News

    Glastonbury Festival 1983

    Glastonbury CND Festival 1983

    For the first time, the festival achieved a third consecutive year. No longer was it an intermittent event, but at last an annual fixture. This momentum carried growth - from around 20,000 festival goers the year before, to 30,000 in 1983.

    The festival radio station, Avalon FM, fired up its antenna for the first time and would become a permanent feature - allowing festival goers to tune in and drop out around the clock.

    The most significant change in 1983 was one that Eavis himself would never truly get to grips with: Licensing. An act passed the previous year meant that he and every other organiser would now be answerable to the local authority.

    Alongside this new obligation, murmurings about the new age travellers - "the convoy" - were growing. Independent observers - Festival Welfare Sevices (FWS) - noted that at festivals, drug and alcohol use was up, and community spirit was down.

    The signs of fault lines are easy to see in hindsight. Legislation pulling one way, towards a more controlled position for these events. The festival goers pulling another way, being focussed more on simply having a good time than realigning their lives around a community outside society that would spend much its year invisible.

    FWS concluded: "The Convoy are a mobile festival in themselves."

    Despite these undercurrents, it seems - from what little there is recorded - that the 1983 Glastonbury Festival was a success.
    Comments