A wholesome Glastonbury – how to achieve maximum zen at this year’s festival

Less rave, more relaxation

Hear the music-making bees in the Greenpeace Field

Michael Eavis Glastonbury

Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis

Over in the Greenpeace Field, a huge new installation called BEAM is bringing nature and music together like never before. Created by English artist Wolfgang Buttress, BEAM measures the activity of Michael Eavis’ black bee colony on Worthy Farm and turns the energy of their buzzing (via some fancy algorithms) into music. Cool, huh?

Walking around BEAM’s huge hexagonal structure blocks off all the other sights and sounds of the festival, giving you some much needed peace and quiet. “All you can see is the sky and the trees,” Buttress said in a recent interview. “There will [just] be a relationship between you, the sky, the trees and the sound of the bees.”

Accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack composed by Spiritualized, Sigur Ros and various artists from Ninja Tune records, this is sure to be one of the calmest places to visit during your trip to Glastonbury. You can see the Glasto bees hard at work making music (and honey) here:

Eat environmentally friendly food at The Greenpeace Café

The Greenpeace Cafe

With a total ban on plastics and a commitment to using only green suppliers, this vegan café aims to make delicious food in an environmentally conscious way. The café ensures that 60% of their produce has a minimal carbon footprint, and they also use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.

“The vegan food at The Greenpeace Café is always some of the most tasty on the entire Glastonbury site,” says Emma Cordingley, who first visited the café in 2013. “It’s healthy and there is always plenty of variety. If you care about the environment and love well-made, hearty food at affordable prices, this is the place.” Another regular, Emily Bastin, describes it as “beautifully peaceful” and visits each morning to drink tea and read a copy of the Glastonbury Free Press.

With items like all day breakfasts, sweet potato curry and spiced ginger cake on the menu, it’s well worth a visit.

Get sweaty in a sauna at Lost Horizons

Fan at Glastonbury

The Lost Horizons area of Glastonbury is back after fans raised almost £9000 to save it. Described by organisers as a “hidden oasis”, it features a sauna, a massage yurt, an outdoor stage, a cafe and lots of bare bums. This is the part of Glastonbury where you can get completely naked, if that’s your thing.

Describing the garden area, organisers say it’s a “well held and body positive space that festival goers have come to rely on”. They add: “Described by many as a festival within a festival, our healing recovery space provides grounding and a sacred time to unwind and rejuvenate away from the bustle and mayhem. Melt in a hammock, recharge in the sunshine or lounge by the fire in the lodge.”

Strip down to your wellies and enjoy.

Get spiritual in the Peace Garden

The Peace Garden at Glastonbury

As you approach the Sacred Space in King’s Meadow, you’ll see the Stone Circle field and “spiritual centre” of Glastonbury, before entering the Peace Garden where you can sit amongst flowers and trees in quiet, nature-filled areas. Perfect for when you’re suffering from trench foot or have perforated both your eardrums.

Close by is the Peace Dome, where there’s a powerful symbol of hope. In 2000, Hiroki Okana brought tiny embers from the 1945 Hiroshima tragedy to Glastonbury. Known as the Peace Flame, it still burns to this day. For one music fan, Hannah Aine Smith, the Peace Dome is one of her favourite parts of Glastonbury.

“Every year I take myself to the Peace Dome for a bit of time on my own, and it has become one of my festival highlights. I’ve found myself there almost daily,” she says. ” I’m not religious but I find something really comforting about sitting in a space that feels sacred, in the middle of the busiest festival with my eyes closed for a bit. It feels as close to the spirit of the early festival as us modern festival goers can get.”

Do yoga, tai chi and meditation in the Healing Field

The Healing Field

If you’re looking to bring out your inner Moby, a visit to the festival’s Healing Field is the place for you. Each day from 9am to 6pm, skilled healers run workshops in yoga, tai chi, meditation and even ‘dance and laughter’. All workshops are free and run by healers from many different spiritual outlooks, meaning you can experience healing from lots of different perspectives. There’s a daily timetable in the area which details everything that’s going on, but get there early to make sure you get into the workshop of your choice. And even if you don’t fancy re-aligning your chakras, the area has plenty of quiet gardens for you to sit in and watch the world go by.

Visit the Permaculture Garden in the Green Fields

Glastonbury’s permaculture site, located just off the Green Fields, was one of the first in the UK when it was built. It’s a green space that encourages low-impact living, biodiversity and sustainability, and teaches about creating a better planet. For festival lover Dulcie Horn, it’s one of the best places on site.

“It’s quite a small tucked away little space,” she says. “I have a feeling not many people know about it. It’s my first area to head to if I’m feeling a bit tender from the night before, and it’s lovely to wander around the small maze-like paths that head off in different directions. You can shelter under the trees if it is raining, learn about the plants and permaculture from the signs, try to find the pond in the woods or take a seat on one of the carved wooden benches to enjoy a snack from the fresh vegetarian cafe. It’s one of the only permanent fixtures on the farm.”

Tuck away a famous Glastonbury breakfast

Vegan food stall, Glastonbury

Vegan food stall, Glastonbury

If you want to start the day right, start the day with a properly healthy breakfast. With dozens of food options across the site, plus Glastonbury’s brilliant Food For A Fiver scheme, there are plenty of options to suit all budgets.

“For me a healthy and happy Glastonbury is all about eating well and starting the day right,” says music lover Hannah Cushion. “I’m lucky that I’ve always been part of a large group of friends and our tradition has always been that we go for breakfast together in the green fields. Whether someone has danced all night, hit the hay early or lingered in a tiny tent listening to someone jam to the small hours we all gather together in the morning. It gives us an opportunity to compare notes, share stories, discuss plans for the day ahead, swap recommendations and most importantly eat an amazing breakfast. I wouldn’t be without my Glasto family breakfast!”

Get crafty in The Greencrafts Village

The Greencrafts Village is the place for those of you who want to channel some of your inner creativity. You can attend a workshop and learn how to make you own bath bombs, soaps and perfume, or even some fancy new jewellery. If pottery and woodwork are more your thing, there are classes on those too. You can even make your own musical instruments. There’s something for everyone!

Be inspired by ideas at Left Field

Billy Bragg

This year’s Left Field line-up is dealing with every issue of the moment: Brexit, Windrush, Hope Not Hate, Extinction Rebellion and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots are just some of the issues up for discussion. In the words of Michael Eavis, Left Field aims to “fight for a change and give our poorer people just half a chance to live decent, happy and worthwhile lives.” Some of the most inspirational talks in the festival’s history have taken place at Left Field and with a line-up this year that includes Gary Younge, Caroline Lucas, Billy Bragg, Stella Donnelly and Arlo Parks, it’s sure to offer hope amid the political chaos of now.

Lounge about in a hammock

Glastonbury regular Mizan Rahman has a top tip: “There is an amazing calm hammock area at the top of the hill at the top of The Park, and this is a definite go-to place where no one really bothers you. It’s light of crowd and has panoramic views of the whole festival. Get into a hammock and watch the world go by.”