Glastonbury Fair, 1971: You Had to Be There (and these 15 people were!)

Jun 29, 2022

On June 17, in acknowledgment of 50 years of working for peace, Prem Rawat was bestowed the honor of the “Key of Avalon” by the Council of Glastonbury at a ceremony at Glastonbury Town Hall.  Fifty-one years earlier, as a 13-year old boy having just arrived in the UK from India, he addressed an audience of 12,000 from the Pyramid Stage at the iconic Glastonbury Music Festival.  Four of the people who attended that groundbreaking event also attended the Key of Avalon ceremony last week and had an opportunity to share their reflections at the ceremony, providing some colorful commentary and historical context. Below are excerpts from their talks, as well as excerpts from eleven other people who also attended the Glastonbury Festival 51 years ago.

Ron Geaves
“I remember a lot of ‘will he, won’t he’, ‘should he, shouldn’t he’ as the possibility of Prem speaking at Glastonbury Fair became a real prospect…
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Glen Whittaker
“Prem had been invited to Glastonbury, and people had been preparing the ground for several days, assuming he would go, but he was not so sure. On the day in question, he asked my opinion…
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Lynne Trine
“In June of 1971, I was a student at the Bournemouth College of Art and Design. I had come to England from America to study for a year and was in my final week. At this time, a friend had invited me to drive to Glastonbury for an event that was happening there. I accepted…
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Paul Parker
“Fifty-one years ago, as a 16-year-old aspiring hippy, I was in a café in my home town of Canterbury, thinking of travelling to the upcoming Glastonbury Festival in June of 1971.
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George Blodwell
“It was 1971 when the word started to spread about a very special gathering, a festival to be held in Glastonbury. Like many of us, I was born just after the war. And of course, we had all heard such horrific stories…
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Charan Anand
“Prem Rawat sent me to England on 16 August 1969. At the time he was 11 years old. He advised me that mostly young people who embraced a unique lifestyle would come and listen. ‘Neither criticise nor support what they do in their personal lives…
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Carol Hurst
“It was decided among Prem’s students that he should go to the proposed festival in Glastonbury which was being held at a time when all the planets were uniquely aligned…
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Sandy Collier
“I met Prem Rawat in India in 1969. He was 11 years old and speaking about peace during his school holidays to large audiences…
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Ann Savell
“In June 1971, I was 16 and had been at the Glastonbury site for a few weeks watching The Pyramid Stage take shape and generally just enjoying being there.
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Maggie Draper
“Summer of 1971 was a very special and magical summer. I was 19, had already journeyed overland to India for my gap year and had completed my first year at university…
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Janet Wallace
“I had heard Prem Rawat speak initially in India early in 1971. I was an art student from Canada on a world trip with others exploring art and culture…
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Barbara Roche
“Glastonbury Festival 1971 was a very significant time for me. I was 18 and desperate to know if there was a God or not. Something amazing was going to happen at Glastonbury and I had to be there…
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Lynne Armstead
“I set off for Glastonbury in 1971 with two friends. On the way, someone mentioned that it was an auspicious time and that Glastonbury was situated along ley lines that linked with the Great Pyramid…
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Lesley Cooper
“As I write, my son-in-law is sending me pictures of the family – daughters and granddaughters, chilling out, listening to bands and having a great time at this year’s historic Glastonbury Festival…
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David Roupell
“The first Glastonbury Fayre in 1970 was a depressing affair for many of us. Jimi Hendrix had just died and we were devastated. Jimi had become much more than a flashy guitarist. He was preaching his message of love big time and we missed it badly…
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