Glastonbury 2023 has welcomed a new installation by artist Joe Rush. Watch him walk around and talk to us around the ambitious Carhenge area.
Announced last month, the new sculptural art “monument” is the work of underground artist Joe Rush, founder of the Mutoid Waste Company and “rock’n’roll environment builder.” The artist has exhibited his “mutant life” installations at Glastonbury since 1985 – including the original scaled-down version of Carhenge shown in 1987 – and the iconic mechanical Phoenix atop the Step Pyramid in 2013.
The design – which takes its name from Stonehenge – was developed from 24 mutated vintage cars and will be on display at the festival.
“This is Carhenge 2023, compared to Carhenge 1987,” Rush told NME. “We’re basically revisiting the idea that was one of the first things we did when we got to the festival. What happened was The Mutoid Waste Company was formed and we wanted to come to Stonehenge Free Festival , when we built our first mutant truck.
“We couldn’t be there because the police attacked the hippies going to the Stonehenge Free Festival, broke all their wagons and beat them up. So when we were ready to go, there was no Stonehenge to go, so we came here, to Glastonbury, and built Stonehenge out of cars.”
He added: “We thought if they wouldn’t let us go to Stonehenge, we’d take Stonehenge ourselves with cars and have our party there.”
“It’s now part of Glastonbury Festival history, and that’s why we decided to revisit it. We’re doing the version we’ve always dreamed of doing.”
Referring to the other features of the area – which is located on William’s Green – Rush said: “There are also some pieces of sculpture, some new and some that take things back. In the middle of the henge is a tree made of exhaust pipes. in memory of Joe Strummer, a friend who died that year It’s a comment on the destruction of burnt gasoline in the atmosphere. So we have a tree that pumps smoke into the atmosphere through its exhaust pipes.
“They are really fun sculptures to make, because when you get up close to them you feel they are huge. I like to make really big things, because they make you feel very small. If you feel small, you can feel a little like a child. It’s a good way for people not to take themselves so seriously.”
The show opened yesterday (Wednesday 21 June) on the occasion of the summer solstice, and it will come fully alive tonight, when the sculpture will be illuminated with a light show, created by the designer Ed Warren, and “artful rhythms jump the Congolese up” by musician Fulu Mizik.
Thousands of fans attended the opening of the gates of Worthy Farm yesterday, Wednesday 21 June, by festival organizer Emily Eavis. This year’s program will include performances by Guns N’ Roses, Elton John and Arctic Monkeys, as well as Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Måneskin, Fred Again… and Cat Stevens, Manic Street Preachers, Wizkid, Lil Nas X, Chvrches and The War On Drugs, among others.
The Arctic Monkeys’ performance was called into question, however, when the group were forced to cancel a concert earlier in the week due to frontman Alex Turner suffering from laryngitis. Eavis then said he was confident the group would perform, but “had a few backup plans” just in case.
When the full line-up with stage times was revealed last month, there was much speculation about an unknown band called The Churnups appearing on the bill at 6.15pm on the Friday of the festival, previously playing the Pyramid Pyramid this at Royal Blood.
The most popular theories suggest that they will be Foo Fighters or Britpop veterans Pulp. Rumors seemed to be swirling for the Foos, after Dave Grohl teased fans with a message citing “exciting” feelings.
Known for joining the band on stage, Rick Astley has responded to the Foos rumors in a new interview with NME.
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