Welcome to the Isle of Avalon.
In June, after every, nearly yearly Glastonbury festival, hundreds of tired, muddied and substance-modified teenagers appear on the benches of Glastonbury high street, wearing their festival hats, ready for the next open-ended summer adventure.
Meanwhile, the Glastafarians, with their non-festival hats, sit sagely outside the many cafés, talking about energy, organic food and UFOs, living the dream. Watching them from a distance, as they sip on herbal tea and chain-smoke cigarettes, their lives look perfect. For some of those youngsters, on the periphery, the thought that the summer festival vibe could become a permanent lifestyle choice is nothing less than a revelation. Maybe they could one day become worthy, find themselves sat amongst those true multi-hued Glastafarians, join them as they laugh and cough up their lungs in the sunshine.
And every year, a few Glastonbury graduates do just that. More on that later.
Living the Glastafarian Life
Glastafarians are a group of colourful, Glastonbury-dwelling, self-fulfilling people, dedicated to being the very best purveyors of New Age truths in the world. Their sensitivity to WiFi and mobile phone signals, as well as their almost supernatural ability to sense the earth’s anger and sadness at GMOs and Monsanto are legendary. They are awoke AF. But also on trend. Protecting Glastonbury from the outside world has also become a fashion statement.
To be the originators of any new fashion is impressive. But to continue creating new fashions repeatedly over decades is nothing short of unique.
The ‘Glastonbury Look’ has no label, fashion house or one designer guiding its output. It is instead a mantle shared collectively by the entire rolling group of Glastafarians, with design concepts growing organically over time, until a new look is deemed ready and is finally introduced onto the Glastonbury scene. Each look is at once fiercely individual, yet strongly tribal and 100% Avalon.
Even Totnes and Brighton look to the small Somerset town when trying to spot emerging trends. Glastonbury is the Paris of the alternative fashion world.
Glastafarians were the geniuses behind matching local, hand-painted, hand-made shoes with the purple and green cottons of the Bishopston Trading Company. They were the inspired retro-futurists responsible for ushering in the remarkable cape and top hat look before spearheading the earth colours and natural fibres of Robin Hood chic. Even today, the high street catwalk still references and calls back to the best of the past fashions, while still looking firmly ahead with colourful ponchos.
Perhaps out all the seasonal collections, it is ‘Fairyland’ that has truly stood the test of time. Wands, fairy dresses, wings and pixie hats have remained classic and in vogue for over thirty years, thanks in no small part to the regular Faery Balls taking place at the Town Hall. One can go ‘full faery’ or merely add to another look, such as ‘Shepherdess’ or ‘Barefoot Sarong’ with a sparkling wand or tiara. All looks are of course, naturally non-gender specific.
Over the last thirty years, many shops have sprung up, primarily to feed the Glastafarian’s need for mead, crystals and sacred tobacco as well as faery paraphernalia. And all for surprisingly business-savvy prices, although giving a good argument about why they deserve stuff for free is still considered an acceptable way to shop.
From expensive raw food eateries preferred by the ethereal floaters and serious, bone-thin vegans, to cheap fry ups for the more brazen traveller types, the town has most people covered. Some cafés now even cater for breatharians, sitting them in a sunny corner with a selection of calming leaflets and a blanket.
Most Glastafarians get up early, at around eleven in the morning, desperate to connect with a horoscope and hemp smoothie. Glastonbury is nothing if not accommodating. Glastafarians especially gravitate towards cafés at the bottom of town, near the market cross. Some say that the energy is purer there. Others say that the walk up the hill is too taxing and makes them out of breath.
Tourists, un-used to Glastonbury ways, can also be found, sat waiting impatiently to be served, as New Age staff finish their conversation out the back amongst the jars of lentils. Not the normal exchanges of gossip and bored banter either, but deep, profound conversations, usually about the latest trend in alternative diseases. ME has dwindled in popularity in recent years, with Leaky Gut Syndrome and Vaccine Injury gaining ground. No self-inspecting, working Glastafarian would be seen out without something, so a quick second opinion on a diagnosis from a work colleague can save a lengthy and physically exhausting trip to the naturopath.
They are a creative people, prolific and driven to express themselves in poetry and important works of art. Indeed, the local cafés and restaurants act as galleries, showcasing some of the best examples of New Age art work in the country. Every available wall space is given over to crayoned pictures of curvy goddesses, intensely meaningful, spirit-guided felt tip drawings of spirit guides and, of course, thousands of views of Glastonbury Tor with a unicorn.
Each painting hangs as an expression of the artist’s universal individuality, mutely proud of its newly acquired status via the legitimising and rather beautiful frame and a surprising price tag.
The Making of a New Glastafarian
Each new potential Glastafarian is separated out from the mass of summer blow ins, like grain from the chaff. They are then subjected to a rigorous vetting procedure before being finally accepted into the group.
Thanks to Wikileaks, the following questionnaire can now been made public here. It makes for fascinating reading.
Greetings. Love and bright blessings to you, new friend. Feel free and answer the following multiple choice questions to the best of your truth and intuition. May the Goddess send you wisdom.
Please circle every correct answer. There are sometimes more than one.
1. What do you think about Homeopathy?
a) Nothing works as well.
b) It’s a magic sugar pill.
c) It’s sold at Boots the Chemists, so it must work.
d) Twos up.
2. ‘Channelling’ describes-
a) Heading over to France
b) Digging a trench
c) The uninterrupted flow of money to mediums
d) A method of talking to higher vibrational beings
3. Finish the sentence.
Changing the multi-dimensional form of crystalline DNA lattices through guided meditation…
a) really resonates with me
b) is necessary to move the spirit towards enlightenment.
c) is scientifically proven. It said so on Natural News.
d) are some words strung together to sound sciencey, like Deepak.
4. What is energy?
a) A measure of work
b) A field of mystical power that I can focus through my hands
c) Life. We are all one.
d) Something to do with sugar.
5. Vaccines are…
a) an evil plot by Big Pharma to control and kill us all
b) an effective method to prevent diseases in a population
c) obviously bad. Robert De Niro thinks so too, so…
d) full of autism and other toxins.
6. Why smoke tobacco?
a) It’s good for opening the third eye.
b) It looks cool.
c) When I cough, it’s the voice of the spirit of the sacred tobacco plant.
d) It’s a herb and a medicine.
e) Why not? It’s a Big Pharma myth that tobacco causes cancer.
f) I don’t smoke.
7. These days, fake news is everywhere. Where do you get your facts?
a) Natural News. Science is wrong about everything.
b) Infowars. The mainstream media is owned by Zionist Illuminati.
d) I intuit all my facts. Truth is within.
And so, if every answer has been correctly answered, a new Glastafarian is born. They can take their place on the café chairs with pride, bathe in the warming glow of belonging. It truly is a wonderful thing.
A Cautionary Note
It’s not always easy, living in paradise. For some, being a member of the Glastonbury fashionista can eventually become overwhelming. Not only do people constantly look to the New Agers for their style tips and spiritual insights, but every Glastafarian is also expected to partake in the daily flow of raw sprouted hemp juices, booze and fags.
Sometimes, FOFU* can take hold.
What about when they accidentally wore the wrong fairy wings to Moon Yoni and Toby the Shaman’s hand fasting? Did anyone see? Or the stick on pointy ears they wore during their mum’s funeral service… People seemed really upset.
What if someone had noticed them buying non-organic tobacco that one time? Or worse- it gets out that they told a friend when drunk that they secretly found homeopathy a little unbelievable?
Actually, in the tolerant Glastafarian culture, even shopping non-organically can be forgiven. Only two things are actually beyond forgiveness. Daring to question homeopathy is one. Being pro-vaccine is the other. For those people, the Glastonbury dream is sadly over and they are asked to leave the community.
Fortunately, for everyone else, thanks to cannabis, FOFU can be controlled and medicated for, if caught at an early stage. Then they can return to the endless party, no worse for wear.
*FOFU is the Fear Of F**king Up