Glastonbury Festival, it turns out, has been the equivalent of an unexploded WWII bomb for the past 46 years. Over at Worthy Farm subterranean gas pipes have been threatening to burst, engulfing the soggiest spluttering spliff in a psychotropic fireball. So during Glastonbury’s fallow year in 2019, Michael Eavis is hoping to move the festival ten miles down the road to Longleat. It’s a controversial move akin to turning Reading And Leeds into Swindon And Hull, so let’s run through the pros and cons of Glaxit… even if it is only for one year.
You Probably Won’t Get Gassed/Explode
If Glastonbury stays at Worthy Farm, not only will you be constantly worried that your tent will get blasted halfway to Bristol every time you fruitlessly try to cook a frozen sausage on your Halfords Tentinflames portable stove, but the resourceful helium balloon dealers will undoubtedly find a way to tap into this unlimited new supply and start flogging impressionable students hits of 100 per cent shale, the sort of hard stuff that’ll frack your head clean off.
The Naked Sauna Is Far Posher
Ever been to Glastonbury’s naked sauna? It’s basically a pit of mud by an organic sewage mulch where your strange uncle Moonbeam likes to parade his pasty paunch around to the shame of your family? Well Longleat has its very own professional Aqua Sana Spa where you can get full body scrubs and paper pants and everything. And whereas Pilton’s only watersports involve trying to get into an eco shower before the long drops leak into the water supply, Longleat has its very own Center Parcs. Last one down the Superslide has to review Bastille…
You Can Commune With Giraffes
Forget boring old cows, there’s herds of sodding great giraffes roaming the plains of Longleat Safari Park. Who needs Greenpeace blokes wandering around in 20-year-old rhino costumes when there’s real-life rhinos wandering about? Why have your tent ransacked by drunk scallies when a pack of cute, randy gibbons could do it instead? Sod seeing Tame Impala, go pet some tame impalas. Just remember, if someone invites you to a secret woodland set by The 2 Bears or suggests you go to Snoop Lion, you might well get your face ripped off.
Longleat Is A Haven Of ‘Free Love’
Well, quasi-bigamy at least. The ancestral home of the Marquess Of Bath, the 83-year-old multi-millionaire lives on the estate with a gaggle of girlfriends he refers to as ‘wifelets’. So whatever you want to get up to in the privacy of your non-binary commune’s teepee will be fine with him. In fact, can he watch?
King Arthur Never Went To Longleat
Y’know, there’s nothing mystical about a massive animal park. There’s no spiritual enlightenment to be found in a manor house gift shop. Worthy Farm will forever be known as the Vale Of Avalon and all the stone circle and leyline gubbins is deeply embedded in its legend – take those away and you have a load of Green Field hippies wandering rootlessly around a trumped-up V. No Sacred Space sunrises, no Arthurian Woodstock vibes, no links to the ancient energy of Mother Earth itself, just a load of fences saying ‘beware! Actual fucking tigers!’. The Glastonbury Spirit, an intangible but essential part of the whole 160,000-people-connection-as-one-gigantic-organism-have-a-whack-on-this-mate experience can’t just be transplanted to another big field. Glastonbury at Worthy Farm doesn’t just have history, it is history.
Sign up for the newsletter
It’ll Feel Like A Glastonbury Theme Park
There’ll be a pyramidal main stage, but it won’t feel quite right. Shangri-La, Strummerville, Glebeland, Mexican Terry’s Ring-Stinger Burrito stall; they’ll all be out there, but god knows where – you’ll spend the first two days feeling hopelessly lost. All the dragon sculptures and cycle-powered whittling stands will feel somehow inauthentic. And the grand old stately home, rising above it all like a Disneyland fairy castle, will always remind you of all the money that’s been made.
Have We Mentioned The Lions?
We have mentioned the lions, right? And were you aware that lions are murderously enraged by the music of Billy Bragg? Well, alright, maybe not, but you’ve seen those videos online of children somehow managing to crawl into big cat enclosures? Well imagine that’s you, looking for the underground piano bar or a secret gig by Courtney Barnett. Still, who needs a superfence when you’ve got man-eating predators roaming the outer perimeter.
The Animal Rights People Will Have A Field Day
If T In The Park was almost scuppered by a couple of ospreys, imagine the legislative nightmare it’ll cause having a city-sized hedonistic Gomorrah springing up next to a shedload of meercats, chimpanzees, flamingoes and wild wolves. And then Bring Me The Horizon start playing…