Glastonbury Festival is one of the tentpole events in the U.K.’s concert season. Unfortunately, as you may or may not know already, there will be no Glastonbury 2018. For those of you for whom that might set off alarm bells, never fear, it’s not because of financial difficulties. The break was scheduled.
There’s actually quite an interesting reason for this. Every so often, the organizers of the festival schedule what they call a “fallow year,” named for the agricultural technique where you rotate your planting fields. In Glastonbury’s case, that means they take a year off every five or so years to let the field, the city, and the organizers recover.
However, that does leave a huge hole in the regular concert schedule of many music fans. What do you do with the time you would have otherwise devoted to the five-day festival (not to mention the money)?
Here’s a modest proposal: support London venues.
It’s a not-so-hidden secret that many London venues have been struggling. The city is beginning to mobilize to help solve the problem, but here’s where you can do your part. In the vacuum created by Glastonbury Festival’s fallow year, why not patronize some of your local music haunts? In fact, don’t limit it to just those five days, or even just the summer. Most of these places are open all year round.
In fact, despite the sometimes discouraging outlook, these venues continue to upgrade, improve, and deliver unbelievable sonic experiences for attendees. Over the past year, fabric London managed to stave off closing and has bounced back strong, Camden Assembly is revitalizing Camden’s music scene, fellow Camden venue KOKO got a completely new façade, XOYO has completely remade one of its rooms sound systems, Printworks has become one of London’s hottest new venues and is expanding again soon, Ministry of Sound is experimenting with some wild event concepts, and Hackney Arts Centre promises to be at least one new venue coming soon.
If you just can’t shake the festival bug, try out some of the festivals closer to home. There’s, of course, South West Four in Wandsworth, the peculiar but always entertaining LeeFest, a brand new Americana festival in Black Deer Festival, and many more.
Glastonbury Festival’s return in 2019 is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean 2018 has to be a wash. And maybe by 2019, you’ll end up having another must-go destination or two.