I’ve finally been to Glastonbury.
No more can I sit at home, on my comfy sofa, in a dry place with clean toilets, watching the highlights and think that I’d like to go there some day, that it must be an ‘experience’ and that I’m missing out on something.
Been there, done it, got the t-shirt.
“What was it like?” I hear you ask (ok, probably not, but you should know by now that I a) make this shit up b) hear voices in my head c) like to put additional thoughts into parentheses for no good reason).
It was amazing, scary, exciting, huge, wet, loud, crowded, fun, exhilarating, exhausting, sunny and slightly surreal.
We were staying off-site in the Tangerine Fields campsite. I don’t do “slumming it” and this gave us both a clean pitch with plenty of room, decent toilets, hot showers and access to the car. Highly recommended, especially after seeing the chaos of the main campsites and the state they were in after a day of rain.
Arriving on Wednesday morning, after staying at Wookey Hole the night before, we were soon at the car park, parked up and trudging through the gathering gloom towards the campsite. The rain had started by then, a light drizzle, which soon became a down pour so we holed up in the tent for a while until the worst of it passed. Thankfully the sun came back out and so we got sorted and headed down to the festival site.
The next couple of days were spent wandering around the festival site itself trying to get our bearings. No mean feat given both the size of the place and the deepening levels of mud. Away from the main stages/tents there is a whole host of different acts and areas to explore. If we managed to see half of them I think we were doing well but I doubt we even managed that (some of them weren’t open, to be fair).
Glastonbury is huge, seriously large and for a few days of the year, about the size of a small town. I’d guess that on a nice dry day with no-one about it would still take about an hour to traverse, add in some hills, lots of people milling about and after a few hours we were completely knackered. Not a huge problem when there are so many places to stop for a seat and a refreshing pint of cider but it’s the scale of the place isn’t really something you get from the TV coverage.
Would I go again? Yes, I think I would. I’d try and make more time to enjoy the other areas, get off the beaten path a bit more, and will be much better prepared for the weather (from showers, to torrential rain on Friday through to heatstroke inducing sunshine on Sunday!). The vibe of the place is what makes it unique for me. I’ve been to T in the Park and, whilst it’s partly down to the audience, that felt a lot more like a big edgy crowd, with the security and staff acting accordingly. At Glastonbury everything was so much more relaxed and friendly, the policemen were walking about wearing silly sunglasses, and everyone seemed to be much more at ease and just there to chill out and have fun. There were no angry drunks to be found and those that were drunk were either profusely apologeticly as they stumbled about or fast asleep.
And then, of course, there was the music. More on that soon.