“I wouldn’t be the ‘me’ I am now without Glastonbury 1999” – Alison Smith

“I wouldn’t be the ‘me’ I am now without Glastonbury 1999!

1999 was a year of my re-birth and going to the festival (my first) the major part of it! Does that sound a little dramatic? Events leading up to June 1999 had been traumatic and I found myself living on my own having just come out of a complete breakdown – nervous & marriage. I left a corporate career to work 2 bar jobs and downsized into a (small and yet very gorgeous) terraced house with a mortgage that was all mine. I had good friends and, through my studies of tarot and astrology, an absolute ‘knowing’ that I was on the best path for me. But no money to spare and days off meant even less! I’d always wanted to go to Glastonbury and been put off going for years by various people who, by 1999, were no longer of influence.

A kind friend stepped in with a ticket – There was me on my way to Glastonbury with a working ticket for astrology – a dream job! That gesture, combined with friends and the festival itself, gave me the inspiration to be me. Experiencing the ‘city’ on a farm. It’s a privilege to live on the site during the festival, as structures are built and a ‘city’ rises up. And it truly is a city with an infrastructure to make sure that all who are there are not only entertained but able to live in that sea of tents. During one festival a friend had a toothache and saw an emergency dentist for a temporary filling – see what I mean about a city with everything we need!

Finding peace in a new astrological chapter – My most inspiring moment (probably ever) was sitting on a log by a campfire having completed my first four-hour shift of astrology readings and feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and of ‘at home’. Symbolically, it was the moment of an astrological separation of Pluto from squaring my natal Pluto and the first steps into my transformational new chapter of 1999 and beyond. 1999 it was Suzanne Vega, REM, Groove Armada, Orbital in the form of blissful music. While 2000 was being with the man who would become my husband and him being able to see his hero David Bowie

I continued to work at Glastonbury, in that dream job, for years – One particularly memorable moment was a memorial held in Kings Meadow for someone who never missed a Glastonbury. Celebrating her life in a place she loved.

Over the years the gigs that really stand out for me would be Faithless 2010, Springsteen 2009, Shirley Bassey 2007 oh and an amazing set from the Wombles in 2011. Dancing to Merry Christmas from the Wombles in June has to be one of those purely bizarre Glastonbury moments! And I wish there was a photo to show of the crowd watching Shirley Bassey with wellies and feather boas as far as the eye could see!

If you ever go to Glastonbury I recommend the showers in the Greenpeace field and any toilets looked after by Water Aid are always superb! I worked as an astrologer in the green fields and loved every single festival – even the really muddy ones! Having taken a break of a few years we’re very ready to return. So we are waiting for resale tickets or to work – which will most likely be the case as Glastonbury is the most wonderful place to offer astrology.

Follow your heart to Glastonbury, you won’t regret it – To anyone wondering whether to go I always say a big yes! Go see the band stand and the eclectic stalls selling crafts and books. Take part in the dance classes and see the circus. Take in the green fields messages of hope. From the Speakers tent to Greenpeace, and all in between, ideas are there to be mulled over and explored. Visit the healing fields. And, of course, have your astrological chart read!

Discover a new world and new friends – Glastonbury for me is to watch the sunrise over Pilton and the sound of a festival waking up. And to see the sunset and smell the evening opening up to the magic of stars over Kings Meadow. And to touch in with friends that come together, once a year, to create a family who eat together sharing food and laughter and music.

A calling on so many levels. A city that rises out of the mist and becomes home. Magic.”


Name: Alison Smith
First Glasto: 1999
Attended: 12 (as of 2020)
Favourite Area: Green Fields 
Favourite Stage: The Other Stage 
Favourite Performance: Faithless 
Favourite Food Stall: Veggies Caravan usually in Green Futures! 

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