Glastonbury! Exactly the kind of important event we should write about when asked to write about something important!
- MUSIC FOCUS: Glastonbury Festival.
- ACTIVITY FOCUS: Use our GLASTONBURY acronym to structure your own persuasive piece of writing.
Read our article about Glastonbury Festival. Note how we’ve divided the persuasive piece into 11 sections. Each section is colour-coded:
GLASTONBURY: HEAVEN ON EARTH
The world is a swamp. A putrid swamp. And the swamp people? They don’t care about me. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about anything.
Just look at the pictures we are force-fed of everyone drinking out of plastic bottles… everyone driving gigantic cars that snort out more greenhouse gases than we can even quantify… everyone hacking down any tree they happen across – because, I mean, who really cares about the little, fuzzy-faced creatures that live in the forest?
Let me tell you who cares. I DO. And, as it turns out, I’m not the only one. There are in excess of 200,000 people at Glastonbury Festival every June also hoping for a future in which Earth does not explode. Yes, the hyperbolic headlines are sometimes alarming, but that DOES NOT mean the apocalypse is inevitable. We are more in control of the future than you might think.
Maybe you’re dubious. Okay, well, let me share some facts with you. The International Energy Agency says: “Stronger policies and raised climate goals,” mean that, compared to 2010, we are now “80%” more capable of using renewable energy. You want other things to feel good about? How about the fact that global access to safe drinking water has raised by 16% since 2000? Or the truth that, in the last 20 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty worldwide has almost halved? Yes, it’s true – and terrible – that there are still areas lacking safe drinking water, and it’s correct that there is still too much poverty. But, none of these situations are hopeless. We are NOT on a one-way path to disaster and destruction, and there are people – LOTS of them – who don’t care more about money than morals.
That the most nuclear voices are shouting so loudly is a problem. Just yesterday, I woke up, turned on my phone and, within moments, found myself scrolling through endless posts crammed with nightmare-ish content. At least, though, I could turn my attention to the forthcoming Glastonbury Festival. It’s such an important event, and not just because, when you’re there, your limited battery life quashes your habit of randomly flicking through depression-inducing TikTok clips (have you ever noticed how even the name of that particular video-hosting platform is stress-inducing, suggesting as it does that we’re living in a perpetual state of countdown? Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-Tock).
At Glastonbury, we do not feel like we’re racing against the clock. Instead, we get a glimpse of what life could be like. Everyone picks up their own litter, strangers smile at each other, and all concerned consider the fact that the land isn’t simply there for them to stomp on. In 2022, festival-goers created a giant climate action flag; filled with the names and wishes of contributors, it evidenced the high proportion of people interested in important issues. Elsewhere, guest speakers encouraged a widespread sense of positivity and purpose – and then there were the multitude of water taps which meant no one was using plastic bottles. These things might not seem like quite enough to change the course of the world. Yet, I can promise you, when you can see everyone engaging with the same principles, the same missions, the same visions, the potential of simply acting nicely feels much bigger than you might be assuming.
In essence, Glastonbury is a microcosmic version of the world we want to live in. Okay, so it might be a little too idealistic to hope that every night will end with a show from the era-defining Billie Eilish oor a cosmic Calvin Harris set, but it’s the sense of community that’s really critical. When lots of individuals share a space the way they do at England’s most thrilling festival, they connect on a level that makes them feel more responsible for each other. If you don’t clear up after yourself at Glastonbury, if you make lazy choices instead of mindful ones, someone will call you out – in a way they might not in the wider world. At Glastonbury, it’s easy to see that your choices do make a difference. It feels like every positive action is another piece in a puzzle that we should certainly remain focussed on when living back outside of the famous Glastonbury fence.
None of this is meant to make you feel like you have failed because of that one time you didn’t recycle your rubbish. Or didn’t turn off the light. Or drove the car to work when you could have ridden your bicycle. Be kind to yourself. We all find it hard to make the right decisions every day.
But you do need to feel, firstly, that the challenges we know exist in our society are not insurmountable. Don’t ‘forget’ to do the right things because you don’t think your choices make a difference. They do! At Glastonbury Festival, this becomes obvious. And when you’re surrounded by nearly a quarter of a million people so obviously trying to make the best decisions, that puzzle we’re trying to fit together seems way more real. You don’t want to be the person who refuses to slot their piece into place!
In short, those who try to tell you that we – as human beings – are in a position of utter peril are wrong. Or, worse, they’re deliberately lying. Of course, the Twenty-First Century is going to be a tricky one, but to keep describing the modern age in cataclysmic, catastrophic terms is to continuously over-simplify the equation.
Which brings me to my suggestion that we stop listening to those negative, poisonous headlines. Let’s ignore the screamers and the shouters. Let’s surround ourselves with allies who haven’t been eaten up by negativity – friends who still picture Earth as it really is: a paradise where fresh, sparkling water runs freely, where an unimaginable array of lifeforms skitter, scramble and swoop amongst us, where the kaleidoscopic ballet of life goes on day after day after day.
And all those nitwits trying to scare us to death with their photoshopped, filtered interpretation of a doomed planet? Well, they should be sent to bed early without any supper.
- Make a list of all the persuasive techniques used in the GLASTONBURY article. You know the ones: rhetorical questions, metaphors, personal pronouns etc.
- Next, make a list of the words that you think help the article to sound assured, vocabulary you might borrow when creating your own persuasive piece. Look up the meaning of words you’re not familiar with.
- Then, note down the different types of punctuation used too.
Now – remembering to make use of all the details explored as part of activity 2 – write your own persuasive piece.
Pick a place or an event that you love and write about why it’s so important.
Do follow the GLASTONBURY structure:
Now, practise the skills being tested in any language paper while simultaneously enjoying the music of Ellie Goulding!