V&A to launch digital Glastonbury map for three-day celebration

The new project builds on the museum’s research project last summer, which seeks to examine the British festival’s impact over 50 years.

The V&A is launching an interactive map of Glastonbury, which explores the evolution of the festival through stories, memories, objects, sounds and images.

The map is part of the London museum’s three-day Glastonbury Weekender, which takes place 25-27 June, around the time the music festival usually takes place. The pandemic led to the festival’s cancellation last year and continued postponement in 2021.

The digital map

Designed by digital studio We are Freak, Mapping Glastonbury builds on the publicy-sourced database launched last year by the V&A. While the museum’s dedicated Glastonbury archive has been going since 2014, the museum requested memories from the public in 2020 for the festival’s 50th anniversary.

The map will feature a series of original programmes, posters and festival-related objects – all newly digitized – which aim to engage with Glastonbury’s history from all over the world.

Courtesy of Barry Lewis

Through the interactive map, visitors can explore the archive, including the photographs and memories submitted from last year’s call-out as a series of new soundscapes and film experiences. This will become part of the archive as it develops over the coming years.

“Glastonbury Festival’s rich and diverse archive is an incredible resource and reflects over fifty years of performance history capturing social, cultural and political change,” V&A senior curator of theatre and performance Kate Bailey says.

Courtesy of Dave Walkling

She adds that the project is a “great opportunity to celebrate the unique ethos of Glastonbury, its extraordinary impact, and ongoing influence”.

The weekend will also bring a series of live events to the museum. On 25 June, a one-day virtual conference will take people behind the scenes at Glastonbury with speakers including artist and geographer Luke Piper and Arcadia creative director Pip Rush.

Couresty of Dave Walkling

In the museum’s lecture theatre, there will be an immersive video experience which includes responses to the Glastonbury archive from artists, designers and students. Footage will be taken from the V&A Glastonbury film archive.

At the V&A’s Raphael Gallery, a programme of classical and orchestral music that will explore the Glastonbury’s site, including not only the landscape but also the mythology. There will also be soundscapes on display, designed by students at London’s South Bank University.

Banner image courtesy of Emma Stoner.

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