Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Monday, 9 June 2014

New blog entry

is here.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

2014 starts here. Sort of.

The blog has been moved this year, so it actually starts here.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sunday night roundup

The weather was a mixed bag on the final day of Glastonbury Festival - overcast, chilly winds, but when the clouds parted the sunshine was glorious.

It was a day for exploring, more than anything else - the markets to see if there were any bargains to be had - (traders are just as lazy as everyone else when it comes to packing - they don't want to lug things off site any more than we do, so silly hats and fairy wings are suddenly all going for £2 a go).

I was very good this year, and aside from food, didn't spent much money at all.

Then there was a trek across the site to dismantle the tent - which sums up just about everything I hate about camping. Wrestling with a sleeping bag that had somehow expanded beyond the size of the bag it came in, fighting against the wind and lightweight plastic sheets and guy ropes are whipped around you, flapping around your face and wrapping around your feet and then trying to get that it into it's bag, despite the fact the battle with the sleeping bag was almost enough to wipe you out.

Rucksack stuffed, tent bag bulging into an odd shape, we filled the car up and then headed back inside Worthy to see out the last of the festival.

I met up with a friend at the Other stage to watch Public Image Ltd in the sunlight, frantically hanging onto my skirt as the wind kept trying to lift it up around my ears.

"It's Glastonbury! Let it all hang out!" he suggested.

Lydon didn't break into any Sex Pistols numbers, much to my vague disappointment, but the guy is a genuine legend (for a butter salesman) and was completely bonkers. Sitting in the sun with an old friend, chatting easily despite the fact we hadn't seen each other for years, I felt another piece of the festival slot into place for me. Press tent stress melted away and I could just sit back, and relax.

Then back to the Pyramid for Vampire Weekend (not a fan, still not a fan, I don't have much to say about them, sorry.)

My sister was looking to meet a friend for 'Nick and his Seedless Grapes'. Bewildered, I checked the guide to single out the most likely culprit - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. After a brief detour for chips and churros and trying to point out that I was reasonably sure that my sister wasn't going to dig Nick Cave, we headed back to the Pyramid, using the flags to navigate our way through the crowd and find our friends.

Nick was..uh..

"I'm a bit worried about him," my sister said as Nick kicked wildly at the air and sang about shooting people in the head.

Overly-dramatic-Nick was overly-dramatic. I'm not really a Nick Cave fan. For me the highlight was when he knelt down to sing and almost trapped a woman's head against his crotch. And am I a terrible person for laughing when he spotted a woman in white in the crowd, beautiful, fragile, dressed in flowing white. He offered her his hand, stared deep into her eyes and sang about death and murder. Transixed, she locked eyes with him as the cameras zoomed in on them, locked in a dangerous, predatory moment.

While someone in the crowd repeatedly bopped the woman on the head with an inflatable shark on a stick.

I think Glastonbury crowds might be a bit too cheerful for Nick. I've never seen the crowd so still at the Pyramid. I did spot Gary Stringer from Reef watching, his arms folded across his chest, nodding his head in approval.

 More food, and then back to the Pyramid for Mumford and Sons, making our way into the crowds as the sun set and the chill set in, dark clouds hanging ominously overhead. We found ourselves stood next to possibly the drunkest, friendliest people at the festival, 14 blokes from the Channel Islands who were insistent on making friends with everyone. Sensing the end of the party, people were in great spirits, there were singalongs, inflatables being thrown around - footballs, beach balls, inflatable fish, giant penises (was kinda fun watching the guys all lay into that one and give it a good kicking, screaming 'kill it! kill it!') all being bounced over our heads - cheers for if you kept it up, boos for if it dropped. You couldn't take your eyes off things for a minute.

When Mumford and Sons took to the stage, the crowd were up for the craic. They jigged, danced, bounced - the lights from the Pyrmaid washed over us, turning the crowds and the flags vibrant, larger than life shades. And yes, even though it was Mumford and Sons, I found myself wishing I could stay in that moment forever - warm, bright, full of colour, chaos and noise.

By the time The Vaccines had joined them on stage for the last toon on the Pyramid - Get by with a little help from my friends - we had linked arms with the 14 boys from Jersey in a huge line, singing and swaying as if we had known each other our whole lives.

The phoenix awoke once again, stretched its wings and swayed alongside us. And for that moment, we were all the best friends that there had ever been, or ever would be again.

As the Pyramid powered down for the last time in 2013, a message flashed up on the screens from Michael and Emily Eavis, thanking us for coming, and wishing us safe travels home.

As the crowd started to disperse, the sound system began to play what most people think is called Time of your Life by Green Day. It's actually called Good Riddance, and I couldn't help but smile.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Finally Worthy

Ah, the end. It comes too quickly.

I am trying not to get sad about it today, and to think of today as 'no more camping day', 'my own bed day' and 'hot shower day'.

I am looking forward to all those things immensely.

It is hard, when you are here, to remember that there is a real world going on outside this steel ring. That there are people who are going to supermarkets, and to work, and aren't bumping into groups of beery blokes in drag breaking into song spontaneously, or people in deeley-boppers doing the conga through a group of samurai with 6-foot tall hair.

I've called home a few times while I've been here, and it's sort of jarring. Like placing a phone call to another dimension.

I will, of course, be sad to leave - I always am. I love this festival (but not it's internet access. That was too much stress) and I know that when I trudge off site, I'll have tears in my eyes, despite the fact that my feet are killing me, my back aches and I've managed about three hours sleep the entire time I've been here.

This pop-up city of friendly chaos means the world to me, a bubble where for three days I can forget everything else, leave most of my worries behind (case in point: net access). It's a place where I don't worry about what I wear, or who I'm stood next to. When it's considered weird not to smile and hug people you've never met before, strike up conversations with strangers, paint your face, get a henna tattoo and dance like an idiot.

The fact that something so magical springs up on my doorstep every year is not lost on me. Most of the time Pilton is a beautiful but quiet village, the sort of place you tend to pass through, rather than go to.

The fact that some people will live their entire lives without experiencing this is something I can't comprehend. That they will never see Arcadia sending spirals of flame into the air, or sit at the Pyramid, or be busked at by a hopeful man with a hat at his feet as he cranks out some tunes on an inflatable guitar.

Glastonbury isn't just about the music. To call it a festival doesn't even begin to cover it. It's about being part of the friendliest army of on earth, it's about losing yourself in a crowd of people, and loving every moment of it. It's about getting lost and finding things you never even thought could exist, let alone considered how much fun it would be to do them.

I love this festival with all my heart. And I am sad that it is coming to a close.

It will be very, very nice to sleep in a bed, and not on a rapidly deflating lilo, though.

I'm off for a wander, and then to catch Mumford, before packing up my stuff and shuffling back into the real world for another year. Monday morning, I'll be bleary-eyed at my desk, so tired that I won't be able to talk, and my feet aching so much I won't be able to put them on the floor. But it is completely worth it.

I really missed this place last year.

It's been good to be home. I feel..Worthy.

Catch you on Twitter (@glastfestblog), if I can get a connection from the Pyramid, and a round-up blog in a couple of days.

This is Laura, signing off for now.

In Eavis we trust

You have to hand it to the residents of Shangri-La, they've picked a good deity.

They've always had a bit of a theme up there, that they worship the short-wearing one - and it's plain to see that he's held in rather high regard by the revellers (although, not enough to adhere to his requests to 'love the farm, leave no trace' or not to bring gazebos along, but still.)

This year the recycling crews have been kitted out in 'Recycle for Michael' t-shirts, urging people to separate their waste and all that jazz.

I've spotted some rather cool flags, including one with a robed Michael Eavis painted in stained-glass style, the sun shining above him, the Tor to his back, his face serene and peaceful and his arms spread out to welcome us all to the green ( fields of Glastonbury Festival.

Written above him? 'Heaven on Earth', obviously.

It's hard to work out what Michael - a Methodist - makes of all this.

But you've got to admire some of the artwork.