Glastonbury 2023 – The Pre-Festival Highlights

THE EXCITEMENT for Glastonbury 2023 this week is fully underway, with friends already departing to join the queues of eager attendees ready to pounce on the ultimate camping spot. Our social media feeds are lively with the prepping action, marking an optimum opportunity to run through the new and notable things happening at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. And though conversations may be centring around the lineup, the below is a reminder of how far the Glastonbury commitment extends beyond the music.

Glastonbury 2023 to run fossil fuel-free

Firstly, and arguably most importantly, Glastonbury 2023 will have all of its power needs met by renewable energy and renewable fuels, eliminating the need to rely on fossil fuels for power across the festival. From production areas running on solar PV and battery hybrid system, to all generators across the site running on sustainable, renewable palm oil-free HVO fuel, made from waste cooking oil – helping to reduce lifecycle CO2e emissions by up to 90 percent – Glastonbury 2023 is reclaiming its position as the leader in sustainable festival initiatives.

It’s important to remember that Glastonbury has been setting the standard since 1984, when their Green Fields began running on solar, wind and pedal power. You won’t find any single-use plastic at any venue and as for those a part of vape nation, Glastonbury will ensure your experience is a sustainable one, banning the sale of all environmentally hazardous disposable vapes.

Pyramid Field mural celebrates the NHS

This week, a new mural on the Pyramid Field was revealed, in celebration of the wonderful work of the NHS. Watch the video below to find out more.

Silver Hayes turns 10

Located west of the Pyramid Stage is the haven of dance sounds at Glastonbury, a field dedicated to the legacy of electronic music, with a chrome sign reading Silver Hayes sparkling under both sun and the moonlight, luring you to the clutches of hours spent immersing yourself in DJ performances from the most celebrated players. 2023 marks the Silver Hayes 10th anniversary, and in celebration of the last decade, and many years to come, the area introduces three new stage creations. 

The Levels, a new open air nightclub inspired by the crossover of architecture, lighting and experimental musical art-forms, alongside the creative reimagining of The Lonely Hearts Club, The Firmly Rooted Soundsystem and the return of cult favourite, The Wow stage. Plus, explore the future of tomorrow with a new experimental art pavilion to be unveiled, supported by Arts Council England.

Explore Woodsies

A stone’s throw from Silver Hayes, just north of the river and next to the Pyramid field, is the newly named area Woodsies. The area combines Woodsies main stage with bars, cafes, décor, campfire, installations, and The Woods’ aerial walkways in the trees – a new, verdant pathway and viewpoint across the festival delights.

This year, Glastonbury have planted 1,000 more trees in the Woodsies area, with an additional plan to recreate a 300 year old Oak tree as a symbolic totem to their connection with nature. The opening day of the festival, Wednesday, also marks the summer solstice, which also happens to set at its highest azimuth in the North West, right over the Woodsies area.

Carhenge reborn in Williams Green

Marking Glastonbury’s own ‘Stonehenge’ – Carhenge is the latest sculptural addition to the festival, built by founder of the Mutoid Waste Company and revolutionary underground artist, Joe Rush. Made of 24 vintage cars erected in the centre of the festival to emulate the ancient stone structure, Carhenge is tribute to the pillars of counterculture and the free festival movement – in direct reference to a three day festival Rush and the Mutoid Waste Company built in Glastonbury in 1984 after being refused entry to a free festival at Stonehenge.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Glastonbury if this new installation didn’t allow for music. Performances at Carhenge will begin at 10am every day and will be set alive by a show of lights created by celebrated lighting designer Ed Warren and by the inventive Congolese beats of FULU MIZIKI.

Carnival is back

Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street event and applauded celebration of Caribbean culture in London, is returning to Glastonbury after their successful Block9 collaboration of 2022. There will be afternoon sessions from Rough But Sweet and Love TKO, a Saturday memorial tribute session dedicated to the mighty Jah Shaka, and daily processions across the festival. Plus, an electric carnival float will tour the site for the entirety of the festival.

Performances from the Emerging Talent Competition Finalists

In a commitment to nurturing young stars, Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition has been an annual event since 2011. Previous winners of the competition include Declan McKenna, Flohio and R.A.E.

This year, all nine of the finalists have gone on to secure spots at stages around the festival, including the 2023 winner N’famady Kouyaté. Other finalists, Cordelia Gartside, EVA, Ezra Williams, FFSYTHO?!, Naomi Kimpenu, Prima Queen, The Love Buzz and VLURE, will also be performing across the weekend so keep an eye out and you may witness the the next big thing in British music.

by Lily Rimmer

For the full Festival line-up, the latest news and an interactive Festival map, download the official Glastonbury Festival app here.

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