Ellis Grover Q&A: Glastonbury Festival 2024

Ellis Grover Q&A: Glastonbury Festival 2024

Welsh daredevil Ellis Grover started off doing parkour as a kid around his hometown of Carmarthen before setting his eyes further afield, travelling the world as a performer. His Instagram account describes him as a “Highwire Walker, Balance Artist, Chairdevil, Musician.”

Ahead of his return to Glastonbury, where he’ll perform seven times across three stages, we caught up with Grover to find out more about his plans for the festival.

The Circus Big Top at Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Charles Gervais, Both Hemispheres Photography.

Q&A with Ellis Grover

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into live performance?

So, my name is Ellis Grover, I am a professional Highwire Walker and I suppose you could call me a daredevil balance artist. I fell into the job via a full-body plunge into the world of Parkour. This discipline taught me how important balance was and also how much control we have at height when our level of focus is at its peak. At the age of 16, I ended up crossing paths with NoFitstate Circus, who took me under their wing as a Parkour acrobat, and that’s when I met the Highwire and the rest is history!

What’s it like to be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival?

Glastonbury is just the best, isn’t it! I have performed around five times or so over the years and it’s always a beautiful meet-up of the global circus community. So basically ever stoked to be among the lucky ones attending this epic city of colour to share my tricks with the beautiful sparkly folk of the fields. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too muddy!

The crowd at Sensation Seeker’s Stage, one of the stages Grover performs on this year. Photo: Charles Gervais, Both Hemispheres Photography.

What can you tell us about your plans for the show?

Well, this has been a long time coming. I discovered in school that I can balance on two legs of my chair, which has led to a trick that I’ve become known for, and along the journey at a party somewhere someplace I realised I have quite the knack for balancing on bottles. So in the pursuit of making an act that doesn’t involve putting up a massive highwire, I decided to combine these superpowers into a fun slightly dangerous balance act, which is quite unique to me! It features tricks I believe haven’t been attempted before and I will also be stealing the dining table from the kitchen to add extra height and danger, all I hope for is that the housemates are happy eating elsewhere for a week.

How do you approach performing at a festival like this?

Comfort, presence, enjoyment, and attentive focus to the moment are all things that make a good performance in my eyes – doesn’t matter how big or small the stage is. So I approach a festival like this the same way that I approach a cabaret with an audience of 4, one deep breath and a calm open attitude to see what that particular moment brings!

Will you be checking out any other acts across the weekend?

Y’know, I absolutely love circus, and I love music, so you will definitely find me watching many an act and dancing to many a melody. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Ellis Grover performs in the Circus Big Top, Sensation Seeker’s Stage and Mavericks at Glastonbury Festival from 28 to 30 June

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