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Music participation at Glastonbury Festival

Music participation at Glastonbury Festival

  • Date05 July 2019

Teaching Fellow Dr Daniel Elphick recently worked at a unique attraction at Glastonbury Festival.

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The Big Easy Jam is a free-for-all musical sideshow, where festival-goers are invited to participate in music making on a host of instruments, including piano, drums, guitars, and more.

The Jam’s aim is to provide an accessible and welcoming space where anyone can try their hand at performing at Glastonbury, whether they be veteran musicians or absolute beginners. The tent is staffed by a close-knit family of volunteers who keep the music going. A typical day in the Jam tent might include teaching drums or piano, improvising alongside punters, or raucous late-night singalongs.

Alongside the festival public, the tent has also seen its fair share of famous musicians who dropped in for a Jam. Recent stars include Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Jamie Cullum. One couple who visited the Big Easy Jam this year described it as 'totally inclusive ... the closest you can get to music at Glastonbury'. 

Dan has known the Big Easy Jam since its inception, and continues to support the project. His ‘jamming’ songs of choice include ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Africa’ by Toto, and anything by The Beatles. Dan’s teaching at Royal Holloway includes courses on Popular Music.

A video clip of the Big Easy Jam in action can be found on the Glastonbury Festival Instagram page.

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