More summer camping nostalgia… a little ramble on Glastonbury Festival, 2013.
Based next to The Park and having a total of TWO showers, probably made Glastonbury the most luxurious festival camping experience to date. The tent was not in its usual swamp of beer and mud and neither were my pals and I, happily cheating festival dirtiness. Well, when Greenpeace are offering you timed-entry tickets to avoid queues, their own ethical shower products and a flipping hot tub, you’d be a fool to say no. A smelly fool.
Music-wise Glastonbury lived up to its high acclaim. If the drumming or strumming wasn’t ringing, then something was definitely wrong. I saw at least 20 acts, from smaller bands in the late morning like Riot Jazz and The Staves, to the legendary Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger was a mere speck from where I was shamelessly spinning, but that wasn’t the point. If you’re really there to observe beads of sweat trickle down the lead singer’s forehead then go home, turn on the TV and watch the festival highlights.
Obviously, for many people festivals are mainly about the atmosphere; the florescent face paint, undiscoverable paella and bands with names like ‘parrot talking toucans’. Glastonbury Festival gives you that. Not to mention, the deluxe tipi camping area and growingly complex choice of toilet facilities, attracting your typical glamper. A cluster of pre-built tipis sit, just waiting to be accommodated, while an array of long drops and compost toilets join the conventional portaloo containers. Be warned. Whilst savagely squeezing at empty hand sanitizer, I overheard a conversation between a couple of men who seemed to habitually watch people poo in the long drop, while they drunkenly urinated everywhere.
Festivals are generally notorious for stirring up animalistic behaviour, but it’s not always a question of when pissing becomes pooing or when rave turns into rage. Everyone is familiar with the frustrating feeling of having to wait through several acts you don’t care about in order to be closer to your favourite band in the world, (the band that’s on after). It’s boring, you’re cold, you’re tired etc. But, let’s not go on about it. When we were watching Nick Cave amongst a babble of Mumford and Sons worshippers moaning “how shit this guy is”, it started to get a bit irritating. For the record, I’ve got absolutely nothing against Mumford and Sons, but I still felt close to doing something terrible. Punch someone? No. Instead, I resorted to singing along loudly, joining the other grey-haired fans in a chorus of “He’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru”. He is. So, pipe down kids.
The Healing Fields were the best place for a bit of down-time; for people craving Zen. I’m a big fan of Yoga, so was immediately drawn to the parade of downward-facing dogs spilling out into the middle of the fiasco.
There’s too much going on to do and see it all. So, on the next Glastonbury Festival adventure, (because I’m definitely returning at some point after travelling the world), I’ll remember to be a little less organised. A little less obsessive. You have to make some sacrifices music-wise, or you spend the whole time manically sprinting across fields, navigating from soggy maps and picking relentlessly at clash-timetables. That’s not all it’s about. Is it?