Glastonbury Festival 2014: Music and fireworks in the Green Fields

Having spent too many hours travelling and standing in slow moving queues earlier in the day, we decide Glastonbury's Green Fields will be the perfect place to visit on Wednesday evening to kick-start our festival and regain that Glastonbury spirit.

The Green Fields are a series of connected fields in the south east of the festival site where festival-goers can explore alternative therapies and technologies, watch performances in green-powered venues and relax by the Stone Circle in King's Meadow to enjoy the stunning views across the festival site. Glastonbury's website says of the Green Fields: "If the main stage is the pulse of this vast and vibrant festival, then the green fields are its spirit”.

We head to the Green Futures field first to see who is playing at its three music venues – the Mandala Stage, Toad Hall and the Small World Stage.

Listed on the blackboard outside the Mandala Stage for a 6pm start is the wonderfully named Interplanetary Liberation Front. This turns out to be one man with a guitar, keyboards and a myriad of effects pedals who plays a succession of driving and upbeat space rock instrumentals.

In the true spirit of the Green Fields, a succession of volunteers to the side of the stage pedal furiously on bikes to provide the power for the PA and Interplanetary Liberation Front's gear – true audience participation.

Over the next hour or so we wander between the three venues in the Green Futures field and see performances from the very talented "one man two guitars” Rodney Brannigan, alternative folk band The Portraits, and Souk Bab El Louk playing a set of Eastern influenced and very danceable songs.

After a quick trip to the Rocket Lounge in Shangri-La to see the brilliant and very funny Mik Artistic (the first of his fifteen gigs during the festival), we go back to the Green Fields to watch the fireworks in King's Meadow. 

It seems everyone else has the same idea as a huge crowd has squeezed into the field to start their Glastonbury with a giant party. The stone circle is largely hidden by the crowd, only the ring of people stood on top of the stones mark their position. Every now and then, a great roar sweeps across the field reaching a climax of whooping, cheering and whistling which brings a smile to everyones face.

Before the fireworks are lit, there is a mass fire-poi show in a roped off area at the top of the field with songs from Gaia's Guardians, a group of volunteers on a mission to keep the festival 'green and clean'.

The fireworks get the festival off to a spectacular start and, as the last one fades away, a giant wooden dragon is set alight, illuminating the crowd with forty-foot flames. 

After making a slow exit from the field due to the crowds, we walk down the track between the Healing and Craft fields. On the left, near the entrance to the Green Futures field, we see a large blue tent and can hear someone playing an accordion inside.

The tent is the Groovy Movie Picture House, a solar powered cinema and performance venue, and on stage is Hattie Hatstar leading a very receptive audience in a sing-a-long about a turtle called Murtle who hurtles through the sky. We decide to stay a while and listen to a few more songs from Hattie's well observed comedy repertoire.

It was nearly midnight as we make our way back to the Small World Stage in the Green Futures field to see De Fuego. Over the next hour, the guitar duo play an energetic set of up-beat flamenco instrumentals to the large and enthusiastic crowd that has gathered inside and outside of the tent.

Thanks to the stupidly early start to the day, we decide to call it a day once De Fuego finish their set. We've had a great night, and while there are some very big acts on the main festival stages that we want to see over the weekend, they will have to put on quite a show to match the warm glow generated by the performances we've seen in the much more intimate Green Fields venues.

Artist and venue websites

The Green Fields
The Groovy Movie Picture House
De Fuego
Hattie Hatstar
Mik Artistik
The Portraits
Rodney Branigan