How do people DO Glastonbury?
I’m serious – if you’re reading this, and you went to Glastonbury this year, and you don’t feel like you need to lock yourself up in a spa and sleep for a week, how did you do it? Because the only way I manage is by trying to ‘pace myself’, and that means fear of missing out, and basically it’s all just a complete nightmare and am I too old? Do I need to just book a nice cottage in Devon for a week and be done with it?
I hope not, because despite my slight trepidation, Glastonbury was amazing as ever. I arrived on Wednesday night by train to find my tent already put up by my long-suffering husband and friends, who had made it through a 9 hour traffic jam and an almost equally long trek from the carpark with all our belongings, but were still up for dancing into the early hours. A tent near our campsite played some amazing music, from the Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chilli Peppers to the slightly more obscure (Will Grigg’s on Fire was the theme tune to the weekend, for reasons I’m unsure of...!)
Thursday at Glasto is an odd day, one we mostly spent drinking cider and wandering from one tent to the next. I actually enjoyed it almost more than the music itself – we saw some really great independent bands. I wanted to give a shout out to the Buffalo Skinners, who played in a little tent in the Avalon area and managed to remind me from one song to the next of the Beatles, Mumford & Sons and Simon & Garfunkel – plus I had a little chat with one of their Dads, which was good fun! They are excellent and definitely worth seeing - I hope I will get to see them again. We also stopped in a tent mid afternoon and danced madly to pop music. Just a truly brilliant day.
On Friday, after the shock of the referendum, we watched James on the Other Stage, whose music seemed even more poignant given the decision, followed by an extremely long queue for the toilet (the only one of the weekend, though - WAY better than 2014, well done Glastonbury) followed by Blossoms. It rained in the afternoon so we hid in the tents for a while, coming out to catch the very end of Two Door Cinema Club as the sun came out again. The weather wasn't too terrible overall - we had a couple of rainy patches, but generally it was pretty pleasant - the problem was the rain in the lead up which had turned parts of the site into a muddy bog! Luckily the campsites were fine at least, so we didn't have to pitch our tent in a puddle!
Friday night was my favourite of this year’s Glasto – we sat round the tent, drinking in the setting sunlight, before heading down to catch Muse and then going out, returning in the early hours of the morning. Slightly later than planned because, potentially a little inebriated, my husband and I absolutely could not find our way back to the tent and walked round in circles about 300 times! As my friend said nostalgically, ‘Glasto gives me some of the best nights I ever forgot!’
On Saturday we slept in a bit and then went to see Travis in a tiny tent. We didn’t quite get in but standing outside with my husband, listening to Flowers in the Window being sung by a huge crowd, was possibly the most emotional and perfect moment of my whole festival. That song means so much to us and it was just brilliant.
Later in the day we saw Wolf Alice, the Last Shadow Puppets (Alex Turner - I have no words), then Art Garfunkel, where unfortunately my husband – who loves him! – felt a bit unwell and had to head back to the tent. We all went and watched Adele – she was obviously amazing and she’s so funny and down to earth! It was great, but a bit of a downer, and knowing Ian wasn’t well I headed back to him after that.
By Sunday everyone was tired so it seemed like a good idea to explore the Healing Fields! There’s so much to see at Glasto – I haven’t mentioned it all and couldn’t possibly photograph everything we saw! We watched a bit of Newton Faulkner and Paul Abott & Jackie Heaton, then ELO and Band of Horses, before heading back to the acoustic tent to dance wildly to the Bootleg Beatles - another brilliant moment. The final band we saw was Coldplay, an epic finish to an amazing weekend, especially as we all got split up but managed to find our friends eventually and see the weekend out in a sea of flashing lights.
Don’t get me wrong, Glastonbury is long, and it’s muddy, and the toilets are disgusting. I got my foot stuck at TLSP and actually stood in the mud – disgusting – and we all slipped more times than imaginable! Our tent was cheap and leaked, our air bed meant we kept rolling into each other in the night, you can’t sleep properly, the food is all bad for you and rolling your hangovers into each other gets to a point where it’s more like a duty than a joy! It’s exhausting but exhilarating, and it’s totally worth it.
So… where do we sign up for next year?