THIS weekend should have seen hundreds of thousands of people descend on fields in the Somerset countryside to enjoy performances from some of the world’s biggest acts.

But, for the second year running, there is no Glastonbury Festival. The coronavirus pandemic has seen to that.

Instead, festival lovers up and down the country are instead hosting their own, personal Glastonbury in their gardens and homes.

The phenomenon, which started last summer, is called Glasthomebury and sees Glasto fans set up their own miniature festivals.

The BBC is streaming a number of Glastonbury sets and films, including the Live At Worthy Farm show produced earlier this year, to help people get their festival fix.

And many will be reading a new book to find out just what many of those performers were thinking when they took to those legendary stages.

View From The Stage: 50 Years of Glastonbury by the People That Played features the memories and experiences of dozens of artists who have performed at the festival over five decades.

From Status Quo to the Burnham and Highbridge Town Band, Napalm Death to Toploader, acts tell their Glastonbury stories over 164 pages.

The book was written by festival fanatic - and County Gazette editor - Paul Jones, who has been a fixture in the fields of Worthy Farm for almost two decades.

READ MORE: REVIEW: Live At Worthy Farm was a triumph - despite impossible expectations
READ MORE: 2021 Glastonbury Festival called off

“Glastonbury is the most important week of the year for me, without a doubt,” said Paul.

“Everything revolves around it. Other people have their holiday, I have Glastonbury.”

It was this passion for the event Paul says he wanted to explore in View From The Stage.

“When I’ve been standing in those fields, marvelling at the act before me, I’ve often wondered if the feeling is the same for the person on stage - if they have the same passion that I so often feel.

“I have been moved to tears, of joy, sadness, everything, at Glastonbury - but is it just another show for them?

“I wanted to find out and give people an insight into what goes into performing at Glastonbury - and whether it is everything we imagine.”

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: OUT NOW: View From The Stage: 50 Years of Glastonbury by the People That Played

And so Paul set about tracking down performers going back to the first event at Worthy Farm, in 1970, right up to the last festival, in 2019.

“I started out writing for a supplement in the County Gazette, but it soon spiralled out of control,” Paul said.

“I didn’t want to simply write a history of the festival, that’s already been done brilliantly, but as I put it together, it became almost an alternative story of Glastonbury, through the eyes of those on stage.

“From the very stripped-down basic first event to the largest greenfield festival in the world, the experiences of those who performed tell their own story, I think, and it’s everything I could have hoped for - from the sublime to the ridiculous, just like Glastonbury itself.”

  • You can read excerpts from View From The Stage starting in next week’s County Gazette - but if you can’t wait that long, the book is available now.

You can buy it online for just £6.50 (including P&P) at, or exclusively at St Margaret’s Hospice shops around the county, including in Taunton, Glastonbury, Street, Wells, Yeovil, Langport, Chard and Ilminster, for £5.