theGlastonbury Music Festivalseen by Jenna Krajeski

For vacationers, hell is an office job. At the Glastonbury Music Festival, all resident artists had to do to call upon that abyss for the hundreds of thousands in attendance was stack drab file cabinets, one on top of the other, beside glass-encased dioramas of empty cubicles in an art installation called, appropriately, "Hell." The cubicle contents were slightly mussed, as though having weathered a small apocalypse that left the world in minor disarray, letting the mundane images stand as a lesson to those at Glastonbury: Enjoy this festival while you can because next week, it's back to work.

One morning, a few hours after the workers of the world poured out of subways and cars into their cubicles and offices, powered on their computers, and set to work organizing the file cabinets that keep the corporate world turning, the area around "Hell" was mostly empty. Two young women cheerfully served coffee from a silver airstream trailer, listening to Johnny Cash and making waffles for a dazed-looking family of four. A man in the Wellington boots vital to the Glastonbury uniform, wandered through hell's red-painted maze, pausing beneath a sign that read "SIN." Across a muddy corridor, "Heaven" was a lounge outfitted with white cushions where an attendant perfumed the air.

  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury

What was this place like at night, the family wondered timidly, ordering ice cream on their waffles. "It's party central," one of the baristas said, smiling widely, the flowers in her hair wilted from the steady, stormy winds. She had been to "Hell," she told the family, but "Heaven" remained a mystery.

In the breaks between rain storms, the crowds at Glastonbury roll up their umbrellas, tuck them under their arms, and trudge from stage to stage, trying not to lose a shoe in the deep mud. They raise flags over their heads as signals to their roaming friends. They straighten the garlands of small flowers pinned in their hair.

  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury

Four young women adjusted their feathered headdresses in solidarity with one another, walking shoulder to shoulder. "I'm really getting married!" a woman dressed in a flowing white wedding gown shouted, holding hands with her bridesmaids on a wet lawn. White daises crowned her head, and around her neck hung a necklace sporting a bright pink "L." Everything she drank that weekend she drank out of a plastic champagne flute.

A couple lay on the wet ground, rain water seeping into their jeans. He heaved his muddy boot over her legs and they kissed then held each other, Pompeii-frozen. They knew they were surrounded by strangers. That people could see them was the point. When it rained they rose from the mud with a loud slurp.

Across the expanse of farmland, festival goers dry themselves off, squeezing rain water from florescent-dyed hair onto the flattened grass. Some are already hunched with exhaustion, holding each other up. "It's a marathon," one man said to his friend, soothing him, "and you're trying to sprint." Mud crawls up the sides of their Wellies, drying into plaster. One man slides belly-down on the mud to the delight of a crowd that's formed around him, then emerges from the muck like a risen mythical bog-buried dead who, rather than being sacrificed to the gods, had passed out drunk.

They triumphantly put on sunglasses and floppy hats to shield themselves against the summer sun and then, after a few hot, dry hours, declare to one another, "The rain will feel so good, so good." When it rains, they scatter under awnings attached to food stalls, eating fistfuls of donuts and cupcakes, drinking cans of beer. No one seems to have come to the festival alone.

  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury
  • All photos by Luca Cepparo
Glastonbury

"This is mega," a teenage girl said after stumbling upon Dolly Parton skipping across the stage in a silver pantsuit, sparkling like a mirror ball and shouting to the crowd, "You got me on fire!" Nearby, a man wearing in a bright orange suit, slouched in a camping chair. Across the farm, a marching band dressed in Union Jack colors played "9 to 5," Dolly's hit, on kazoos. "I'm not the only one who cried at Dolly Parton," a photographer said to another photographer. A dark-haired woman in a blue cap stomped in new black, leather boots through the grass and puddles. Among the plastic shoes of Glastonbury, her high heels were floodlights. The mud was like paint.

At night, the lights of the Glastonbury music festival fold over the slopes of farmland, a space station in the English countryside. It's hard to picture the stages and food stalls, the hundreds of thousands of people and their brightly colored tents, and the gluey mud replaced with quiet, lumbering dairy cows and a scattering of farm hands. But that's what will happen after the gates close and the 400,000 return to their cubicles. As quickly as it was set up, Glastonbury will be gone. Any leftover revelers -- caked with mud, covered in glitter, wearing red-tinted glasses, ears ringing -- will emerge from their tents. They will rub their eyes.

Late one night, when the last bands were just starting to play, a father walked his young son back to their tent on the top of the hill. It was bed time. When they reached as high as they could go, the father lifted his boy onto his shoulders. "There's something I want to show you," he said, and pointed him in the direction of the festival's center, where the glittering lights and murky noise were a city. "It looks like home, doesn't it?" the father asked, and in the glow his son nodded and told his father that he was amazed.

By Jenna Krajeski

EDITORIAL PROJECT SPONSORED BY HOGAN REBEL