Among the chaos and the commotion came the cavalry. Flanked by important large men and a frenzied royal press, the future British King had arrived at the biggest festival on Earth. And not only that, at the Greenpeace field. For the first time in Glastonbury's 40 year history, the Royal family had sent a representative to the site, and he had beelined Greenpeace. Prince Charles is a fan of the rainforests you see, so much so he set up The Prince's Rainforests Project And because the theme of this year's Greenpeace field is rainforests, there was common ground. The visit was top secret and so came as a surprise to all by a select few. The reception at the field was welcoming. Hundreds of people chanted "Charlie we love you!" (we can only assume they were talking about the Prince). Others were a bit more standoffish, calling for Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis to be made King of England instead. Dressed in a lovely beige linen number, the Prince did a walk about and talked to the hoi polloi, daring, among other things, to ask a Greenpeace kitchen volunteer if the food was any good.
The Greenpeace field this year also boasts a massive climbing wall in the form of a tree (last year a woman insisted on climbing it naked, a spectacle everyone is hoping won't be repeated this year), a purpose built, FSC certified timber skateramp which is being frequented by world class skaters, a giant globe stage on which there are performances into the evening, and some incredible rainforest-themed showers, which are reminiscent of a Scandinavian bath house. As i type, probably 400 dusty, sweaty people are queued up to use them.
We're trying to demonstrate to people what we've got to lose...every 16 minutes an area of rainforest the size of Glastonbury is destroyed (and trust me, this place is HUGE! About 4 kilometres squared). Fittingly and sadly, in the 40 years Glastonbury has been going, the world has lost 40% of its rainforests.
If you've never been to Glastonbury, suffice to say it's the maddest gathering of humans anywhere in the world (notwithstanding public executions in the olden days and possibly Copenhagen last year). Although a huge group of Greenpeace volunteers have been on site for nearly two weeks now setting up, the music only starts properly today. Some of the biggest music names in the world are playing a 10 minute walk away. In a word, it's epic.
There's loads more pics from the Greenpeace crew at Galsto here