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Glastonbury (2006)

R  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  14 April 2006 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 684 users   Metascore: 60/100
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A documentary on the 30th anniversary of Britain's best-known music festival.


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A documentary on the 30th anniversary of Britain's best-known music festival.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The mud. The music. The madness.


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nudity, drug use, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »





Release Date:

14 April 2006 (UK)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,179 (USA) (23 February 2007)


$7,317 (USA) (6 April 2007)

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User Reviews

A poor documentary with limit insight, interest or value
1 September 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It was the 30th anniversary of the first ever Glastonbury festival recently but to be honest I probably couldn't have told you that before watching this film. Sure, I'll tune in to the television coverage when there are bands I am interested in playing but otherwise I'm not really a festival goer. It didn't take me long to twig that this isn't really a documentary about the festival in the way I expected because it is more about the spirit of the place. Now, in a way, this makes for a very good film because it just sits back and pretty much shows the festival for what it is. The problem is that it also means the film has very little structure, precious little insight and features far too many people just being tw*ts. Some of them are just having fun but the funniest ones are those filled with the "beauty" and "importance" of the event – God I would have loved to know how some of them turned out as they got older! Here and there the film produces moments of interest (eg it was interesting to hear the organisers talk about the riot, the security problems and the like) but mostly it doesn't have many good contributions and even when it does. It doesn't use them well at all. This leaves us with two other things to fill a 2 hour+ run time, performances and footage. The choice of performances is, to put it politely, inconsistent. What does it say for a music festival that has been going on for longer than I have been alive, if this film decides to include David Grey giving a typically bland performance, Pete Dougherty falling into the crowd and several other performances that could only represent "choice picks" if taken from a very limited catalogue. There are other choices that are better but they do tend to lean towards the very modern, I assume because the media coverage meant it was better and more of it. However if the available performances lacked sufficient kickers then it could have gone for more of a focus on the scene at the festival.

Like I said, it does do this reasonably well in how it just keeps churning out footage of the people and logistics of the event but even this is pretty average. By just showing the stuff that got caught on camera I did wonder why this was any different from the annual BBC coverage. Literally in the last 20 minutes, the film finally gets down to some thought and insight regarding the way the festival has drifting from being a sort of relaxed commune, to being fenced in and more controlled. However this is barely 4 minutes of discussion and it is approached to suggest that it is done because it has to be – strangely there is no discussion (beyond one scene of rich people) of how branded it has all become.

Overall then a fairly pointless documentary that achieves very little in 2 hours. It does kind of grab at the spirit of the event in the footage of people but generally it is lacking interest or insight while the choice of performers made me worry about the festival if some of them were in the "top picks" of 30 years! Might be of value to some but you're more likely to get just as much if not more from the annual coverage on the BBC.

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