"Free personality test" is what it says on the screens of the big stages at the Glastonbury Festival in Sommerset.

First question: "Do you like penguins?"

Johanna Dürrholz

Editor in the “Germany and the World” department.

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What at first appears to be advertising (and a rather stupid one at that) soon turns out to be a Greenpeace campaign, coupled with heartbreaking pictures of penguins.

Anyway, there is no product advertising at the festival, which is said to pay the musicians significantly less than other major music events.

Instead, you see videos from Greenpeace, Oxfam, the EU calling for a brighter future where the planet can still be saved.

The fabric bags of the festival also call for ecologically considerate behavior: "Climate Action, the Time is Now" is written there, "Climate Protection, the time for it is now".

And: “You shape the change”.

Huge banners adorn the stage “The Park” promoting recycling – and reducing the use of plastic.

Or they warn of bee deaths.

It sometimes seems a little strange when you sit in front of the screen and watch the Greenpeace clips amidst discarded beer cans and paper cups, leftover food and cutlery.

Some of the rubbish that more than 200,000 festival visitors generate is just lying around on the ground.

This year's festival opening was already an unusual one: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj gave a speech via video transmission on "The Other Stage".

He wished the festival visitors a good time, but at the same time explained that the Ukrainians would also like to enjoy their lives, the summer, again.

According to Selenskyj, the Glastonbury Festival is the “greatest concentration of freedom” these days.

He therefore asked visitors to share information about the war, to donate and to help refugees from Ukraine.

In 2016, Brexit was debated

It was already evident in 2016 that a festival like Glastonbury cannot (and does not want to) be shielded from political developments. At that time, the British voted in favor of Brexit the day before the festival.

The atmosphere was correspondingly heated, as many visitors remember this year.

And this year there is another shock: The Roe vs. Wade law, which has guaranteed the right to abortion in the USA since 1973, was abolished.

American artists such as Phoebe Bridgers and Billie Eilish expressed concern and anger at the Supreme Court's decision. Bridgers called the judges "irrelevant old buggers" and Eilish spoke of a "sad day for all women".

This year, the Glastonbury Festival is as political as ever.

Another personality will speak there on Saturday.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg traveled personally to give a speech on the "Pyramid Stage", matching the many clips on the screens of the main stage.

In drastic words, she describes how the state of the earth has continued to deteriorate in recent years.

"Some say we're not doing enough -- that's wrong because it suggests we're doing anything at all," Thunberg said in her speech.

"We should fight for people and nature, instead we must fight against those who are destroying that very thing." World leaders would say one thing and often do the other.

In her speech, Thunberg draws a wide arc to the colonial past of many countries and the global exploitation of the poorest: "Those who can least help it will suffer the most," said Thunberg.

The crisis points to an even bigger problem: that some people think their lives are worth more than the lives of others.

In the end, however, Thunberg also gives hope: “When a bunch of students have achieved so much, just imagine how much we can achieve if we all work together.” This leads the nineteen-year-old to criticize the system: “We are not the problem.

The problem is systems that allow all this and even encourage it.”

The mood on the "Pyramid Stage", beer-happy and with excellent weather by English standards, is still good even after Thunberg's quite depressing speech.

When Thunberg addresses the Glastonbury Festival, everyone cheers.

At the end, the crowd agrees with Thunberg's call: "When I say climate, you say justice." "Climate!" Thunberg calls - "justice!" the crowd chants.

Thunberg leaves the stage and a few minutes later Danielle Haim from the US band Haim plays the first chords on her electric guitar.

More cheers.

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