Verge; Where’s Jimi ?

By Jo Phillips

Matt Everitt and Jim Stoten have come together to compile a Where’s-Wally-esque book about music festivals called Where’s My Welly? World’s Greatest Music Festival Challenge. The book is nothing short of creative, exploring music festivals throughout the years, the importance of the iconic welly at music festivals whilst adding in a few famous faces along the way (Madonna, John Lennon and The Weeknd, to name a few).

WMWellycover_UK portrait

The cartoon infused challenge is fun, exciting and ingenious whilst being a bit of a mind-boggle; the wellies are hard to find and the famous faces aren’t too easy to spot either. It wouldn’t be much of a challenge otherwise. Don’t worry though, Matt has broken down the book and may have given us a few hints on how to spot the welly.

Why did you choose to write about the history of music festivals, inspired by ‘Where’s Wally’?

Well, I think that the idea of getting together with your fellow humans and listening music as a collective out in nature (possibly after a cider or two) is a huge life-affirming experience, and one that has the potential to bring enormous joy and reaffirm one’s belief in the essential cosmic oneness of existence. Whether the chemical toilets, mud, massive cues for the car parks and Monday morning hangovers compliment that, I’ve yet to decide. As for Where’s Wally? Everyone goes to music festivals these days, even red and white-hatted cartoon characters with a propensity towards camouflage.

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The pictures are very intense and colourful (mostly), why this style?

That’s down to the brilliant Jim Stoten. We visually tried to capture the often kaleidoscopic, hyperreal nature of festivals. Festivals do have the power to transform a grubby field in reading into the site of a psychedelic supernova, so we wanted to illustrate that.

Why did you pick the festivals that you have picked? You have picked key ones through the years why these ones?

Hopefully, each of the events chose marks a turning point in the history of pop- the folky Dylan playing his first electric show, Hendrix at Woodstock, Daft Punk at Coachella- each festival changed how people thought about the potential of music. They’re all legendary for their own reasons.

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Do you think festivals differ hugely over the years and depending on the location?

Bloody hell yes. Every festival is different. The line-up, the atmosphere, the age of the audience, the site itself all come into play. The history of a site like Glastonbury seeps into the mindset of everyone there, that farm has provided a home for generations of musical experiences and represents a kind of inclusive, tolerant and free society, so the crowds who attend share that. Tomorrowland is literally a fictional fairyland that you enter, where any tether to normal life is suspended. Monsters Of Rock was just a field in The Midlands made iconic by people totally uninterested in the hippie ideal, who just wanted to worship very, very loud, very, very heavy music.

Are there any tips or tricks you can give us to finding the welly?

That would be cheating. I suggest buying ten copies. That might help.

If you would like to get into festival mood and read more about music, check out our piece on SoCal Hip Hop from our latest issue here.

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