Lost Vagueness – Glastonbury Festival – It’s a music documentary that tells the story of Roy Gurvitz, who created Lost Vagueness, at Glastonbury and who, as legendary founder, Michael Eavis says, reinvigorated the festival. With the decadence of 1920’s Berlin, but all in a muddy field. A film of the dark, self-destructive side of creativity and the personal trauma behind it.

Lost Vagueness – Glastonbury Festival (2017)
Director: Sofia Olins
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Musical
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Also Known As: Lost in Vagueness: The Legend of Glastonbury Festival
Release Date: June 2017 (United Kingdom)

Here is a documentary that should provide a balm of sorts to anyone pining for Glastonbury in a fallow year for the festival – though one whose charms might be somewhat lost on non-attendees. It tells the story of new-age traveller Roy Gurvitz, who in the early 2000s founded the bacchanalian late-night area Lost Vagueness, a move that invigorated the festival just as it was lurching into irrelevance.

Featuring everything from ballroom dancing to drag shows and gruesome displays of body horror performance art, the area soon became the stuff of legend among festivalgoers – not to mention tabloid editors, who thrilled to the (false) rumours that Kate Moss and Pete Doherty had got hitched in the area’s Chapel of Love. Soon Lost Vagueness was an all-purpose alternative party behemoth in its own right, putting on its own events and club nights – though rising costs, as well as Gurvitz’s erratic towards his staff were taking their toll.

„Confession time: during the ‘LV’ era, I only went to Glastonbury the once, in ’95, and being 15 and hence culturally blinded by the bright lights of the then ‘NME’ stage, we may very well have wandered to the LV end of town, without knowing what it was, or where we were, yet were probably also incredibly drunk on half a pint and could have been collapsed in our tents by 1AM for all I know. And to be frank at that age I probably would have been pretty intimidated by the types of people there, always seemed like a bit of an older crowd relatively, even though we lived in the area and so the lives of new age travellers wasn’t exactly a revelation, they would often drop in at the run down country pub where my friend lived, mostly friendly, some insufferable, the odd one ending up barred for life. On balance I still long for an era when every other **** isn’t on coke by default, no phones, no one doing anything for likes beyond the immediate crowd.

Anyway, ramble over, nearly didn’t watch this based on the other reviews, but what a mistake that would have been. Filmed over several years, it manages to balance the inevitable crushing collapse of the area – and indeed the lives of its creator – with what must have been the sheer excitement of it in the the glory days, or rather, years. And although you’ll be shouting ‘I knew this would happen!!’ when they attempt to pivot the LV experience into a commercial income, it would be easy to forget that society changed at a million miles an hour in the 90s to 2000s with the mainstream and new media co-opting and simultaneously devaluing various once alternative experiences in a rapacious manner.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve now been back a few times post the removal of Lost Vagueness, now pretty much Shangri-la. Certainly the festival *is* even more ‘professional’ but in my own opinion it’s definitely not ‘corporate’ and you’d have to be pretty cold hearted not to go there and find at least a handful of things out of the hundreds on offer you remember until the next time. Besides, it needed to change, let’s not forget how bad things were at times, the mud and the aggro are easily forgotten which leaves some people a bit too misty eyed about the past.

This told the story of something I brushed up against once in a lifetime, but was history by the time I went back to the festival. It did it engagingly, objectively, and fairly; I don’t think it painted anyone as a ‘goodie’ or a ‘baddie’ as some other reviews have suggested. If anything, we the consumer, get the entertainment we deserve.”
– written by „Mr Rotivator” on amazon.com


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