Beyond the music, the Glastonbury message has always been peace and love. Thus, it was a beautifully fitting moment this morning when proceedings began with a video message from Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Prior to The Libertines’ set this morning, Zelenskyy urged the crowd to “Prove that freedom always wins,” in a rousing speech that had many people in attendance in tears and delineated what the festival is all about.
“We will not let Russia’s war break us,” he said in the emotive address. Adding: “We want to stop the war before it ruins people’s lives.”
Continuing to a rapturous reception: “Glastonbury is the greatest concentration of freedom these days and I ask you to share this feeling with everyone whose freedom is under attack.”
Culture might seem measly in the face of the might of war, but it always has and always will have its role to play. Earlier in the year, we spoke to Factory Records founder Alan Erasmus who is on the frontline performing humanitarian work in Ukraine.
Erasmus echoed the sentiments of Zelenskyy’s message in our remote interview with him. As his friend Mark Reeder told us: “After all, music is the only thing that really brings us together.” The Far Out staff on the ground at Glastonbury ratified that seemed palpable as festivities got underway with a cognizant touch of poignancy.
You can check out the full video message below.