Thursday, 2 July 2015

My First Glastonbury

For 24 years, I have lived 30 minutes from Pilton, home to Worthy Farm and the Glastonbury Festival. But I'd never been. Why? As an 18 year old wanting to experience a festival, the Reading line up was the one more Rosie-orientated (Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead vs Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur). Plus Ash had already been to Reading twice before, and I felt comfortable going with someone who already knew the festival. We had a blast. I have such fond memories of that first Reading, and together we went back another 3 times. Our last Reading experience, (which I wrote about here) was so different to the others that we decided to give 2014 a miss. But I missed it. I missed the all-day drinking, incredible food stalls, seeing bands and comedy and praying for sunshine. Last Christmas, our local paper advertised Sunday Glastonbury tickets for locals, so we figured enough was enough, it was time to go. We applied for tickets with my parents and found out in January that we were successful.

Our ticket price included a bus from the high street, so we had to walk 10 minutes into town first thing. Easy peasy. As soon as we stepped off the bus at Glastonbury, I sort of gauged the vastness of it. It is HUGE. You could fit Reading inside it a bazillion times (ish). So many people had told me stories about what goes on and how long it takes to get from A to B, but I underestimated that completely. It was a bit muddy, a bit drizzly, but hey - we were at Glasto. Ash and I cracked open the first ciders of the day (Mum and Dad not so easily convinced) and off we stomped in our wellies ready to experience the Greatest Festival in the World.
We spent the first few hours getting our bearings (including a visit to Jacket and Jill, the jacket potato school my nieces primary school run - they took the photo above), and then settled into a nice spot in front of the Pyramid to watch Hozier (with a burrito).

There was a gap of a few hours before Twin Atlantic on The Other Stage, so we went exploring and ended up in the Greenpeace field. Well, that was fun. There was a brass band on a boat with a death slide... in the middle of a field in Somerset. Dad went searching for something gluten free to eat, whilst Mum ordered pizza, Ash found a chair to chill in for a bit and I sent a postcard to his Grandparents. From a festival. We saw a disco ball hung up in the middle of the woods. We saw kids asleep being pulled around site in trailers decorated with feathers and fairy lights. We saw fancy dress of every sort, hippies and city folk, sunburnt people, drunk people, drugged people... that was when I realised how Glastonbury attracts people from all walks of life.
The next few hours are a blur. Maybe it was the cider, the weary feet, the heat... we wandered around the Circus fields and Avalon. Mum and Dad headed off to Lionel Richie, whilst Ash and I wandered back to The Other Stage for Twin Atlantic, one of my favourite bands of the last few years. They were great. The sun shone, the cider was sweet, we were dancing and singing... we even bumped into our friends from Reading festival! Towards the end of the set we went back towards the Pyramid to catch some Lionel, but WOAH the crowd was huge. We couldn't get in. We stood back by the toilets, singing "Hello" as loud as we could. Then we went to the infamous cider bus, and sat in the sun waiting to meet up with my parents.
A band from our town, The White City Shakers, were playing at the Avalon Cafe (photo above), so we walked back up there to watch them. The cafe had tables and chairs, a welcome rest, and the band played so well to a decent crowd. We wandered around the helter skelter, bumped in to more friends from home, and then made our way back down to The Other Stage for Jamie T, one of our favourites.
Eventually, we met up with Mum and Dad again, watched a little bit of The Who whilst eating sugary donuts, saw The Buzzcocks play 'Ever Fallen In Love With Someone' in Left Field, walked back to The Other Stage to see what the Chemical Brothers were playing, then decided to head in the direction of the coach pick up poing, via the John Peel stage. Just as we got to John Peel, the compere thanked everyone and wished them all a safe journey home, then played Frank Sinatra's New York New York. The tent was buzzing, everyone singing along and kicking their legs. I'm so happy we saw that.
Midnight came and went, and we piled onto our bus back home, feet tired, eyes heavy, slightly drunk... We were really knackered. Here are my FitBit stats for the day...
So, what are my thoughts on Glastonbury?
1. IT IS HUGE. Really huge.
2. I don't think you can go to Glastonbury just for music, as there's a chance you won't get around to the stages in time to catch the acts you want to see. Planning in advance is essential.
3. Best choice of festival food ever!
4. We barely saw half of it in a day, and I imagine those who stay for the whole weekend won't see the whole thing!

Will we be back next year?     Undecided, for now...

(Photos taken by me or my Dad using our phones)

1 comment:

  1. I think it would be too huge for me! I don't like these massive crowds...
    Thanks for your hint regarding Somerset/Dorset!