V&A is collaborating with Glastonbury Festival to create an archive covering more than 40 years of diverse and creative performance.">

V&A acquires the Glastonbury Festival archive

13/06/14 - Art and design museum the V&A is collaborating with Glastonbury Festival to create an archive covering more than 40 years of diverse and creative performance.

Started in 1970 by Michael Eavis on Worthy Farm in Somerset, the festival has a long and unique history of hosting music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts and collaborating with artists, set designers and craftspeople.

Glastonbury's archive contains a wide range of material, including programmes and posters from every festival since 1970, designs for the Festival identity, interviews, unseen film and photographs, correspondence, t-shirts, tickets and other memorabilia.

There are also personal accounts and documents that trace the origins of the Festival and festival maps that show how it has grown and developed within the landscape. The working processes of the Festival will be captured in the archive with original backstage passes, photographs and performers' set-lists.

The archive also features press cuttings that document the relationship of the Festival with the local community and how the festival has made the national headlines.

The array of site-specific works by artists and designers are also represented such as the 15,000 hand painted recycled oil-drum bins hand-painted for each Festival; murals and permanent works by many different artists; and examples of the Mutoid Waste Company and other contributor's mechanical sculptures, many of which made their first appearances in the 1980s.

At the end of each Festival, Glastonbury will work with the V&A to continue to build the archive. The intention is to document the evolution of the site, performances and the audiences that continue to make the Festival a rich celebration of creativity and contemporary culture.

Michael Eavis said: "When I set out on this crazy hippy trip 44 years ago, little did I know how this roller coaster would run.

"But now I have to pinch myself every morning when I wake up to the excitement of another day heading up a team of the most creative artists anywhere in the world.

"The V&A is an inspirational space and feels like the natural 'home' for our ever-evolving archive so we can really show everyone, not just festival-goers, what we really do.

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A said: "All areas of the live performing arts are represented in the V&A collections, documenting both current practice and the history of the performing arts in the UK.

"We are honoured to acquire the Glastonbury archive, a festival which has attracted an extraordinary and unparalleled range of creativity across all areas of performance.

"The archive is interesting not only for its diversity but also for its fascinating witness to creative, social and political change in the UK.

Selected highlights from the archive will be on display in the V&A's Theatre and Performance Galleries from March 2015 January 2016.

The V&A will make the archive available for research for the very first time once cataloguing has been complete, and digital records will also be available on Search the Collections.

A film installation gathered from the 2014 Glastonbury Festival will be shown at the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery Prague as part of the Prague Quadrennial from 28 May 28 June 2015.