top of page

Black at Glasto - a community-building initiative helping Black festival goers connect!

'Black at Glasto' an initiative connecting Glastonbury's black and mixed festival goers.

Hey! I'm Elsie and I'm the founder of ourppls, a community development agency focusing on the interlinks between creativity, culture and wellbeing!

I've had the absolute pleasure of attending Glastonbury Festival every year since 2014, working backstage across the Silver Hayes area as an artist liaison.

Every year I go by myself and every year I've been blessed with meeting strangers who overnight become life long friends, making Glastonbury one of the most magical experiences of my life.

Life is great when you find your tribe. However, in the few hours or days when you're without them, the experience is very different.

This was a recent discussion with one of my friends and it's a feeling I know all too well.

As mentioned, I've attended the festival several times by myself and as a result, I always spend the first day or two roaming across the fields alone, not seeing anyone like me, and generally feeling like I'm out of place.

I know I'm not the only one who feels like that, as each year, without fail, I always come across artists of African/Caribbean descent sitting sheepishly by themselves backstage with a visible look of discomfort and feelings of isolation. That is, until we connect eyes and an excited offer to becomes festival buddies is kindled, giving birth to deep and sincere feelings of safety, connection and belonging.

Upon reflection I do wonder if we're in-fact just trauma-bonding.

Amidst the mud, torturous toilets, humongous stage designs and thousands of intoxicated festival goers dressed in wacky outfits - one could fairly describe Glastonbury as a jungle. A jungle that presents a rather startling culture shock to those of us raised in quite traditional and reserved households.

However, the minute you find your tribe? The rose-tinted glasses come on and suddenly you've got a cider in your hand, sharing a spliff with the girl you met 5 minutes ago who's also willing to explore and brave the crowds. This has been my glasto-experience (minus the spliff, ha... :') every year for the last 10 years and it's genuinely an experience like no other.

Anyways, this year after relaunching ourppls and re-committing myself to the travails of camping, I decided to create an intentional community for other Black/Mixed/Brown people who are attending the festival this year and are in need of a tribe

If you or someone you know is attending Glastonbury this year, you're welcome to join our whatsapp group. We're not only sharing tips and recommendations on how to survive the festival, but we're also creating a safe space and community from which our wonder, joy, love, freedom and expression can thrive too x

13 views0 comments


bottom of page