Take us back to Worthy Farm, pronto!
As it seems to do every year, this year’s Glastonbury has gone down as one of the best ever.
Radiohead played a once-in-a-lifeteam career-spanning headline set, The Killers and Elbow were among the bigger acts cropping up for surprise appearances, and Katy Perry was, urm, definitely a thing that happened.
“I remember walking into NYC Download with Michael Eavis packed in among 800 sweaty, hairy topless dudes with banging house music playing,” starts Gideon Berger, one half of design duo Block9, on the subject of Glasto’s premiere gay nightspot. “With a huge smile on his face, he turns to me and says, ‘It doesn’t get much worse than this, does it Gideon?'”
Michael Eavis, the father and founder of Glastonbury, was being facetious of course. Back in 2007, Glasto filled a gaping hole in the festival circuit when it intorduced NYC Downlow – the first LGBT+ space at a major music festival in the UK. “It’s a homo sweatbox created for dark and filthy deep house and disco,” continues Gideon, “contained within an authentic reproduction of an NYC meatpacker’s warehosue.
Created in 2007 by the Block9 twosome – Gideon and his creative partner Stephen Gallagher – NYC Downlow has since helped raise more than £57,000 for charity, seen secret appearances from the likes of Florence Welch and Mick Jagger (!!!) and is pretty much the only place at a UK festival where you can dance with a drag queen covered in mud, get served at the bar by a guy in a leather jockstrap and enjoy yourself outside the usual festival confines of straight assimalataion. A heonistic paradise, basically.
“Where else would all the bicurious straight-ish boys go to get action when their girlfriends have gone to bed?”
“Creating an epic, living, breathing artwork on the scale of the NYC Downlow would normally require a brand partnership or sponsorship to bankroll. Something as filthy, chaotic and hellbent on the promotion of homosexuality as the NYCnever be t, so thank God for Michael and Emily Eavis, and Nick Dewey, for believing in us after all these years.”