Glastonbury 2023 has unveiled its new Woodsies area – formerly known as the John Peel stage. Watch stage manager Lilith Piper give us a tour through the new space below.
Announced earlier this year, Glastonbury revealed that its iconic John Peel stage would be undergoing a rebrand for the first time since 2004, and expanding into a new area called Woodsies.
Now, following the festival opening its doors yesterday (June 21) Lilith Piper — Stage manager of the Woods Stage — gave NME a tour of the recently developed site, and explained how the area aims to bring a wider sense of community to the festival.
“Before all the main stages kick off, it’s a place to catch people,” she said, elaborating on how the area offers a peaceful alternative to the more lively areas of the site, and a “place for weary travellers to rest”.
“The reincarnated John Peel stage is a great opportunity for us to connect to nature that’s all about feeding in the old way of living,” she continued. “People are loving weaving in with the willow in this lovely haven.”
Located just a stone’s throw away from the Silver Hayes and San Remo stages, the Woodsies area is the space that best hones in on Glastonbury’s environmental focus, and boasts a balance between the lively performances and everything else that the festival has to offer.
Nowhere is this better captured than by the Tolpuddle Fire, Piper said, explaining how the location acts as a “portal” between the Woodsies Stage and the newly-expanded wooded area. “It has a very symbolic connection,” she said. “It is almost a portal in from the main stage.”
The area now features a variety of bars and cafes, as well as installations from local artists and an aerial walkway in the trees, named The Tree House, which provide visitors with a new perspective on the site.
“This year, Glastonbury is offering a whole new range of visual information,” Piper explained. “The Tree House was built as a solid structure to be here all year round and connect to all the people and the community. But during the festival it comes alive. And this year, the lighting is amazing, especially in the evening. It’s an inner sanctum”.
Having recently revealed that the 2023 edition is set to be the most eco-friendly yet, and will be running entirely on renewable energy, Woodsies also strives to do its part to make the festival as green as can be.
This comes as over 1000 new trees have been planted in the area and a 300-year-old oak tree has been structured in the centre of the site to remind guests of their “connection with nature”.
As for upcoming performances, artists set to appear at the Woodsies stage include Rina Sawayama, Måneskin, Warpaint, Christine & The Queens. After the performances draw to a close here, the adjacent Wood Stage is set to come to life, and will provide a series of “multi-sensory” sets. “After seeing your favourite artists on the main stages, do come here, walk in here through the night and experience the multi-sensory installation.”
Thousands of fans were present for festival organiser Emily Eavis opening the gates at Worthy Farm yesterday (Wednesday June 21), and this year’s line-up will feature headline performances from Guns N’ Roses, Elton John, and Arctic Monkeys.
Doubt was cast over Arctic Monkeys’ headline set however, when the band were first to cancel a show earlier this week due to frontman Alex Turner coming down with laryngitis. Eavis then said that she was confident that the band would be performing, but that they “have a couple of back-up plans” just in case.
In recent weeks, speculation rose about the mystery band The Churnups, who appeared on the setlist. Set to perform on the Pyramid stage tomorrow (June 23), at 6.15pm, the most common theories are that it will be Foo Fighters, or returning Britpop veterans Pulp. The rumour mill then seemed to spin in favour of Foos, after Dave Grohl teased fans with a message that mentioned “churning up” emotions.
Known for joining the band on stage, Rick Astley also responded about the Foos rumours in a new interview with NME.
Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2023.