It’s festival season in London, the season for celebrating arts and culture outdoors. Last Sunday, June 30th, marked the end of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival. A four-day music festival that has been happening in the United Kingdom since 1970. I had only heard of the Glastonbury Festival because when Beyonce performed there in 2011 it was a big deal. There aren’t too many deals bigger than Beyonce in pop music today so for it to be big news that she performed there, it must mean that the festival is huge.
During a lecture in my managing and marketing events class, the professor brought up Glastonbury and why the festival hadn’t taken place in 2012. The reason was that there weren’t enough port-a-potties and police to cover the event and the 2012 summer Olympics simultaneously. I couldn’t believe that was actually the reason the festival had been canceled. The first thing I thought was, if it had been in the U.S. the festival organizers could have called for port-a-potties from another state, gotten state police to assist local police – something! I just couldn’t imagine that happening in America. There are too many resources for it to have happened in America.
The more I thought about it, the expression “United we Stand, Divided we Fall” came to mind. It was the first time I had thought about the phrase in a practical way. My thoughts were in the context of a music festival, but think about the bigger picture. It is much easier to do business within your own country, even if the distance is far away. The laws are the same, currency is the same, language is the same and any necessary travel is easier. Added to that, the country’s large size makes the population one of the highest in the world. More people buying things means more money circulating in the economy, more ordering products from overseas, which equals more leverage in the global economy.
There are 54 countries in Africa and 49 in Europe. The United States could have easily become 50 separate nations. Of course there are several other reasons that the U.S. has been successful in business such as innovation and excellence in higher education, but I must believe that the decision to stay united plays a major role in the country staying as powerful as it has for as long as it has. This is proof that there is strength in numbers and power in sticking together, a concept that can be applied to many aspects of life.