Skip to main content

Glade Festival

The Glade festival in the UK took place in the middle of July and was one of the most refreshing festivals DJmag has been to.

Mum's right. You should be careful what you wish for.

Before heading up the M3 motorway to Berkshire for this festival, DJmag begged Mother Nature to be kind.

Surely a few hours of sunshine, and some blue skies isn't too much to ask for in the middle of summer?

Sitting in this tent in 30° centigrade heat, DJmag wishes we'd asked for beer instead.

There isn't a cloud in the sky.

Instead, there are lots of ground level, mini cannabis-clouds floating around this field, emanating from the smiling mouths of new-age hippies.

'Peace' reads a flag flapping above a stand selling bongs and bongos.

'Rid the world of nuclear weapons' reads another, on a stand seeking signatures.

'You are here' reads the sign above DJmag's head.

Glade Festival

Three-day Rave

But where exactly is here?

This is Glade festival, a three-day electronic music rave in a field near Reading, and one that sold out weeks ago.

Based on the daddy of holistic music madness - Glastonbury - this is a smaller, better-organised festival, devoid of smelly grungers and boring rock bands.

Instead, the line-up is filled with quality; underground and credible dance music talent, one that confirms Glade's status as the most leftfield electronic festival in the country.

Someone should have warned Sasha.

The punters at Glade don't do mainstream, something that's apparent from the not-so-busy arena during Sasha's set, and the ridiculously packed outdoor psy trance stage all weekend.

For Glade's attendees, dance music is a lifestyle choice and a hedonistic attitude, not a weekend pastime, or something you would hear on the radio.

Glade Festival

Here the hippies are very much in the majority, as are 'Fuck Bush and Blair' T-shirts.

But whilst many at Glade may have strong political ties to the left, they're being friendly to everyone around them at this most inclusive and neighbourly of festivals.


It's like a village, full of young, happy, people, all intent on the same thing - having a good time.

Altruism is everywhere.

From the moment you step out of your tent at dawn to a barrage of morning greetings, to the queues for the toilets, the shared joints, and the shared germs.

Dirt is a unifying factor at Glade, it's an all-pervasive dust that covers you from head to foot, and gets under your eyelids and toe nails.

Glade Festival

There's no use trying to stay clean - best to embrace it and accept the smell for a few days.

There are some showers available, but that's not in the festival spirit is it?

A clean body is a window to reality, a dirty one is chance to forget social conformities and rediscover man in all his glory, the way nature intended.

Warts 'n all

This festival is not so much about the music, as about the whole experience, warts 'n all.

Glade Festival

Some serious investment has gone into production and decorating.

The chillout zone - which is an area of immense beauty, comes complete with a transparent bio-dome and floating objects - wouldn't look out of place on a Mars exploration mission.

All the tents are superbly dressed - the ceiling of the main dance tent is like a Dali masterpiece, whilst the Sancho Panza tent looks like a circus, except the circus freaks are in the audience too.

People are wearing anything, from toilet seats, and angel wings, to Y-fronts, and pirate hats.

This festival isn't reality. It's a fairy tea party, a pirate ship, and a tree-hugger's paradise.

It's anything you want.

Bring on next year.

Now, DJmag needs water, this tent is getting rediculously hot.

A man dressed as a duck approaches with a huge water pistol...