Glastonbury kicked off today: U2 tonight, Coldplay tomorrow, Beyonce Sunday... and I believe Radiohead and Pulp will play 'secret shows', whatever that means. Back in 1970 it cost a quid to get in (the year after it was free and Bowie headlined!). Now it's 200 quid. I've never been, although was tempted on the odd occasion. I've done Knebworth, Reading, Big Chill, Fuji and a few others, but I think I'm a bit old for it now: the crowds, the mud and actually most of the music just doesn't appeal these days.
China is putting on a lot of festivals these days: Modern Sky, MIdi, Strawberry, West Lake, Funhill and others. They attract a fair few B-league international bands, but needless to say, they're pretty modest affairs compared with the big British or American fests. Most of the organizers see Glastonbury, Bestival, T in the Park, Womad etc as models and we occasionally help send them over to experience the management of them. Next month we're planning to do the opposite and bring a festival director to China. I remember bringing Emily Eavis to Bangkok a few years ago and that was fun. For me, though, Fuji's the best, partly because of the setting (nestled in the Japan Alps), partly the vibe, but also because Hidaka-san always manages to secure great line-ups.
And while on the subject, our former Tokyo neighbours and very good friends Motoko and Remi have arrived to stay for the weekend. Lovely to see Alyssa and Remi hit it off immediately despite a year-long gap.