Glastonbury has always been big on providing powerful messages to the masses — and no area is arguably better at articulating that than Worthy Farm’s hallowed south-east corner. Part-temporary rave capital of the world and part-house of delightful horrors, weird and wonderful party zones like Shangri-La and the Unfairground have carved out their own legendary reputation among festivalgoers, with the area’s overall visual presentation of its strong and positive politics and subverted look on the present-day being a must-see on any punter’s Glasto to-do list.
NME headed down to the south-east corner today (June 29) on the sweltering morning after the night before to take a closer look at some of the best artistic works and installations which are adorning the area at Glastonbury 2019.
Months, if not years, of planning of course go into bringing an area like Shangri-La to life come festival weekend, but one worker on site tells NME that they continue to make artistic changes to parts of the area every day during the festival "to keep the narrative moving".
Organisers hope that the more political works on display will particularly appeal to 16 and 17 year-olds who visit Shangri-La as they approach the legal voting age.
Selfies: a hazardous business.
Brixton-based artist Andy Leek is just one of the many forward-thinking creatives who has been invited to collaborate with Shangri-La in 2019.
Leek's 'Notes To Strangers' series, which began with him leaving positive messages inside copies of Metro newspapers, has now made its way to Glastonbury.
"The creative collaboration of it all is amazing," Leeks tells NME. "And that's not just the artists, but the people who run Shangri-La too." The artist also reckons that one of his pieces was damaged by the sheer power of the bass over on The Clash Stage, showing us with glee how the sound had sent shockwaves through the piece in question.
Leek was inspired to write this particular message after witnessing the backlash to the news that Stormzy would headline the Pyramid Stage this year - but look how brilliantly that turned out.
At any one time, the Truth Stage has as much going on on its surrounding walls as it does on its actual main stage.
Radiohead collaborator and revered artist Stanley Donwood has also contributed a piece this year - you can see it just below the 'Free Gift' work.
Reuben Dangoor's superb 'Nahmate' piece, meanwhile, is an undeniable highlight of the area.
Over at the neighbouring Unfairground, D*Face's spectacular and really quite giant artwork adorns one wall. "The Unfairground itself, it could hardly seem like a better host for my work, satirical, subversive, a little bit unhinged, my work has always celebrated these things," the artist said in a statement ahead of Glastonbury 2019. "I massively look forward to seeing how people react to it over the course of the festival."