|Dave Brock on Radio 4, June 1993
My other guest is a man whose band has arguably played more festivals than anyone else, ever. [Intro to 'Psi
Power' from the 'This is Hawkwind, Do Not Panic' album is played.] That's Hawkwind, live at
Stonehenge...¦[no it's not!] The band celebrate 25 years on the road this year, and countless festivals
including most notoriously playing outside the Isle Of Wight for free for fans, in protest at ticket prices.
Dave Brock, who's here now, is the only who's remained in the Hawkwind line-up since that Isle Of Wight
show back in 1970. Dave, with rock festivals being such big business now, surely there's more to protest
about now than ever?
Dave Brock: "Well, the reason why they're so big is because there's lots of money involved, basically."
But you always played for free...¦
Dave Brock: "Yeah, there's still lots of free festivals going on all the time, because lots of people just can't
afford to get in, I mean, I think Glastonbury's £60 now. I mean, if you've got a vehicle, £60 for a vehicle, I
mean, it's £120, it's a lot of money."
David Phillips [Festival promoter of the Mean Fiddler Organisation]: "It's also sold out, Dave...¦"
Lord Cobbold [owner of Knebworth]: "The original festivals we had in the 70's were more fun, they were
less elaborate and lots of camping the night before, and tremendous atmosphere in the camp, which now is
obviously still carried on at Glastonbury and Reading...¦"
Dave Brock: "Yeah, there was a lot of craft, people selling stuff, whereas nowadays it's more music, you see.
Years ago, you used to get lots of Travellers around, people selling stuff. It was more, sort of, the old
Fayres, you know...¦"
Traveller has become a dirty word now, hasn't it...¦
Dave Brock: "Not necessarily!"
Dave Brock, do you think perhaps the largely illegal mass outdoor Raves have in a way taken over the sort of
bad behaviour aspect of rock festivals?
Dave Brock: "Well, in a way, it's...¦everything always has cycles...¦"
Lord Cobbold: "I didn't think it was bad behaviour, I wanted to stop it - that is, promoting the image."
Dave Brock: "It's what the newspapers always put across. Newspapers like to have stories, so you get
60,000 people when Stonehenge used to go on, and there was hardly any bad scenes there, you know. I
mean, OK, there's the odd one here and there, but the papers make out, you know, 'there's terrible scenes,
thieving going on...¦' There's very little thieving. And they're quite well organised, because, I mean all the
free festivals, the people who organize these things are quite together, they've got stages, they've got
generators, you know, there's food. You can get anything you want there, I mean, that's what people want,
My mother wouldn't let me go to Knebworth but she'd probably *be* at Knebworth now...¦
Dave Brock: "Well, parents get very worried because they see these festivals as places where there's intrigue
and drug smuggling, and...¦"
Young people feel the need to go off and do stuff off their own bat, perhaps slightly outside the law...¦
David Phillips: "It's still catered for and it always will be. There's masses of free festivals this year, and
there's masses of organised legal festivals, you just choose and you do whatever...¦"
Dave Brock: "The only people who don't want these things to occur are the government and the police, you
know. Basically they don't want things to occur, because a lot of people gathering, I mean, you've probably
had all the problems with the policing and the money involved in paying the police...¦"
Lord Cobbold: "It is difficult...¦"
[Michael Eavis, the organiser / owner of the Glastonbury festival site, joins the interview on the phone]
Dave Brock: "Michael Eavis - the millionaire!"
This year, it's called the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts...¦ Is this a change in
emphasis coming on here?
Michael Eavis: "It's so diverse, we've got theatre, circus, cabaret, we've got drama, we've got poetry. So
many different things...¦and how about Dave, are you coming this time, Dave, or not?"
Dave Brock: "Which one? There are three Daves here!"
Michael Eavis: "Dave Brock's been down here a few times...¦Dave knows the way!"
Dave Brock: "I'd love to if you'll give me a free ticket, Michael. I can't afford £60 you know!"
Michael Eavis: "Come off it!"
Dave Brock: "No, I think all your circus, everything is really great stuff, I think that's what festivals should
be about, actually."
Michael Eavis: "We've got so much going on here, it truly is a festival of performing arts. The diversification
is absolutely enormous...¦"
Dave Brock was saying earlier there were lots of events always taking place around the traditional festivals, it
seems necessary to actually kind of identify them, in a way, with the performing arts. Is this kind of edging
rock music out a little?
Dave Brock: "Well, original festivals started out not for just rock music, they were craft fairs, folk festivals
and craft fairs, which were really good fun...¦"
Michael Eavis: "Glastonbury is more in the Fayre tradition, in fact, it's been going for 23 years now...music
is not the whole thing, although people do see it as a music event."
Well, I think rock festivals are here to stay, this is the general concensus...
Dave Brock: "Yes, more of them, I say! More festivals!"
More of them! OK, thank you all very much indeed. Glastonbury runs over this weekend until Sunday...¦
|Above: this really has nothing much to do with what follows but I abhor a page without a picture. It's
from the band's gig at Bochum, Germany on 25/10/1995
|Onto business, and this interview is something a little different from the normal, since it features Dave
Brock as one of a number of studio guests on a BBC Radio 4 programme about rock festivals. It was
broadcast a few days before the 1993 Glastonbury festival, which that year took place between 25th and
Not everything in the interview had any relevance to Hawkwind, so I've precis'd the content quite
extensively. It should still make sense, though. Thanks to Dave Law for the interview tape!