morning—thanks to a friend’s talent for picking up information around campfires—we found ourselves trudging through the early morning mist to the festival’s spiritual centre, the Stone Circle, where a crowd of 200 reverential revellers had gathered.
Peering out from a specially constructed wooden stage adorned with the Tibetan flag, his Holiness spoke for over an hour. As well as extolling the importance of education and the need to combat climate change, he also commented on the conflict in the Middle East. “In this very moment, in some parts of the world, like Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and some other places—they’re killing, human to human being. Unthinkable. And the worst thing [is that] conflict, killing each other, in the name of their faith,” he said.