There are lots of festivals, its a growing industry.
All the bands want to be seen at the coolest of course, that's the business.
Not much risk taking these days by either band or festival organiser, well, that's not strictly true - in this day and age of health and safety uber politics police there ARE risks that need to be insured against, again all part of the business model, insure against fire, riot, whatever.
No the risks I am on about are the real risks - the risk to the bands reputation that used to be there in earlier days of festival, before it became all comfy cosy, over insured corporate marketing media safeness.
I love Glastonbury, despite never haven attended myself... and you could argue that they do take a few risks, booking Jay Z or Neil Diamond, but they are very measured and as it turned out, great calls.
There is always the risk of bad weather - again though, very (expensive) insurable, but thats not what I am on about either.
What is missing as far as I can see is the risk taken against the band or festivals over-precious own self-built reputation. The fear of taking what you have and at some point throwing it all up into the wind and then re-assembling after finding the pieces all over again
Rebuilding the jigsaw.
There is one festival of course that goes against the grain and dares to risk in very real and some would say dangerous ways.
Not danger to its' attendees or workers or volunteers who are at the heart and soul of this festival, and whose safety in bodily terms are scrupiously taken care of with all possible attention to detail.
No, the risk I refer to is SOUL risk
The bravery of baring it and stripping it to bone
Exposing fragile, frail humanity and allowing that reality to shine its' beauty into the dark places of comfort, safeness and oversurity and complacency.
A festival that not only challenges the festival-goer to brave the joys of camping, portaloos and crowd surges - but also challenges the very core of what you, as the attendee or worker or volunteer are. Your values. Your prejudices. Your benign racism. Your hypnotic state of self assurance.
A festival that can really break your heart.
And set you on the road to searching for those broken-heart pieces, scattered to the wind, blown away through the doors and SOUL windows that have been opened by your time there (and beyond.....)
The band who takes up the challenge to play this festival and the punter who pays to attend this festival really are taking their lives in their hands and risking everything they or their fans ever thought or believed about themselves, and of course one can understand why many do not dare take up this challenge.
They will never ever know what change they could have been part of had they taken that chance if it ever came along.
Change they could have made and been part of. Personal, one soul at a time change.
Such is life.
So, being part of this festival has changed my life in many wonderful and dangerous ways.
It has ripped my soul
Broken my heart
Infused my self with itself.
I am part of it and it is part of me.
I have grand plans for it, some of these may seem to others quite fanciful and impossible.
If I ever thought that, or think that in the future, then I will disown it.
I dont plan to allow that to happen anytime soon.......
You want to see my dream lineup!
It all happens every August Bank Holiday Weekend (and beyond!!!!)
As MLK once said, those GOd words from the mouth of mAn....
I have been to the mountain top, and I have SEEEEEN the other side.....
"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord"