Festivals Britannia

Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Sam Bridger
90 min

This programme contains some strong language.

There are more music festivals these days than you can shake a pair of designer wellies at.

One in ten British adults attended a festival this year.

It's a billion-pound industry.

The latest craze of the media age beamed directly into your homes.

From anarchy and freedom in the '60s, to the mobile phones and cash points of today,

the British festival has been an ever-evolving battleground for society's hopes and ideals.

This is the story of Britain's love affair with the festival.

And how a handful of mavericks, dreamers and drop-outs

felt the calling of the music of rebellion and the wild.

How different generations have sought an alternative

way of life through festivals and how that has changed the British cultural landscape forever.

Ah, the British summer.

Cricket on the village green.

An ice-cream at the pier.

A day at the races and...

"Song 2" by Blur

The music festival has become part and parcel of our summer months.

It's a yearly pilgrimage into the countryside to wallow in mud, music and mayhem.

A youthful rite of passage.

A place where people go to lose themselves and discover each other.

When you arrive at the festival, it's as if your life has now been cut

from the life that you lived.

I think it is freedom.

People are looking for freedom,

even if they're not quite sure what it is.

They are looking for the idea to go into a field

with a group of other people and have a bit of a fire

and dance around to some music and escape the walls.

It's that feeling that you're not alone. It's really important.

And that you're part of a group.

I think it's some sort of spiritual need, maybe,

for people to go and get together and enjoy each other's company

and let a bit of steam off, really.

For many, a festival is about the call of the countryside and getting back to basics.

It's got its own magic. I mean, it's all about being alive.

Back to those memories when you're looking up at the stars

for the first time.

And I think it's as simple as that.

The idea of actually going out into the country and sitting on green fields,

with a lovely sunset, stars in the sky, the moon at night, and all that kind of thing.

There's certain smells like the camp-fire-at-dusk smell.

There's a sort of excitement which comes with it because

it's turning into darkness

and it feels like it could go in any direction at that point.

# Out here in the fields... #

For others, it's about the unifying force of the music.

There is something magical about coming together and having that

sort of transcendent moment where your band that you love

plays a song that you love when you're in the environment

that you love with all these people that suddenly you love,

cos they all love this moment too.

# Na na na-na-na na

# Na-na-na na, hey Jude

# Yeah, yeah, yeah... #

You feel the emotion, in the middle of a song, I mean,

you feel the emotion and you go, "What did I do?"

It's just all over the whole place a mile back.

And you start to feel it like a wave go with you.

But these fundamental forces that draw us to festivals every year are nothing new.

What has seemingly turned into a corporate juggernaut has older, more humble roots.

The two voluntary sufferers of Chipping Campbell

had thoroughly entered into the spirit of festival week.

The idea of a festival goes back into antiquity.

The great cosmic moments, if you like, which occur every year, which are the longest and shortest days,

were always anciently celebrated

up and down the shires and the rest of it,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Festivals Britannia" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Jun 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/festivals_britannia_8131>.

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