Monday, 27 June 2011

My top 10 Glastonbury moments


1. Putting up three tents

Basecamp Billie Blog, and Ollie.
I'm not a camper. I may have mentioned this. I hate tents, I hate insects, I hate the cold, and the wet and I hate having to put on fourteen layers of clothes before I can get up to have a pee in the morning. The fact that I managed to put up three tents was nothing short of a miracle, and something I will be adding to the 'skills' section of my CV.


2. Moving onto the site properly.
Tickets checked, ladened down like a beast of burden, and being waved through the ring of steel into the main site. It's like stepping into something alive, living and breathing. The whole site seems to pulsate with life and music, with music blaring from every direction, full of excitement and life and potential. Walking onto the site is like taking a full bodyslam of the best life has to offer.

3. Photos.
Thursday is basically the only day I know I'm going to look half decent. By tomorrow, I'll be covered in mud, my hair will be twisted into a birds nest and I'll have that mad-eyed look that comes from getting next-to-no sleep. Therefore, today is photo day to ensure that my Facebook friends think I look like something that'd feature in the Summer Festivals Special! edition of Company.

4. The Zane Lowe incident
Sat in the backstage bar with my sister, freezing cold and having finally defeated the technology demons, drinking cider and keeping half an eye out for famous faces. Ollie made it onto the site and headed over to join us plonking himself down on a chair with a pint of Gaymer's. We say we thought we'd seen Zane Lowe.
"I'm under orders to punch him in the face for being annoying, if I see him," Ollie says, just as Lowe wandered behind him.
Sadly, Ollie did not complete this challenge, despite encouragement and moral support.


5. Waking up to discover the sun was out.
The glee that the weather forecasts had all been wrong after all, and the mud would dry out, and I'd be in flipflops before the end of the festival sent a shiver up my spine.

6. Ah, the Pyramid, right.
Yes. I keep forgetting this is a music festival. I tend to get rather annoyed at the bands, who seem to get in the way of exploring the site and people watching, generally. Still, that first sight of the Pyramid and the sea of people in front of it, and the sound that's so loud that it vibrates through the ground, through the air, and through your entire body is just outstanding. Your whole body moves to the beat of your heart, and there's something so primal about music when it's being pumped through your feet and into your bones, and then finally getting around to showing up in your ears. Thanks to Biffy for the reminder.

7. My sister spotting Will Young in hospitality and trying to sneak a photo of him, by making me pose in front of him and then 'duck out of the way when I say 'now'.'


8. Trekking up to The Park to see StringerBessant, despite the fact I thought I'd missed their set. Bumping into a couple of old friends from college and school while there and getting to show off my Press pass.

9. The PA breaking down while the duo played. Undeterred, they simply hopped off the stage onto a couple of camping chairs and told everyone to come closer while they sang louder.

10. Interviewing Gary Stringer.
Found myself inexplicably shouting "GARY! CENTRAL SOMERSET GAZETTE!" when he hopped off stage, as if I was an important person at a press conference. He gave me a grin, waved me around the back for a bit of a chat, at which point I realised I hadn't actually expected this bit to happen and wasn't sure what to ask. A genuinely nice guy, he suffered my gabbling, answered my questions, let me take a photo and then hopped back on stage once the PA was working once again. Then I came over entirely unnecessary and spent 90 minutes telling Ollie that I couldn't believed I'd interviewed Gary Stringer, before I promptly fell on my bum in the mud.

Rockin' the mud.

11. Falling over in the mud.
It's gotta be done, hasn't it? Everyone was very nice to me, and lots of photos were taken of me looking like I'd had a rather unfortunate accident.

12. Flogging Molly.
Oh God, so much fun. Dragged Lewis along, despite the fact he thought they were 'some pretentious Indie band, or something'. Was ace to see him again (and impressive that we managed to find each other in the dark) and then spent a good hour or so jigging around in my wellies with him, his mate, and Ollie. I came out of that tent happier than I have been in a long, long while, and it's one of those times that has been framed and hung on my soul forever.


13. My sister falling through the tent door at 4am-ish
..after failing to work out how to work a zip and collapsing into a giggling heap onto her lilo trying to free herself from her wellies.

14. A wander through the insanity that is Block 9 and Shangri-La.
I don't even know how they think that stuff up. It's just mind-blowing.

15. One of our neighbours helping us to put the tent away
..after it magically became bigger, and a different shape and clearly couldn't ever fit in the bag that it'd come out of so easily a few days ago.

16. Wandering through the crowds as Pendulum took to the stage
...getting as far back and as high up as I could to try and take in the scale of things.

17. Inexplicably bursting into tears I realised the festival would be over soon, and I'd have to go back to the real world. Sitting down on a railway sleeper and having a good cry for a little while, before pulling myself together and buying an ice-cream.

Hotpants of doom.
18. Having told Lewis about my weepy moment, heading up to meet him for QOTSA. He tried to give me directions to where him and his mate were standing (East, apparently), before giving up and coming to find me outside a reasonably easy-to-find food stand. Scanning the crowd for a couple of recognisable faces, and then realising, with a small amount of horror that he had turned up wearing just a pair of metallic purple hotpants. And that he wanted a hug.

19. Watching people's faces as he walked around in metallic purple hotpants.

20. The crowd at the Other Stage booing when Beyonce's name was mentioned.

21. Trudging off site with my sister, and getting caught in gridlock as the crowd from the Other Stage and the crowd from the John Peel stage got bottle-necked on a bridge. To keep ourselves busy while everyone tried to get moving again, a couple of guys started singing American Pie. Before long, everyone else was joining in. A proper Glastonbury Moment (tm)

22. ALAN!!!! Poor bugger.

23. Arriving home at two-thirty-ish, to find Mr Glastonbury Festival blog waiting for me to help me carry the tent and rucksack in, and giving me a big ol' hug, even though I smelt and looked like something that's been dead for the best part of a week.


Anonymous said...

The color of that mud makes that look particularly unpleasant. Although not half as bad as those hot pants. And I don't usually mind looking at men in small amounts of clothing.