Glastonbury, So Much to Answer For

It certainly hasn’t escaped my attention, but I bet you haven’t even noticed, that Glastonbury officially starts on Friday and I am not there.

I mention this because the last time I went, two years ago, it was the Wednesday before it officially kicks off that I arrived.

Actually, I arrived late on the Tuesday night, but you’re not permitted onsite before Wednesday morning, so I, along with the group of folks I was camping with, only one of whom I’d met before, had met in one of the fields doubling up as a car park, like some weird dogging jamboree where everyone had arrived thoroughly prepared to get drunk to dull the pain of what was about to happen.

From there, we set off to join the impressively and annoyingly big queue for the gates.

And there we remained until early Wednesday morning, when the gates opened and what had been a reasonably orderly queue transformed into a mad free for all scrum to get inside.

Once inside, our group reconvened at our chosen spot for camping, and we all set about constructing our living quarters for the next few nights.

Although the gates had opened at 9am (I think), it was mid-day before we reached this spot, and, just like today, it was a gloriously hot and sunny day:


Noel Coward – Mad Dogs and Englishmen

By around 1pm, my tent was up, my mattress fully inflated, the contents of my rucksack strewn across the floor of my tent to make any potential thieves think someone had beaten them to it, and so it was at this point, with sweat dripping from every pore, that I decided now would be the moment to demonstrate to my new found buddies just what I do better than anything else in the world.

Have a kip.

I reckon if you asked any of that gang their thoughts on me by the end of the weekend, they would probably say: “Sleeps a lot.”

And they’d be right, and I’d be rightly proud.

But on this occasion, I had made one fatal error; I crawled into my tent, flopped down on my back, and lay with my feet and lower parts of my legs sticking out. It would create an amusing image for any passers-by, I thought.

When I awoke an hour or so later, my legs and feet were, of course, very sunburned, making any attempts to walk for the rest of the weekend an unpleasant and painful chore.


Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun

I soldiered on, of course. Aided by lots of tactical snoozes throughout the weekend with my legs safely covered.

More soon.

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11 thoughts on “Glastonbury, So Much to Answer For”

  1. You slept in your tent in direct sunlight? How? I haven’t camped for years, but the one thing I remember is that the second the first rays of sunshine hit the tent in the morning, I’d be up and out of there – I couldn’t stick the airless heat and humidity.

  2. Oops… but it conjures up quite a vision. Probably best that you didn’t decide to even up your potential tan by doing the reverse on subsequent days and wearing nothing but a pair of wellies…

  3. And here is why I have never made it from the far north down to Glastonbury – The camping side of it just fills me with horror and this description hasn’t waylaid my fears. Hope you were still able to enjoy it all though, despite the burnt feet. I have a feeling you would have.

  4. I don’t know how you did it. I want to blame age for not going to these big overnights, but I never went when I was young either. Uh, room service…

  5. Your Blog Brings back memories – Glastonbury 1994 – Johnny Cash, Grant Lee Buffalo, Nick Cave – A great time

    1. Ah, a few years before I started going, but remember watching Cash’s set on TV. Glad you’re enjoying it here too!

  6. Was almost an Oxfam steward in 2000. It didn’t happen. Been to Cambridge a few times, but even a cosy 15,000 fellow campers is over my threshold these days. Been enjoying the Radiohead set on YouTube this morning, though.

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