Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Glastonbury 2010 - The 40th Anniversary

What an amazing weekend, I’ve never known it to be so hot for so long in the UK and it really made it special. Glastonbury, as if you didn’t know, is the biggest music festival in England and famous throughout the world.

Spread over 4 days of live music it attracts stupendous amounts of people.  One hundred and seventy five thousand of them this year plus those working and performing so the scale is immense.

At this point I am actually still suffering from the effects of the sun and booze; it was gorgeous but amazingly draining by the end of it. One of our friends said that you had to spend at least 50 percent of your time just looking after yourself.

Am I too hot? Am I too drunk? Have I got enough sunscreen on? You constantly have to gauge this through the haze of drink and exhaustion. You have no concept of time after a while and throwing this into the mix it makes for a confusing few days.

This next bit is going to sound a bit hippyish but looking back I absolutely loved every minute of it. As soon as the coach pulled up; we were through the gates. I literally shed the stresses of the normal world and relaxed completely. This is the powerful effect that Glastonbury has on the soul...

It is literally a festival for everyone; all ages go and you can go as mad or take it as easy as you like. The camping is mostly mixed but with some family only areas with a surprisingly large amount of kids but this only adds to amazing atmosphere.

You’d think this mix of people and priorities would have negative effects in the camping ground but everyone is chilled and you just need to be patient. I’ve been twice now and both times people camped near us have gone mental on the Friday night, you can guarantee though they’ll burn out after a while and you’ll not hear a peep from them in too long.

It’s normally those damned youths that haven’t learnt how to pace themselves yet. It’s often hilarious, if a little annoying at times, watching them go for it though with such glorious enthusiasm for drink and drugs.

Food? Every nation under the sun has representation at the festival. Be warned though it’s not all good, I made the mistake of paying £4 for a toasty (sometimes you just need a toasty ok?) and received two slices of cheap white with a single slice of low-low quality sandwich ham that looked like some kind of awful piggy stained glass with only the tiniest hint of cheese.

It was piss poor to say the least. My favourite meal was some extremely good Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas covered with some hot-hot gravy, it sorted me right out. My tip for survival though is just eating stodge; you need energy to get you through.

Learn to love jacket potatoes, avoid food you know will likely cause stomach problems. Glastonbury is not the place to be with stomach problems. You get me?

The music? Mental! Friday for me was insane; Snoop and Dizzee were the absolute highlights of the festival for me. Gorillaz I have to say were disappointing, but following the energy of Dizzee Rascals’ performance was going to be difficult.

Saturday we mostly just chilled out seeing acts during the day we’d not seen before. Checking out some of the poetry and performance art which was a welcome change of pace. Trying mostly to find some shade though and just keep hydrated between the ciders till the delights of Scissor Sister and Pet Shop Boys in the evening.

Sunday I went for it, I pulled a lager out of the magic cold spot under our tent and cracked it open at nine in the morning and was drinking consistently through out the day. The fug of alcohol and sunstroke led me to accidentally delete my photos from the weekend.

That and following the dire performance of the England team in the fussball this sent me into a downward spiral. Those who follow the nonsensepipe on twitter will have seen the offending tweets (most have subsequently been deleted) but that catalogued how bad and sweary this made me feel.

I soon pulled out of it though when the Lady shot me a stern look and told me to stop sulking.  A brief moment on the darker side of Glastonbury; you will see a lot of people on drugs. The toilets at times will make you want to die.

You will not get much sleep if any at all. You will get lost, scared and possibly cry if you don’t prepare properly for the weekend. You will see hippies, old hippies, without clothes on. This all in my opinion adds to the fun, you just need to learn to deal with these things as everyone is out to have a good time.

I must say if you are easily offended or have hygiene hang ups, can’t cope without sleep or can’t pace yourself this is not the festival for you. Just be honest with yourself and don’t bother booking the ticket. Book yourself a week in the sun somewhere; the money you’d spend at and getting to Glastonbury will more than cover it.

I can not honestly put it into words how good this weekend was despite the drunkenness of Sunday, I loved every second of it. The highs really do outweigh the lows and I can not stress how important it is that you go if you think you can cope with it.

This was the second year on the trot we’ve been and I’ll be going back again next year and every year till I can’t get about or can’t get a ticket. I am officially a Glastonbury crusty and I love it.

Some images courtesy of Joff Price and Sophie Bush.

1 comment:

  1. What a great festival, I went in 2011 and so sad there isn't one this year! Such an amazing place!