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The Glyndebourne of pop

By Nick Crowe   July 2004

A music festival, like any good carnival, should blast daily life away. Glastonbury began in this vein, a party in Michael Eavis’s oversize back garden, served by a makeshift stage and a beer tent. Similarly, the Cambridge folk festival was conceived as a musical expression of a better life, driven by its founders’ socialist ideals. The Isle of Wight event saw Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors headlining by its second and third year. Facilities were basic, conditions insalubrious, security lax, but tickets were cheap and the free spirits who gathered did so in a spontaneous celebration of musical…

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