It has been a while since I last posted mainly because we’ve been flat out at work and also trying to organise ourselves for the Festival of all Festivals – GLASTONBURY. As luck would have it we managed to score work at the festival in exchange for tickets. Being our first ever Glastonbury Festival we decided to make the most of it and head on site on the Monday afternoon (one of the perks of working there) and spend the extra days finding our bearings and watching Worthy Farm come to life.
Now I am a bit of a control freak and as excited as I was at seeing the Rolling Stones play, I was a little apprehensive as to how I would cope with the chaos of 175000 people excessively drinking and lets face it most likely doing drugs and becoming rowdy but I needn’t have worried. Glastonbury Festival is unlike any other Festival I have ever experienced. There is this chilled, respectful and family orientated vibe about the whole site. Everyone is there to have a good time from baby to grandmother and the atmosphere is just amazing! It blew me away.
One other thing I was also worried about was the mud. I had heard horror stories of flooding and of people falling down and getting stuck in the mud and I’d seen the photos of some of the worst years. But again we had luck on our side. The weather was glorious! There was only rain on one day and that started at about 3pm and went through till about 8am the next day and then the sun came out and everything dried up. There was only a minimal amount of mud and I actually enjoyed making my use of my wellies 🙂
Our plan for the festival was to see The Rolling Stones (of course), Mumford and Sons, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Lumineers and my hubby wanted to see Smashing Pumpkins. If we could manage it The Proclaimers and Elvis Costello were also on the list. This might be a source of ridicule for readers but I had hardly heard of anyone else of the set list…..Unfortunately we were working on Sunday night so were unable to see Mumford and Son’s and Nick Cave clashed with Smashing Pumpkins so we chose to support our fellow Aussie Nick Cave. All in all of our must see bands we managed to see The Stones, Nick Cave and The Lumineers. We also saw Elvis Costello, Vampire Weekend, Laura Mvula, Ben Howard and the Wells Vicars Choral (who were particularly good with some great covers) and we caught partial sets of Beady Eye, Billy Bragg, Kenny Rogers (who was a big crowd pleaser with his hit Islands in the Stream) and Primal Scream. The Stones were incredible naturally and Nick Cave closing the set with Red Right Hand was the highlight of my Sunday and made missing Mumford and Son’s a little easier.
For those of you who haven’t been to Glastonbury Festival it is hard to comprehend the sheer size of the place. I had been told by everyone that it was big but you really don’t get just how big until you get there. The music is just one of the attractions of the festival. The food is incredible (and veggie / vegan friendly) and the shopping you can buy almost anything you can think of…..I could have spent a fortune. The are bars littered throughout the site (big ones and small ones) and the alcohol prices are reasonable between £4.20 and £4.50 for a pint of lager / cider. But you can bring alcohol on site as long as it is not in glass so my hubby bought a bunch of cans of various ales and a cask of red wine and was pretty much set for the week, though he did venture out for a cold lager once or twice. I’m not much of a drinker so I spent the entire festival happily sober, though I did over indulge on Coke Zero and Shepherd’s Ice Cream :). The Greenpeace farmers market was excellent – all the fresh fruit and veg looked amazing.
It is funny in such a big place you can run into people you know without even trying. I may have even brushed shoulders with Royalty. When we were walking though the festival on the Saturday I walked passed a guy that looked so much like Prince Harry and even commented to my husband at the time at how he was Harry’s doppleganger, not for one minute actually believing that he would be there. It wasn’t until we got back to civilisation and wifi on Monday morning that I saw in the papers that he had actually been there and wandering around with the plebs. So that’s my claim to fame – I may have walked passed Royalty or someone who looked very much like him!
All in all we had an amazing week and hope to do it all again for many years to come.
See below for a few tips for Glastonbury:
Tissues packs (these small packs come in handy for the loo if you don’t have a big bag to carry a roll of loo paper around with)
Snacks and food for cooking
Alcohol – no glass bottles
A 5lt bottle of water as well as a small water bottle. The big one reduces the amount of trips to the water points and you can refill your smaller bottles. It is also handy for when you need water for cooking.
A cooker – we have a big double hot plate one with a grill rack but chose to bring a smaller one hot plate one for convenience which you can pick up for £10 – £15 from Halfords.
Sleeping bag and air mattress
Small first aid kit with bandaids, antiseptic wipes and ibuprofen. There are first aid tents at the festival but if you just need a bandaid or have a headache it is handy to have on you.
Cutlery, utensils, cups, plates ect
Mug – a lot of places will charge you a deposit (refundable) to use their ceramic mugs so if you bring your own then you don’t have to worry about having an extra £2 on you for the deposit.
Plastic Bags – good for bins and to put dirty clothes in
A wide range of clothing – it might be hot during the day but if you are at any of the stages at night you are likely to get quite cold so bring a few jumpers and long trousers
ear plugs and eye mask if you find you don’t sleep well surrounded by hundreds of other tents
phone chargers – though the recharge tents usually had a ridiculously long line
Poncho and waterproofs
Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Hat
Ground sheet – even if you tent has one it may come in handy
How to show your respect to Michael Eavis:
Use the bins on site correctly – they are clearly marked for food, cans and other waste ect
Clean up after yourself – when we packed up the only sign that anyone had been there was the flattened grass where out tent had been.
Don’t pee on the land! It gets into the water stream and contaminates it – do you really want sick fish on your conscious?
Don’t use Chinese lanterns, bring glass on the site or leave tent pegs in the ground. These things will kill the cows that call Worthy Farm home for the majority of the year
Take everything you bought onsite with you back home again. Don’t leave tents, gazebos, chairs, mattresses and god knows what else for the hundreds of volunteers to clean up and dispose of after you leave
The message is everywhere you look onsite – LOVE THE FARM, LEAVE NO TRACE.
- Glastonbury Festival 2013: Scorching hot weather hits Worthy Farm (metro.co.uk)
- Sun sets on historic Glastonbury festival (vietnamnews.vn)
- The last day in Glastonbury| Il Post (benciaphotography.wordpress.com)
- Stones play long-awaited Glastonbury gig (news.yahoo.com)
- Glastonbury 2013: Jumping over fires, dancing into the early hours, overflowing bins and a few hours of sleep (dailymail.co.uk)
- Gallery: Glastonbury Festival 2013 preparations (metro.co.uk)
- Glastonbury Festival 2013: Mumford and Sons close the festival on the Pyramid stage (dailymail.co.uk)
- Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis hails ‘best festival yet’ (itv.com)