Photography exhibition at Somerset Museum marks Glastonbury’s return

Photographer Jason Bryant takes a selfie with the Glastonbury Festival crowds IMAGE: Jason Bryant

Submitted by Beth Jerrett

An exhibition of photographs from 20 years of the iconic Glastonbury Festival opens at the Somerset Rural Life Museum this summer.

The images were captured by Somerset-based photographer Jason Bryant, who picked his personal favorites for this special display to mark the festival’s return to live.

‘Music, Mud, Mayhem: Photographing Glastonbury Festival’ showcases over 50 iconic performances from 1997 to 2019. Visitors can relive defining moments including 2019’s headlining Stormzy, Dolly Parton’s legendary slot in 2014, Noel Gallagher’s famous Jay Z rebuttal in 2008 and David Bowie’s performance in 2000 – often considered the greatest festival gig of all time.

“Community” is one of the festival themes explored in the exhibition IMAGE: Jason Bryant

Jason Bryant said, “The images capture the crowds and the spectacle and the generosity and positivity that is so characteristic of the festival.”

Jason’s photographs also reflect the creative and physical growth of the festival, which has more than doubled in size since 1997. In 2019, it welcomed over 200,000 people, making it a true “city in the fields”. The exhibition further explores some of the festival’s enduring themes, from love, community and self-expression to crowds and weather.

The exhibit opens just two weeks before this year’s festival (June 22-26) which features a lineup including Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Diana Ross. Jason will be at the festival to capture his long-awaited comeback in his photography. The 2020 and 2021 live festivals have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2020 would have been the year of the festival’s 50th anniversary.

Stormzy photographed by Jason Bryant at the Glastonbury Festival in 2019 IMAGE: Jason Bryant

‘Music, Mud, Mayhem: Photographing Glastonbury Festival’ is open at Somerset Rural Life in Glastonbury from 11 June to 4 September. Throughout the summer school holidays, an associated program of festival-themed family activities will take place.

To learn more, visit the website here.


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Tracey L. Sweeney