sat 11/07/2020

Festivals Britannia, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Festivals Britannia, BBC Four

Festivals Britannia, BBC Four

Astonishingly, one in 10 of us put ourselves through one this year. Why?

An infestation of human beings, temporarily invading a sizeable stretch of southwest England

A startling one in 10 British adults apparently went to a music festival this year. Given that I’m a music journalist and I didn’t, maybe I’m some kind of astronomically unlikely anomaly. I’d like to think so. But those familiar aerial shots of Glastonbury – not just a few fields but a sizeable expanse of Britain’s patchwork-quilt landscape, completely overrun by an infestation of teeming humanity - is enough to make me feel smugly sane to have decided, as usual, to just remain cosily at home watching whatever the BBC had decreed were the best bits.

Why do we feel the need to gather together with thousands of strangers to become intoxicated beyond reason while watching bands too far away to see properly?

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Dig the piece. Forgive what may seem like pedantry, but I thought I'd point out, for etymological interest, as much as anything else: 1. It's correctly spelt "up the ante", (meaning "raising the stakes" -- "ante" meaning "before" in Latin, thereby becoming a term for the money you put up in advance in a game of poker or similar); rather than "up the anti", though props if the latter was a deliberate wordplay to describe the Old Bill's antagonism. ;-) 2. It's a "rite" (meaning "ceremony") of passage, rather than a "right" (meaning something you're entitled to).

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