Report by Ellie Mitchell
Sandwiched between two much larger stalls, the modest Positive Money stand at Glastonbury stood proud. Having not represented at Glastonbury before it was difficult to know exactly what reaction to expect from the punters of possibly the most famous festival in the world. We didn’t have long to wait however, to see that it would be an immensely successful one; with a number of signatures collected before the festival had even begun.
The offer of ‘free hugs’ from the Positive Money team and the opportunity to test Matthew Parson’s araldite–coin-gluing skills enticed a few people who might have otherwise bypassed us, in for a chat. The overwhelming majority of the people we spoke to however, were people who already knew that something needs to be done about the banking system but didn’t know that Positive Money is the organisation advocating for something that can feasibly happen. Hundreds came of their own accord (although we still threw in the free hug, it was Glastonbury, after all) and what’s more, many of them stayed for much longer than the length of time it takes to write down an email address.
The intense passion of some of the people I spoke with was evident in how some ended up doing the work of Fran, Matthew and I, helping us talk to other interested punters. In others it was evident in that they came to find us at the stall, days after us meeting them in busy Glastonbury crowds; there wasn’t anywhere on the immense site where we failed to meet interested people; queuing for pizza, escaping the rain in a crowded tent, dancing to Dolly Parton, taking a break to buy the obligatory festival-hat.
So, next time you are considering mentioning the work of Positive Money, but think that it’s not the time or the place, remember that there is no such thing. Whether you’re in your wellies or your polished brogues, you’d be surprised how many people already agree that something needs to be done…. Thank you Glastonbury, and to all the people I met there.