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Holst + stargazing with Wiltshire AS - event review

Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:06 am

You can WIN tickets to this event by going to the Sky at Night Magazine homepage. Here's more info:

Could there be a more perfect evening than admiring the wonders of the cosmos while listening to the heavenly music of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite, The Planets?

On 29 August 2009, a farm near Glastonbury in Somerset will host a unique performance of The Planets by the London-based symphony orchestra ‘Excellent Device!’ The performance will include musical interludes from the All Star band, including electronica pioneers Will Gregory from Goldfrapp and Portishead’s Adrian Utley. BBC Radio 2 will be there to record this landmark concert for broadcast in September.

Telescopes dotted around the site will enable you to enjoy views of the stars and planets while listening to the music, complete with sky tours by The Sky at Night presenter Chris Lintott. The event is part of the two-day Play The Field festival, organised by renowned conductor Charles Hazlewood and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden from BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den. For more on the festival, see [url=http://www.playthefield.co.uk]www.playthefield.co.uk[/url]

RE: 29 August, Glastonbury - Holst the Planets + stargazing

Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:00 pm

Stages are now being erected to this event, as you can see in these pics we've been sent:


RE: 29 August, Glastonbury - Holst the Planets + stargazing

Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:56 pm

Just wanted to say thank you to Graham (Sky at Night) and Deborah Meaden for the invitation to help out at this event. We had close to 1000 people through the evening looking through the 4 scopes we brought along, ranging from 4 to 80 yr olds. Wonderfuil fun, and I hope everyone who said "wow" when they saw Jupiter and/or the Moon now has a desire to do just a little bit more "looking up"

We all left around midnight very happy..

RE: 29 August, Glastonbury - Holst the Planets + stargazing

Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:20 pm

No, thank you Nick! And Andy, and the other chaps from Wiltshire AS. I'm so glad you could give up your Saturday evening, as I think you being there really made the whole event very special indeed. I reckon a lot of people will go away with fond memories of it. I was delighted too, that you got a mention from the main stage - I don't know if you heard it? Perhaps you'll hear it when the concert is broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

At first I wondered if it was the "wrong crowd" for astronomy, but as the night wore on and the clouds (thankfully) began to part, I could see substantial lines of people - among them loads of kids - waiting for their turn to have a peek at the Moon and Jupiter. We Brits love to queue, don't we? The only bigger lines were for Riverford organic burgers [;)]. The bigger the queue, the more people think there's something worth queuing for...

During one of the breaks, I saw a little girl run up to her mother and exclaim, "Mummy, mummy - I've seen the Moon! It's amazing - it's so craggy!" Cynical old hack though I am, I have to say this warmed my heart. With any luck she'll tell her friends at school all about it.

This event really opened my eyes to the best kind of astronomy outreach. Obviously, dedicated observing events and talks have their place, but perhaps, as a whole, the astronomy community ought to have a think about tagging along to big events like this, where people can "stumble upon" telescopes and just enjoy the view as part of a bigger event.

I'll upload a couple of (non-astronomy) pics later!

RE: 29 August, Glastonbury - Holst the Planets + stargazing

Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:13 pm

Picture of main stage - orchestral performance of Holst - The Planets


RE: 29 August, Glastonbury - Holst the Planets + stargazing

Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:13 pm

Picture of secondary stage (electronica improvisation), with crescent Moon to the right.

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