It's good in tents
IN the summer of 1974, West Germany won the World Cup, the BBC dreamed up Ceefax and Richard Nixon was up to his neck in Watergate.
And 1,500 Christians flocked to Greenbelt.
Now, as the festival celebrates its 40th birthday, more than 20,000 music fans are expected to flock to Cheltenham racecourse for its annual blend of music and debate.
This year's festival takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend from August 23-26.
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On the bill are the BBC's Clare Balding – more used to being at Prestbury Park for the racing – comedian Milton Jones and soul sensation Lemar.
They're joined by novelists, Christian Aid speakers, political activists, folk groups, lecturers and poets.
"We're in a celebratory mood," said a spokesman for the organisers.
"And there's still time to buy tickets, volunteer and get yourself prepared for the latest, greatest celebration of faith, arts and justice.
"We have a full film programme, including films for families, an extensive workshop programme, spoken word from Josh Idehen and Bridget Minnamore, a panel on visual arts and society plus the welcome return of the Greenbelt Folk Club."
Folk superstars Eliza Carthy and Jim Moray play on the Friday, along with Milton Jones and Barbara Brown Taylor, one of the best-known preachers in the US.
On the Saturday, Lemar and the London Community Gospel Choir are on stage.
"Sunday at the festival will not only see recordings of BBC Radio Shows Good Morning Sunday with Clare Balding and The Sunday Hour with Diane Louise Jordan, it will also welcome the titanic pairing of Clare and the Rev Richard Coles in conversation," added the festival spokesman.
Richard is ex-Communards vocalist who joined the church and regularly appears on comedy shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway.
On the Monday, expect a slick performance from the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company and music from Thea Gilmore and sax maestro Courtney Pine.
If you fancy volunteering, organisers are looking for bar staff to work the Beer Tent – in listening distance of the main stage – stewards for the camp site and helpers for the new Chillage venue for teens.
Weekend tickets cost £129, under-18s are £69 and under-fours go free. And there's plenty of camping in bring-your-own or pre-erected tents in the delightfully-named Tangerine Fields.
Visit www.greenbelt.org.uk to book.