Groovy Guy review – Glastonbury Festival 2024

Photo: Charles Gervais, Both Hemispheres Photography.

Groovy Guy has the challenge of essentially being the first act of Glastonbury Festival 2024 when he takes to The Pavement at 2 pm on Wednesday. It’s so early (two days before the Pyramid Stage opens) that as he performs a stream of newcomers, carting their tents and supplies on trailers behind them, pass by on the path that circumnavigates the stage.

Even with the challenge of performing at a festival that is not yet entirely settled, Groovy Guy generates a crowd using his street performance patter – and it works. His well-tested audience bartering pays off, particularly when he borrows ‘an over-excited child’ to assist him. He holds the audience he gains in (hilarious) contempt through the early portion of his set as the sun beats down on Worthy Farm.

Now is the moment that I should say that Groovy Guy and I conducted our recent Q&A about Glastonbury Festival via email, which explains why, when randomly plucking random audience members from the crowd to join in on stage for his finale, I end up on stage with him – Groovy Guy now holding me in hilarious contempt.

He renames me Big Bad Jim, leader of my half of a ten-person contingent who, having taken our bows early, spread across the stage, becoming what looks like a 10-man tug of war – five on each side, pulling a rope. The aim is not to cause the other side to collapse but to provide a taut (but not too taut) tightrope on which Groovy Guy will walk across while juggling three knives.

As the leader of my five-person pack, I am at the head of our side of the not-a-tug-of-war and, with Groovy Guy starting at the other side and walking towards me, I am directly in the scope of any unexpected wayward knives. Dear reader, the pressure was on and I was feeling it. But why worry? Cool, calm and collected, Groovy Guy pulled it off. Was it ever in doubt? Not really, but being positioned on stage somewhat heightens the knowledge that these feats are… well… no mean feat.

Groovy Guy was on The Pavement at Glastonbury Festival 2024, running from 26 to 30 June