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We need to talk about The Green Fields


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So Glastonbury has been cancelled again, as the pandemic rages on... why? Well in a large part because our government ignore scientific advice and think they know better, and don't enforce the correct rules, and then people ignore scientific advice and think they know better and ignore the rules... that's a huge part of the problem we've faced in the past year.

But this is a Glastonbury forum, surely the elephant in the room has to be The Green Fields? Specifically The Healing Fields (from what I've seen Green Futures seems science-based and the Craft field is harmless). There's a direct line from people who think science is nonsense so try and heal illness with crystals and water to people who think science is nonsense so won't wear masks, or will talk about how vaccines are dangerous and we shouldn't get them.

I've never believed the quackery but up until this year I could write it off as quirky and harmless. I'm not sure I can any more. I don't think it's something the festival should be encouraging. I'd go so far to say that huge elements of that field are now utterly at odds with the festival's ethos. And I know there's huge history there but that's not enough is it?

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So Glastonbury has been cancelled again, as the pandemic rages on... why? Well in a large part because our government ignore scientific advice and think they know better, and don't enforce the correct

A lot of the treatments in the healing fields are recognised complimentary therapies that are actually recommended by NICE and the practitioners are regulated and licensed by their professional bodies

There's a false dichotomy emerging in this thread: the idea of rigid, intolerant, blinkered science on the one hand and free-spirited, nice, open 'alternative' lifestyles on the other.  A lot of the s

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Great post @DeanoL

i think, mostly, its an interesting sideshow.

Refusing those people Glastonbury won't go changing their minds, and anyone who might take up the quackery after a visit to Glastonbury probably would have got there some other way soon enough.

I do think it provokes some interesting thought (in some people, anyway), which is never a bad thing. It's always good to challenge the established ideas even if what drives the challenge is a crock of shit.

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Live and let live I reckon. Their approach is the least harmful of all the misinformation out there. They offer an alternative so let them enjoy it. It's not for me, but it comforts a lot of people.

If they become raging anti-vaxers or anti-medicine then their participation at the festival should be questioned, but as far as I'm aware they're about exploring harmless alternatives in addition to whatever science says, not instead of?

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I guess there are two sides to it - the crystals/aura/psychic nonsense but also the spiritual healing bits where it's supposed to heal your mind (so mental health if we want to use modern language). So the relaxation side of the massages, meditation etc which really is beneficial in times when people are using Glastonbury to switch off from work/life. 

I'm uncomfortable putting every aspect of a person's wellbeing into a capitalist health system so some balance should be struck- maybe making it clear you can't make medical/scientific claims ('healing Crystals' are out) but meditation is pretty mainstream now with Headspace etc 

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This is a good debate. It's about facts, isn't it? If the last few months prove anything, it's that our ability to eradicate this virus will rely predominantly on the scientific community. Historical evidence of science being the determining factor when dealing with anything risking human health, wellbeing and recovery over the past century is undeniable. Everyone is free to choose their method of dealing with illness and injury, be it through science, crystals or the power of faith alone. However, in my opinion, what any anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers from within holistic community (and beyond) are not free to do is place others health at risk when facts support the use of them. I can't say that I've ever encountered any aggressive science-deniers within the Green Fields but that's not to say they don't exist. I still think there's a place for all groups at the festival as long as no one is judgmental of others lifestyle choices. Isn't that the ethos of the festival?

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A lot of the treatments in the healing fields are recognised complimentary therapies that are actually recommended by NICE and the practitioners are regulated and licensed by their professional bodies. To brand them as quacks who wave crystals about is way off the mark. 
 

not saying that there aren’t some people there who rubbish western medicine but most don’t in my experience 

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Just now, tarw said:

A lot of the treatments in the healing fields are recognised complimentary therapies that are actually recommended by NICE and the practitioners are regulated and licensed by their professional bodies. To brand them as quacks who wave crystals about is way off the mark. 
 

not saying that there aren’t some people there who rubbish western medicine but most don’t in my experience 

Absolutely this. 
Mrs Blutarsky is bang into “spirituality” and believes in the restorative power of alignment through Pilates, and auras etc, but she’s also a fully qualified systemic psychotherapist practicing NICE recommended treatment therapies through the NHS. 
Balance and variety is good, people. 

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4 minutes ago, tarw said:

A lot of the treatments in the healing fields are recognised complimentary therapies that are actually recommended by NICE and the practitioners are regulated and licensed by their professional bodies. To brand them as quacks who wave crystals about is way off the mark. 
 

not saying that there aren’t some people there who rubbish western medicine but most don’t in my experience 

Agree with this. I spend most mornings up in the Green Fields and have always found folk up there very knowledgeable and non quacks. I find it a real sanctuary amidst the chaos of the week and would hate to see it go, feels like the heart of the festival.

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7 minutes ago, efcfanwirral said:

I guess there are two sides to it - the crystals/aura/psychic nonsense but also the spiritual healing bits where it's supposed to heal your mind (so mental health if we want to use modern language). So the relaxation side of the massages, meditation etc which really is beneficial in times when people are using Glastonbury to switch off from work/life. 

I'm uncomfortable putting every aspect of a person's wellbeing into a capitalist health system so some balance should be struck- maybe making it clear you can't make medical/scientific claims ('healing Crystals' are out) but meditation is pretty mainstream now with Headspace etc 

I think replacing it with a "wellbeing" area that keeps the sensible bits, dumps the quackery, and adds in some more modern mental health focus (some space for CALM and other such charities) would be a brilliant way forwards.

I'm not sure that would reasonably happen though from my understanding of how much of a community it is there - if the festival were to drop the stuff that wasn't medically sound I think the massage and meditation places would likely go with them.

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7 minutes ago, tarw said:

A lot of the treatments in the healing fields are recognised complimentary therapies that are actually recommended by NICE and the practitioners are regulated and licensed by their professional bodies. To brand them as quacks who wave crystals about is way off the mark. 
 

not saying that there aren’t some people there who rubbish western medicine but most don’t in my experience 

Yes, absolutely.

I've spent some time in the healing fields (albeit more 10+ years ago rather than recently), and a huge amount of time in the other Green Fields and while there may be a few fringe exceptions I just don't recognise the description in the original post. It comes across as someone who's taken a look from outside, thought to themselves "nutjobs" and moved on without spending any time there.

I don't believe for even a second that there's any significant number of people saying vaccines are bad, we shouldn't use (real, scientifically test) medicine, etc. Even if you were to just focus on the people who "wave crystals about" or bang gongs or whatever - for the most part they're are doing it not because they truly believe it's a magical cure all that can replace science but because they enjoy the pantomime and/or they see it as a tradition that they want to hold on to.

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9 minutes ago, blutarsky said:

Absolutely this. 
Mrs Blutarsky is bang into “spirituality” and believes in the restorative power of alignment through Pilates, and auras etc, but she’s also a fully qualified systemic psychotherapist practicing NICE recommended treatment therapies through the NHS. 
Balance and variety is good, people. 

Are you my younger clone?  Mrs Tarw is a radiographer and mamographer who is currently doing a degree in acupuncture with a view to use it in the treatment of lymphodema at work under the direction of her consultant 

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Instead of getting rid of the green fields why don't we get rid of all the people who claim to love the festival for all it's diversity, spirituality and atmosphere but who actually want it to be regulated to represent an "acceptable" mainstream conservative view.

It's a totally arrogant argument to suggest science has all the answers, there is only one truth, and other points of view should be silenced, if you think the green fields is such a dangerous place maybe you should spend your festival going round the tents explaining why they are wrong instead of trying to get them banned. I know much of what they believe doesn't make logical sense but it's down to individuals to make judgements on what is right and wrong not have that decided for them.

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20 minutes ago, tarw said:

To brand them as quacks who wave crystals about is way off the mark. 

my apologies. That part was talking about the worst of those types, at Glastonbury or not.

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14 minutes ago, DeanoL said:

I think replacing it with a "wellbeing" area that keeps the sensible bits, dumps the quackery, and adds in some more modern mental health focus (some space for CALM and other such charities) would be a brilliant way forwards.

I'm not sure that would reasonably happen though from my understanding of how much of a community it is there - if the festival were to drop the stuff that wasn't medically sound I think the massage and meditation places would likely go with them.

I'd be against that. It would end up with only sanitised 'approved' types who are well tapped into the system, pushing established messages.

I don't agree with all of the off-the-wall stuff that Glastonbury has, but i'm glad its there.

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3 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

my apologies. That part was talking about the worst of those types, at Glastonbury or not.

Agreed quacks are quacks and should be challenged if they are are spreading dangerous misinformation. That’s just not my experience of the healing fields. Having said that I would not go into a tent that advertises Crystal waving outside

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2 minutes ago, tarw said:

Agreed quacks are quacks and should be challenged if they are are spreading dangerous misinformation. That’s just not my experience of the healing fields. Having said that I would not go into a tent that advertises Crystal waving outside

I think we've all got our own ideas of what quackery is, which is part of the problem for how-come quackery is still able to exist.

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4 minutes ago, tarw said:

Having said that I would not go into a tent that advertises Crystal waving outside

Yeah that’s the thing - if such places are there and don’t float your boat, then you’re unlikely to be ‘converted’ at Glastonbury I wouldn’t have thought, and will probably just walk on by. 

If you already have similar viewpoints and want to visit such places whilst at the festival, then I don’t see the issue as long as laws etc aren’t being broken. Each to their own and all that. 

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3 minutes ago, gizmoman said:

BTW, Eavis is a christian, as there is no scientific basis for many of his beliefs you might want to avoid going to a festival run by someone so deluded.

When they replace the Glastonbury sign with a reenactment of the crucifixion on the hill at the park, maybe I’ll avoid.

Maybe.

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11 minutes ago, Andy0808 v5 said:

When they replace the Glastonbury sign with a reenactment of the crucifixion on the hill at the park, maybe I’ll avoid.

Maybe.

Depends who they put on the cross.

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13 minutes ago, gizmoman said:

BTW, Eavis is a christian, as there is no scientific basis for many of his beliefs you might want to avoid going to a festival run by someone so deluded.

Christianity > new age bullshit  tbh tho

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I have always enjoyed wandering through the Greenfields, its a totally different area of the festival. Never felt as if I was having something forced on me, just people with alternative views to mine, cant remember ever being told my views were wrong, they just expressed their views and beliefs, if they were contrary to mine then all was fine and I moved on, but they always made me think. The Greenfields are not forced on punters, its you who has to go to the Greenfields to find out what their views and beliefs are, and its not like they are centre stage so you can easily avoid them/not know they are there, they are tucked away in a corner which most punters wont ever visit

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