Andrew Kerr (festival co-founder)
29 November 1933|
Ewell, Surrey, England, UK
|Died||6 October 2014
Yeovil, Somerset, England, UK
|Known for||Co-founder of Glastonbury Fair (AKA Fayre)|
Andrew Kerr (29 November 1933 – 6 October 2014) was a co-founder of Glastonbury Fair, the 1971 forerunner of today's Glastonbury Festival. Kerr managed the festival site up to the mid-1980s, helping establish it as the UK's foremost music festival.
In June 1971, Kerr staged "Glastonbury Fair", along with Arabella Churchill and some other friends. Glastonbury Fair originated the use of the name 'Glastonbury', the June date, and the pyramid stage, inspired by the work of author John Michell. The position of the stage was dowsed by Kerr according with his belief in ley lines, and the 'Glastonbury' part of the festival's name was introduced.
Kerr was inspired to put on a free festival after his experience at the commercial Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. His original motivation for staging a free festival was outlined in a leaflet published at the time:
|“||Man is fast ruining his environment. He is suffering from the effects of pollution; from the neurosis brought about by a basically urban industrial society: from the lack of spirituality in his life. The aims are, therefore: the conservation of our natural resources; a respect for nature and life; and a spiritual awakening.||”|
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Glastonbury Fair, at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival Kerr organized a 'Spirit of 71' stage, with a number of the original performers. 'Spirit of 71' was also incorporated into the 2013 festival
In his book Groovy Old Men author Nick Baker says of Kerr:
|“||His contribution to the British music scene is incontrovertibly huge. Without him there would be no Glastonbury Festival.||”|
Born in Ewell, Surrey in 1933, Kerr's childhood during the war years was spent in south Oxfordshire, but he was evacuated to Ilfracombe for a period, and immediately afterwards the family was farming in the area. He was at school at Radley College. He spent his National Service as a stores assistant at Portsmouth in the Royal Navy, in which his father also served.
|“||Andrew Kerr has been a gardener, minicab driver, sailor, farmer, tv researcher and festival starter. He has met Jimi Hendrix, Princess Margaret, Winston Churchill and the Grateful Dead. He can build dry stone walls, shear sheep and navigate sea going vessels. He is enthusiastic about numerology and ley lines. For someone who was in at the start of the green movement he doesn't bang on about it.||”|
After organizing Glastonbury Fair in 1971, Kerr continued to manage the Glastonbury Festival site up until the mid 1980s.
In 1992 Kerr put on the Whole Earth Show in Dorset, promoting organic agriculture and sustainable technologies. BBC Radio 4 carried the first wind powered broadcast from the show, while Tibetan priests blessed the site and those present.
- Dearling, Alan. "Not only but also…some historical ramblings about the English festivals scene" (PDF). Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Youngs, Ian. "Meet the Glastonbury Survivors", BBC News, June 24, 2010, accessed February 20, 2011.
- Carol Clerk (2004). The saga of Hawkwind. Omnibus Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-1-84449-101-8. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- Youngs, Ian (24 June 2010). "Meet the Glastonbury survivors". BBC. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- Nick Baker (2008). Groovy Old Men: A Spotter's Guide. Icon. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-84831-020-9. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- Nick Baker (2008). Groovy Old Men: A Spotter's Guide. Icon. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-84831-020-9. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- Andrew Kerr obituary, Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on October 12, 2014.
- Adler, Mark (May 2011). "Spirit of '71 revived". Mendip Times. pp. 66–67.
- Nick Baker (2008). Groovy Old Men: A Spotter's Guide. Icon. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-84831-020-9. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Intolerably Hip: The memoirs of Andrew Kerr". Frontier Publishing. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Walton, James (17 June 2011). "A hip trip with nude druids, aliens...and Richard Whiteley". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 October 2013.