‘Utopia party’ will be ‘such a release’ says man who attended his 35th Glastonbury

The HGV driver, who has attended every Glastonbury festival since 1978, said the “party utopia” would be “such a release” after a three-year hiatus due to Covid.

en Rogers, who was born in Pilton, Somerset, is set to begin his 35th festival at Worthy Farm this week and said his earliest memories of the event include lasers, mud and UB40.

The 45-year-old first joined the small, unplanned festival in 1978 at the age of one, along with his 49-year-old sister, Kerry, and their 73-year-old parents, Pat and Rachel, who were at every event. at the Decent Farm.


Pat (left) and Rachel Rogers, who attended every Glastonbury Festival, at an event in 2019 (Ben Rogers)

Mister Rogers still lives just seven miles away in Wells, and this year he will be with his son Harry, 14, and 12-year-old daughter Grace, who have been away annually since their birth.

“I think this tradition will always be in my family,” he told the PA news agency.

“Now my son is 14 and I think this is his 11th festival… we took him in when he was six months old.

“Glastonbury is a utopian party, you can just forget about the outside world for five days… The scale of entertainment and variety is breathtaking.”

This is the first year that Glastonbury has been held in person since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the gap from 2019 is the longest break Mr Rogers has ever had to wait between festivals.


(PA graphics)

“Michael[Avis]takes a year off every four or five years and it’s hard enough, but the last three years have been really tough, especially with what’s going on,” he said.

“It will be a chance to let off steam and lose yourself… it will be such a release.”

Mr Rogers said his earliest memories of Glastonbury included lasers emitted from the Pyramid stage and “a bit of dirt”.

“My first real memories are from 1983… UB40 stuck in my mind,” he said.

“Despite the fact that we lived in the country, mom and dad would go down and set up a big tent right in front of the Pyramid stage on the hill … we all camped there.


Mr Rogers said his favorite performer at Glastonbury was David Bowie in 2000 (Toby Melville/PA).

“In the early 80s, these amazing lasers came off the scene, it was fantastic.

“Then I remember a bit of mud – 1985 was the first real muddy festival, it rained for a couple of months.”

Also mentioning Prodigy and Coldplay performances, he said that the best performance he had ever seen at the festival was David Bowie in 2000.

“It was just mind-blowing, (it’s) hard to put into words… Bowie fans in general say it was possibly his best performance,” he said.

Asked what performance he is most looking forward to this year, Mr. Rogers replied: “Sam Fender, an incredible young man.

“I know he can do it and it can take him to the next level. You give it your all at Glastonbury and it can take you beyond anything.”


Mr Rogers said his earliest memories of Glastonbury included dirt (Ben Birchall/PA)

As for advice for new visitors to Glastonbury, Mr Rogers said “decent walking shoes” are essential.

“And don’t get hung up on one spot – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the pyramid scene, but wander around the site and keep exploring and you’ll find incredible stuff,” he added.

“These are unknown numbers that you stumble upon when you walk around, when you see amazing performances, not only music, but also circus, comedy, dance, theater – there is so much to see and do … what you see on the BBC is just part of it.”

Mister Rogers will be queuing and camping out at the festival on Wednesday morning before picking up his kids from school.

“I gave them Thursday and Friday off, so I’ll pick them up and come right back,” he said.