After walking through campsites covered in a sea of tents, I can feel my rucksack getting heavier by the second. Fortunately my friends and I finally claim an empty patch of grass. I’ve made it to Glastonbury. And I have no idea what to expect.
A Glastonbury novice
Any person I know that has been to Glastonbury, has raved about it. I was intrigued but skeptical. How amazing can a music festival be exactly? Especially one with such a bad reputation for rain! But after a triumphant morning of refreshing my browser for tickets, I had committed. No backing out now!
I hadn’t ever been camping before, so had to kit myself out with everything! Rucksack, sleeping bag, an inflatable mat. I spent hours trawling lot’s of dedicated forums for tips and advice. Tort’s Glastonbury FAQ was mentioned multiple times and it became my go-to resource. I was prepared for anything. Or so I thought.
The first few days
The first thing to fully comprehend on arrival is the sheer scale of it all. You get told it’s big. You see maps. But to finally see it in person is quite overwhelming. Over the first few days I found it tough. On Thursday evening I already wished I was at home. I hadn’t slept because of the constant noise. The rain was taking its toll. The tent was pitched on a steep hill, making it hard to sleep in the first place. And the people in the tent behind us were loud and on a lot of drugs.
Come Friday, the music acts gradually started playing across the festival site. This definitely helped lighten my mood and I didn’t seem to mind the rain so much anymore. The atmosphere was electric and it was easier to forget I was quite likely standing in a puddle of someone else’s piss.
The more things I uncovered throughout the site, the more I started to love it. If you think all the action is going on at main stages, think again. Take a wander through the trees and stumble across a jazz band playing in a treehouse covered in fairy lights. Try and find your way into the Rabbit Hole to watch a rumoured Hot Chip gig. There’s something for everyone. Craving a a cheese toastie and a hot chocolate at 3am? It’s yours. Feel like you need to find some inner peace with some meditation or yoga? You can get that too.
By the time it came to go home, I’d grown accustomed to the noise, the walking, and even the long drops – although I wouldn’t have said no to using a regular toilet. There’s nothing quite like trying to use an open roof toilet whilst it’s pouring down with rain. Constantly discovering new places was really fun, and I’m particularly glad I accidentally got lost one evening – ending up in Silver Hayes, having a friendly chat with strangers at 4am.
I would definitely go again, but perhaps not straight away. Next year I’ll be happily watching it from the comfort of my own home, feeling smug that I’m warm and dry.