Romany Gypsies pull on to Glastonbury Festival - VIDEOS

27 June 2024
Romany Gypsies pull on to Glastonbury Festival

Romany Gypsies and Travellers have pulled on to Glastonbury Festival with four horses, two bow tops and a dray.

Romany Gypsy John Doe led the horse-drawn procession through the gates and into Glastonbury Festival on the 19th June, just over a week before the massive music and culture festival opened its doors yesterday to nearly 140,000 ticket buying punters.

John Doe, family and friends are there to take part in Atchin Tan, a space within Glastonbury Festival set up to showcase Gypsy and Traveller culture, which is now in its third year and fast becoming a fixture of the world-famous event. 'Atchin Tan' are words from the Romany language, and translate into English as 'stopping place'. 

There are nearly 68,000 workers and performers also at Glastonbury Festival, many of whom have been there for over a month before helping to set it up.

In the video below, the two women on the Dray stop and pose for photographs in front of Car Henge, an area of Glastonbury Festival that is largely run and crewed by New Travellers. By Friday evening, Car Henge will be packed with revellers dancing to pulsating electronic music, largely characterised by a series of repetitive beats.

This is one of many areas in Glastonbury Festival, which at its height this weekend, will become as large - population-wise - as Swindon, Wiltshire.

Pop music veterans Coldplay will be headlining one of the main Glastonbury Festival stages.


In the video below, the wagons finally pull into Atchin Tan – where they will be un-hitched and left, before the horses are taken back outside the festival to a place where they can safely graze in the peace and quiet until the music and revelries end on Sunday night.

Fresh from Appleby Fair, Billy Welch will also be at Atchin Tan. This is also the third year in which Billy has received free tickets for himself and his family in return for giving talks on Romany culture and history at Atchin Tan. Billy says he is also there to “chill out” for a bit after the pressures of running Fair Hill, a few weeks previously.

The Travellers' Times Liza Mortimer interviewed Billy at last year's Atchin Tan. That interview can be seen below.

TT News

(Video and photograph by Bela Varadi for the Travellers' Times)