Arcadia Glastonbury. She rises from the ground to a ridiculous height. Her eyes look down emotionlessly. Fire and electricity burst from her spindly legs. She makes Shelob look friendly. Yet, thousands of people have the time of their lives under her. Arachnophobes these people are certainly not.
The Arcadia Spider
I am talking about Arcadia of course. One of the most iconic stages at Glastonbury Festival, if not the world. The first time I saw THE spider was at Glastonbury in 2010. It was Glastonbury’s 40th anniversary and we had glorious weather. We arrived on Wednesday morning as always and had a chilled day.
That night or Thursday night, I noticed fire erupting in the far distance. At first, I thought it was a fireworks display ( lots of cider had been consumed by this point). Then I realised it was something else. When Gorillaz had finished their set we wandered towards the fire.
When we came across Arcadia, we were blown away. We had never seen anything like it. It was like we stumbled into a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max version of Worthy Farm. Dancers shooting lightning at each other, fire bursting all around, a DJ playing tunes from inside the spider. WTF! All of us were seasoned gig-goers and we were standing there in awe. That is what Glastonbury manages to do every year, create a sense of awe. Arcadia certainly helps.
When did Arcadia first appear at Glastonbury?
Arcadia founders Pip Rush and Bert Cole first got together to work on The Afterburner. It made its debut at Glastonbury in 2007. Each year they added pieces to The Afterburner and in 2010 they added the “legs”, which are old Customs and Excise scanning units! Ever since then, Arcadia has been wowing Glastonbury goers every year.
Where is Arcadia in Glastonbury?
Will Arcadia be at Glastonbury 2023?
If you mean the spider, then almost 100%. In 2019, Arcadia launched Pangea, a crane-like structure in place of the spider. Mendip council (the local council) refused to allow for it to be a permanent structure and it cost the Arcadia organisers too much money to keep dismantling it. So the spider was back for Glasto 2022.
Each year they add more sections to Arcadia. Late last year the organisers brought an old Navy helicopter. So I am excited to see what they are going to do with that!
Who will headline Arcadia in 2023?
I am really hoping The Chemical Brothers will headline in 2023. They were meant to headline last year but had to cancel at the last minute because of COVID. Fatboy Slim is always down at Worthy Farm so I expect to see him pop up somewhere. The same with Carl Cox. Even though they have split up I would love to see Daft Punk play Arcadia one day.
Who is coming to Glastonbury 2023? Let’s meet under the spider!