Carhenge installation confirmed for Glastonbury 2024

Carhenge installation confirmed for Glastonbury 2024

Pillars Of The Underground – Glastonbury’s own Henge is back for this year's Festival

Carhenge at Glastonbury Festival 1987
Carhenge, Glastonbury 1987 · Credit: Mutoid Waste Company. Joe Rush

Glastonbury has announced that the iconic Carhenge installation which returned to the Festival last year (36 years after Joe Rush first built the original sculpture at the event in 1987), will return once again to Worthy Farm this summer

The art sculpture – created by revolutionary artist, founder of the Mutoid Waste Company and “master builder of rock’n’roll environments”, Joe Rush – is made of 24 mutated vintage cars stacked into a Stonehenge-like structure in the heart of the Festival site.

The official statement included alongside the announcement poster – published by Glastonbury officials at 10am yesterday morning (Monday, 27th May) describes Carhenge as a “monumental immersive installation” set for a return to the William’s Green area — defined as a tribute to “revolutionary heroines and heroes from the margins of society”.

Carhenge, Pillars of the Underground by Joe Rush (2024)
Carhenge, Pillars of the Underground by Joe Rush (2024)

The statement reads: “Each lintel plays tribute to an iconic pillar of counterculture, a culture liberated from conformism and consumerism. Revolutionary heroines and heroes from the margins of society, including longtime collaborator and friend of Joe’s, Vivienne Westwood, Hawkwind icon, Nik Turner, father of Afrobeat Fela Kuti, and Lee Scratch Perry, pioneer of dub, reggae and ska.”

A symbol of the Mutoid credo, the art made of waste, free parties and the road; Carhenge, will be brought to life through a hypnotic show of lights from designer Ed Warren, and the chaotic sounds of Fulu Miziki or “music from the garbage” in Lingala.

From the centre of the henge these “African Mutoids” from Kinshasa, dressed in scrap, fusing music, art, dance and fashion, will perform and play their afro-futurist beats with percussion instruments made of trash.

Echoing the night-long drumming sessions of the original 1987 Carhenge, percussionists Joe Bucket and Katanga Sound will be adding their own flavour to the circle, along with daily processions from the Notting Hill Carnival crew.

The percussion frenzy will come to a head on Saturday night when all the acts join together for an epic drumming jam.

Original Carhenge, Glastonbury 1987
Original Carhenge, Glastonbury 1987 · Credit: Derek Williams

Celebrating the spirit of Glastonbury and the visionary and pioneering 38-year artistic collaboration between the formidable Michael Eavis, founder of the ‘world’s best festival’ and Joe Rush, the revolutionary underground artist, this new and revisited “Mutoid Wastelands” offers for the first time an artistic retrospective of Joe Rush’s work at Glastonbury.

Anyone who’s ever been going to Glastonbury Festival since the early ’80s has more than likely been exposed to Rush’s outstanding artwork at some point or another.

Joe Rush · Credit: Amelia Troubridge

From the 1985 Skull Bus, and the original Carhenge in 1987, to the giant metallic winged clock (known as Peace Time Flies) that spanned the entire breadth of the Pyramid Stage in 2015, and the Other Stage Fish Proscenium ornament in 2016 – Rush was there every step of the way.

He was also behind Unfairground at Glastonbury in 2010 and 2011, envisioning, producing and creating Trash City while commissioning the creation of New York Downlow and the iconic Arcadia (founded by Joe’s brother Pip Rush, and Bert Cole).

Also created by Rush was Joe Strummer’s Memorial Tree, which was made of exhaust pipes and featured at the Festival in 2003, as well as the mechanical fire-breathing phoenix that paraded over the Pyramid Stage during the Rolling Stones’ performance in 2013, Cineramageddon in 2017, the Glastonbury-on-Sea pier in 2019, and most recently the Burning Lotus in 2022 — as shown as one of the photos featured in the collage of creations above and below.

In other Glasto news, Glastonbury officials have released the first public version of the Glastonbury 2024 map ahead of this year’s highly anticipated festival, detailing some updates and changes to this year’s iteration.

Elsewhere, Block9 revealed its exciting programme for Glastonbury 2024 last week (24th May), with a roaring roster of acts and the return (after a five-year hiatus) of brutalist giant and outdoor dance arena, Genosys — alongside legendary venues NYC Downlow, Meat Rack, and IICON.

Arcadia also revealed their 2024 line-up last week (22nd May), featuring a giant Dragonfly that will replace the Festival’s legendary Spider for this year’s edition.

The cinema tent, also known as Pilton Palais, then revealed its film and Q&A line-up for 2024 on the 20th of May, before Unfairground did so on the 17th of May, which followed Strummerville‘s reveal on the 16th of May.

The Free University of Glastonbury also dropped their programme on the 16th of May, saying: “It’s here! A selection of brilliant minds spewing words of wisdom and sultry sounds, to feed those hungry (and likely hungover) brains throughout the festival weekend… What a weekend it’s set to be.”

Before that, The Park area announced their line-up on the 15th of May at 12 noon, while confirming two new venues for this summer’s event; The Wishing Well and Scissors — which will replace the legendary Rabbit Hole, after 17 years of activity on site.

The Poetry & Words team also released their line-up poster for 2024 via their official Facebook page on the 14th of May – along with revealing some exciting plans for a new Spoken Word Theatre, which you can read all about here.

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Other poster bills already released include Glasto Latino (13th May), Croissant Neuf (8th May), Theatre & Circus (6th May), KIdzfield (4th May), The Common (3rd May), Left Field (1st May), Woodsies (30th April), Silver Hayes (29th April), West Holts (26th April), The Glade (22nd April), Shangri-La (19th April), Field of Avalon (16th April) and Acoustic Stage – which was the first area to kick off the string of area announcements on the 12th of April.

Some other exciting updates and changes for Glastonbury 2024 include the introduction of a brand-new stage in the Shangri-La area, called Arrivals, which will be dedicated entirely to South Asian talent — as well as a renamed Peace stage (formerly Truth).

Silver Hayes will introduce a reimagined version of the former WOW stage in the form of a new indoor space called Assembly — in addition to a new wellness area called Room that will feature sound baths, meditation, yoga and more.

Other changes for 2024 include the new Tree Stage in the Woodsies area which is being described as: “A new outdoor venue, set beneath an oak tree décor canopy, zeroing into the immersive, ambient and experimental” — while The Park area has announced the departure of its legendary Rabbit Hole, which will make way for two brand-new venues; The Wishing Well and Scissors.

The Glastonbury Festival site overlooking The Park area and Ribbon Tower.
Glastonbury site overlooking The Park’s Ribbon Tower (2015) · Credit: Rachel D

Despite all tickets completely selling out after going up for the final re-sale in April this year, there are still several competitions currently running for the chance of winning tickets to this year’s Festival.

Glastonbury will return to Worthy Farm from June 26 to 30 this year, with Dua Lipa, Coldplay, and SZA set to headline the iconic Pyramid Stage — alongside Shania Twain who will take on the coveted Tea Time Legends Slot on the Sunday afternoon.

With only less than 40 days to go until Glastonbury opens its gates for this summer’s event next month, we can expect more individual areas and stages to announce their dedicated line-ups over the coming days before the full bill including stage times hopefully gets revealed sometime at the end of May / beginning of June.

In the meantime, you can click here to view our daily updated list of acts confirmed, rumoured and unlikely to perform at Glastonbury 2024, so far.

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