This has turned into a bit of a personal history of GB.
Music at Greenbelt has always been an important part of the festival for me personally. My first GB in 1983 was a real eye opener and the first real exposure to the Christian Musical Sub-culture, which was probably at its height in the Mid-Eighties. In those days we used to spend all the time in the festival village, which I seem to remember surrounding the main stage area and the mainstage itself. I nearly wet myself when I saw Petra at that first festival. Cliff as there too, whilst not musically he most challenging at least he performed, and a lot of it lying down, for which we mocked him unmercifully fro being old!
Music could be found in all sorts of places, in small marquees and the big top. There were seemingly lots of record shop tents all over, unlike the present set up in which you have (had?) Monster music, and the G Music store (ICC in another guise), which pays to have a monopoly on all music sold by artists appearing at the festival, which I think is just WRONG, and counter to the ethos of the festival. It is another story in itself, the politics that went on between MM and the G music manager, but not one that I’ll recount as publicly as this.
As the festival changed, so did I, I didn’t go for 10 years, (got married, fell out with the cosy social club that church had become, I could do social gatherings so much better than the church anyway). In 2002 I met Jer who inspired me to go to GB again, a music mad gooner like myself. I have to say I was quite under whelmed with that festival the fact it wasn’t a Greenfield site, had only about 9or 10 thousand punters and what was the main music venue doing in that shed?!!
I didn’t go in 2003, but tried again in 2004. I think I had been remembering the festival with very rose tinted spectacles form the eighties, and decided to give it one last try.