Glastonbury, the largest all-field festival in the world – for me it was like falling through the rabbit hole and finding a whole new existence, one where you’re free to be whoever you choose.
I used to be one of the smug ones; I would watch Glasto on those muddy years sipping a chilled glass of white wine on my sofa, safe in the knowledge that the loo down the hall was clean and there was no queue. Then there were the good years and I’d think ‘wow that looks amazing… but I’m too much of a princess to handle the crowds and the camping.’
Well I’m now back from my 1st Glastonbury Music and Contemporary Arts festival and my mind was officially blown. I needed a week to ‘process’ and physically recover from the late nights and the um partying but I am a convert, on the band wagon and blowing the Glasto trumpet!
My friends had tried to tell me how cool it was but there really aren’t words to describe the amazing atmosphere and the magic of the place.
Even without the incredible range of music and the fact that all the bands and artists that play there bring their A-game, everywhere you look is eye-candied wonderment. You could happily wander around, not see any music and still have a great time.
The crowds are alive with glittering festival wear, it’s like a human bizarre of every colour, creed, age and musical taste. Being united with that mass as one of your favourite bands or DJ’s is throwing down, kicking off and exploding all over the place – well, it’s like your heart is bursting (in a good way) it’s face splitting smiles, unabashed whoops, jumping, dancing and punching the sky. It’s the very best sort of madness and I got to share it with some of my oldest and dearest friends, along with so many new people I met along the way.
You could argue that most music festivals encourage a certain kind of abandon and to some extent that is indeed correct but I’ve been to a lot of festivals and it is true what they say “there is nothing like Glastonbury” its uniqueness is tied to the setting and amplified by thoughtful design which adds to the heart and soul of the place. If you give Glastonbury your all, you will be rewarded with the best time of your life, you will be challenged and you will be changed in a positive way. Well, that’s been my experience anyway.
We got there on Wednesday, not because we had to rush in to get a good camping spot (oh no – we glamped the shit outta Glasto) but because as it was our 1st time we wanted to have a spell for it all to sink in. I honestly think arriving on Friday would have been too overwhelming for me. It took me a couple of days to just get around the whole festival and begin to make sense of the map.
Going in we had a strategy – the plan was to start slow and have a couple of reasonably early nights then build to a peak on Saturday and chill on Sunday – unfortunately the line-up had other ideas for us, so while we did manage to get those first two days right, I got home at 4.00am on Friday and 6.00am on Saturday and Sunday. It was Epic.
For me Glastonbury was a series of personal journeys. It shook me out of my comfort-zone, made me open up to new people, made me get over the need for daily showers (there is no way I need a shower enough to queue for an hour or two in the heat with fuck all sleep and a hangover) and it got me over my princess-like toilet requirements. I am now down with the squat over a longdrop technique and the portaloo hover method.
Glastonbury made me appreciate my life more and it made me feel more connected, to my husband and the friends that went on the journey with me, to hopes and dreams and in a sense to the wider populace (but that could’ve been the Jeremy Corban speech); it also tested my stamina and I’m proud to say that I exceeded my own expectations!
When I started my blog, I knew this year would be a transformative one but now I am beginning to feel it, there is a hard but brittle protection I encase myself in which feels more pliant and loose, like I can breathe a bit easier and am more the self I want to be. Who knows what another two music festivals, a road trip in Italy, a road trip in Iceland and 2 months travelling in Asia will do to round that off but I am sure as hell eager to find out.
I’m going to post this now, have been dipping in and out of writing it for a couple of weeks; there is so much more to say but I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking and if you have any questions drop me line.
Laters navigators. x