It’s that time of year. As the summer festival season kicks in people all over the country are assembling their tents and wellies and keeping a nervous eye on the weather forecast in anticipation of one of the UK’s oldest and best loved festivals - Glastonbury.
This year there’s a new field on the block. Nestled in between the Stone Circle and Shangri-La, you’ll find the Dragon Field, which is going to be taken over by the Camp for Climate Action. For those who’ve been to previous camps at Heathrow, Kingsnorth or even Bishopsgate, it’s a chance to pitch your tent amidst friendly faces and enjoy the distinctive camp vibe. For those who’ve never had the pleasure, its an opportunity to get a small taste of what the fuss is all about, and will hopefully be a stepping stone to come and check out the proper Camp in action, which is going to be taking place somewhere within the boundaries of the M25 from 27 August to 2 September.
Glastonbury has a global reputation for great music, good times, carnivalesque debauchery, but what differentiates it from other festivals of the same scale is an attempt to give space to progressive green issues. We know that lots of people are going to be stumbling about tripping over guy ropes on their way to achieve Nirvana at the stone circle, but we’re still hoping that a number of people will be able to hold it together enough to attend some of the many workshops we’re going to be holding.
This year, the Camp for Climate Action is trying to draw the links between the financial crisis, the climate crisis and the UN talks in Copenhagen at the end of the year, so we’ll be having talks from carbon trading to Kyoto, climate justice to climate science. The Camp has always been a heady blend of theory and practice, and it’ll be no different at Glastonbury, so we’re also going to be giving workshops on how to set up the wind turbine we’ll be bringing along, as well as practical lessons in how to set up effective blockades using tripods.
But it’s not going to be all learn, learn, learn! It will be a fun space too. There’s going to be a small acoustic music space (the Random Bandstand) where we’ll be inviting special performers from across the festival to come and give intimate guerrilla gigs. There’ll be games and activities, photo exhibits from previous camps and of course, there’ll be optional meetings in the morning for people who want to have an active say in how the field functions.
This will be a camping field so there won’t be loud amplified music at all, and the Random Bandstand will be ending at a civilised hour every evening. So we’re sending this out as a cordial invite for climate-conscious folks to come and take part in the first ever Glastonbury Camp for Climate Action – come hail or shine, its going to be a blast, and will hopefully set a great precedent to establish the camp’s presence in the festival for years to come.
There’s a facebook event page where you can sign up to find out more about the exciting events planned closer to the time, and invite your friends to come and camp too
And don’t forget to put this year’s Summer Camp for Climate Action dates in your diary 27 August to 2 September - green space somewhere on the outskirts of London. Our focus? The City of London, the financial system, and all those responsible for the economic and ecological crises.
This year there will also be regional Camps for Climate Action in Scotland (3-9 August) and Wales (13-16 August) – see the the Climate Camp website for more details and how to get involved.