It’s not every day an environmental organisation gets to trump the Rolling Stones. But more than once at Glastonbury 2013, people were overheard pointing to the Greenpeace field and saying “that’s been my favourite thing at the Festival”.
They came for the snow, for the northern lights, for the Svalbard-themed Farmers’ market [read: mojito chocolate truffles] and the hot tubs; for the Arctic explorers, the skate ramp and the polar bears.
Throughout the Festival, snow fell serenely across the field – dusting its boats, jetties, boardwalks and icebergs. Cool was a legitimate word for it. But what really blew people away was the real snowball fight, held on the Friday evening and broadcast live on the One Show.
The theme this year was the Arctic – that untouched, pristine wilderness at the top of the world, at risk because of climate change and companies like Shell wanting to exploit it for oil. Over the course of the Festival, an incredible 4,000 people signed up to the Save the Arctic campaign – joining the 3 million from around the world who’ve already done so.
A highlight of the Greenpeace field was undoubtedly the Arctic Dome, voted by Time Out as the second best non-musical thing to do at the Festival and previewed by NME. It offered people the opportunity to disappear through a crack in the ice and take a magical 15-minute trip to the North Pole, where ice towered and the Northern Lights danced.
At the explorers’ camp, brave souls who’ve experienced the Arctic firsthand told their stories, and Paula– our life-sized polar bear- proved a little bit too convincing for some children.
Over 300 Greenpeace volunteers and representatives come to Glastonbury every year - carpenters and builders, painters and decorators, campaigners and stewards. They are part of the magic, they CREATE the magic. They’re already looking ahead to 2014.
The Arctic needs people like you to protect it. Join the movement at www.savethearctic.org