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Glastonbury is, in my opinion, the only festival where the line-up doesn't really matter. The years I have spent going through the line-up, carefully marking the acts I wanted to see, only to be distracted by a chap on a uni-cycle trying to get out of a strait-jacket, and never getting to where I'd planned.
For me Glastonbury is worth every penny of its ticket price, whether it be £1 or £150. There is a special feeling to be found there if you know where to look. It certainly isn't down in 'Babylon' among the fast food stalls and the drunken louts trying to look 'cool' in funny hats. It's found when you walk along a path, talking to a complete stranger like you've known each other for years, reaching a crossroads where you say 'see you again' and part company. Meeting that person again, maybe a year later, and picking up the previous conversation with ease.
My first Glastonbury was way back when it was free and milk was available fresh from the cows. I've stewarded for Oxfam when money was tight and even sneaked in a time or two. The last time I stewarded was the now infamous, 2000 when more people were coming over the fence than through the gates. I was manning a gate to a staff camping area when a woman, who was 8 months pregnant, walked past me with a pram full of blankets, two kids in tow and a Jack Russell Terrier on a piece of string. God alone knows how she got over the fence with all that!!
The last time I went to Glastonbury was 2003, with my youngest daughter's 18th birthday being on the Friday. We camped on Pennards Hill and she made friends with a group of youngsters from Cheltenham. I went and visited a lot of old friends in the Green, Avalon and Tepee fields, while she and her new friends did their thing until we met up to watch R.E.M. on the Pyramid stage. We dressed up for an event in the wonderful 'Lost Vagueness', where nothing is so attractive as a full-length ball gown one has picked up for three quid on the used clothes stall when it is combined with German paratrooper boots bought for ten quid three years earlier. That is what matters about Glastonbury - one can be whatever one wants to be - no-one judges or worries about being judged. It is like an alternate universe where the worries of the 'civilised real world' are as nothing.
Glastonbury was where I took my holiday and even the weather couldn't spoil it. I rate 1998 as one of the best, despite the mud, because the spirit was fantastic. If one can adopt the attitude of being prepared to lose anything you have taken with you, determined to enjoy it whatever the weather and accepting a schedule is pointless the possibilities are truly endless. If, on the other hand, one expects perfect weather, that a camping site the size of a city will have perfect toilet facilities and everyone is going to be just like you, prepare to be disappointed or stay at home.
With tickets so hard to come by it is doubtful that I will attend another Glastonbury but if I do I know it will be just the same as it's always been. Wonderful.
I love it so much! Anyway, good review. Maybe a little more detail would be good. Scarlett x
derek-j-a 15.07.2005 18:15
It's great to get down in the mud.. Although for me it used to be - I like my comforts now.. Glastonbury, the place itself) is a great place to be for all people - Good review.. Derek
COOOEEE 26.06.2005 15:38
It is amazing how many helpers are needed there. I live locally but amazingly I haven't managed to get a ticket for the event. In 97 they took over a whole ward of the hospital with foot rot as it was so wet there and were nearly washed away this week too. The sun is now shining though in Somerset. FionaxxFionaxx