The  Glastonbury Festival begins today and will welcome musicians and revellers from all over the world.   Among the line up this year are The Who, Supper Furry Animals and many other bands.

It all began in 1970 when the first festival was held in the beautiful Somerset countryside. You got in for a pound to see T Rex and one of the perks was  free milk from the nearby farm!   The 1500  who attended in 1970 has increased phenomenally to over 175,000 expected this year.  Glastonbury has certainly become one of the most prestigious music festivals in the world.

It goes without saying that if you’re going to Glastonbury then you’ve got to be prepared to rough it for the time you’re there..   Living under canvas in often close proximity to other noisy and sometimes smelly fellow revellers is never easy but soon becomes very much part of the experience.

The inevitable result of any rainfall soon becomes an added attraction for those who see  the fields of mud as an added bonus of the fun of Glastonbury – the lesson is  always take your wellies and never wear flowing clothes!   Toilet facilities, so we are told have much improved in recent years but one serious warning from the environmental agency this year was that the non use of  toilets could well see the end of Glastonbury –  now that’s something to think about!

Then again, rain or shine Glastonbury’s unique atmosphere sees newcomers and regulars returning and there’s no doubt that friendships are made and renewed year after year as Glastonbury now has friends all over the world.

Friendship, like music is a precious gift, and when both come together there can be  a wonderful power for good. There’s something special about singing and performing for the pleasure of others or just listening and allowing the music to lift your spirit .

Music is also a force for unity as it is not confined by language  and  is  multicultural in its appeal.  Our own Llangollen International Eisteddfod  which begins in a few weeks time will bring singers , choirs and dancers from every continent and for a short time like Glastonbury will bring the world to this lovely part of  North Wales.

The Bible  says ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’ and what better way to worship than to sing to God and then to pray that the message of God’s love will find a place in the hearts of all people and of all nations. If this week so many will be united by the sheer joy of music and friendship what potential there is for the message of God’s love bringing us closer in peace and understanding of each other.

In the song that Status Quo sang to close Glastonbury in 2009 that the message of friendship, tolerance and love will soon  be ‘Rocking all over the world’

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