David and I went on a mini-adventure a few weeks ago – only to the best musical festival in the world! OK, so I may be a little biased, but Glastonbury festival is one of my favourite places to be. This was my seventh time at the festival, and I was so excited to share it with my Glastonbury-virgin boyfriend.
Hopefully I didn’t come across too needy-omg-please-like-it, as we wandered round the site on the Tuesday evening and I excitedly pointed out all the different areas, and tripped over myself trying to explain just why Glastonbury is so special. I needn’t have worried, as the festival worked its magic over both of us over the next week.
I think that the best thing about Glastonbury (and maybe also the worst on a muddy year when your legs are exhausted from trudging through acres of mud!) is just how big it is. Seriously – the site is 8.5 miles around the perimeter! The pyramid stage has a capacity of 90,000 – and the headline stage is just on tiny part of the experience. It’s the only place where you could start your day with Power Ballad Yoga (yeah – I actually did this!), craft yourself a new necklace from some old cutlery, and then grab yourself a free massage up in the healing fields. Then, pick from a huge array of veggie, vegan and carnivore delights from all around the world for lunch. After lunch, maybe you fancy a spot of comedy? Or how about some jaw-dropping acrobatics in the circus tent? Then, of course, there’s the music! Over the course of the festival we saw a ridiculous number of live acts, from all kinds of genres. There was Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs, who call themselves the worlds first and only skunk band (that’s skiffle-punk to you and I), and also DAM, a Palestinian rap/hip-hop trio who blew us away with their talent and the sheer emotion behind their political lyrics. We had a little boogie to the electro-swing fused with drum’n’bass delights of The Correspondents, and raised our fists in the air in righteous anger with Billy Bragg’s raw political folk. We got our skank on with Noisia and a Hospital Records takeover in the dance village. We danced to The Skavengers at 2am up in Shangri-La, stood around slightly awkwardly when we stumbled across a thrash metal band on the Earache Express and had a dancefloor almost to ourselves during a middle-of-the-afternoon trance set in London Underground. We marvelled at the dream-like voice of Maggie Rogers and admired Goldfrapp’s fabulous as ever wardrobe. There’s so much going on that you couldn’t see it all even in a month.
This banner for me sums up the feeling at the festival this year. There’s always a political vibe at Glastonbury, and not just in Leftfield, the venue curated by Billy Bragg. Last year I was at the festival when the news came through with the Brexit results, and most people were in shock, wandering round in a sort of bewildered daze (rather than the usual cider bus influenced daze). Many of the acts I saw afterwards couldn’t resist starting their sets by addressing the issue, stressing that now more than ever we had to stick together. It seemed to kick off an increasingly depressing year of politics and yet, a year later, here we were again and this time we had something to be positive about. As Billy Bragg said, in this year of “what the fuck?” it seems that we finally have something to get behind, some momentum from the Left to resist the Tories and their never-ending cuts. Some were critical of Corbyn appearing at a music festival, but music and art are inherently political – as many of the bands we saw over the weekend proved.
Glastonbury always makes me feel positive, hanging around with lefties in Leftfield, exploring the awesome ideas in the Permaculture field, soaking up some of the positivity from the Green fields, and just generally letting my hippy flag fly. For that one weekend, it feels like we are all on the same page. And then, I look at the sea of rubbish left on Monday morning and my heart breaks a little. Broken tents, empty cans, litter strewn everywhere – it’s time to go back to real life with a bump, realise that not everyone is on the same side, and that unfortunately there are dicks everywhere, even my beloved Glastonbury. But, like the banner says, we will continue to resist.
Anyway – I leave you with pictorial evidence that the sun shone this year! C xx