Newest Review: ... loads of space if you get there on the Wednesday and many areas to choose from). To explain how big the festival is, some of my friends wh... more
A Weekend in Sunny June...
Glastonbury Music Festival
Member Name: proplus
Glastonbury Music Festival
Advantages: Great fun, great people, great atmosphere!
Disadvantages: Shocking weather, extortionate food & drink prices.
There was a mad rush to buy tickets in Spring 2005 for the famous Glastonbury festival taking place in the Summer. Imagine the joy when me and my friends all made sure we were logged on at 9am to purchase the said tickets and managed to get them ordered. £120 seemed like a huge amount to be paying for a ticket to anything, but my overall view is that the price is well worth it for the magical festival experience.
After a couple of months eagerly awaiting the day of reckoning, the time arrived to set off on the long journey to Glastonbury. At midnight on Wednesday the 22nd of June, me, 3 friends, 2 tents, 4 tickets, several crates of lager, 2 rucksacks full of food and a partridge in a pear tree departed Sheffield. The road trip was an event in itself, so we ensured there were plenty of sweets, drinks and CDs to entertain on the way.
Finding and entering the site itself was as easy as pie with the ample road signage from the motorway and stewards directing all festival traffic into the massive fields allocated for car parking. We arrived and parked at about 8am on the Thursday morning, so there were not many other vehicles arriving at the same time, hence the entry to the actual festival area was problem free and very quick.
We found a decent place to pitch camp as another group or friends had arrived earlier on the Wednesday and saved some space for us on the crest of a small hill in the field next to the huge "Other Stage".
Having obtained maps, wristbands and guidebooks on entry (which were to become invaluable during the weekend), the first order of the day was breakfast and orientation. So having promptly scoffed a bacon sandwich, sun cream was applied all over and off we set for a walk round. The heat was absolutely amazing and the sun blazed across the gigantic site full of stages, market stalls, sideshows and food outlets. It was all set to be a perfect weekend.
We got to sleep quite early that night due to the long drive the night before but the rest period was put to an abrupt end in the middle of the night by booming thunder and a torrential downpour! It seemed that the storm went on for hours and hours, which was proved in the morning light after half of the field we were camped in was completely flooded with several tents washed away. I felt for the unlucky people who were flushed out in the early hours, but I then heard that they were put up by the festival promoters in chalet accomodation. Wish I'd had a chalet.
So, from amazing sunshine to a typically overcast and drizzly British summers day, Glastonbury was still set to be a cracking weekend. Then came a terrible discovery - we hadn't packed any wellies. Oh dear... Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. What do you get when you mix a biblical storm with a huge expanse of open fields, then add 100,000 happy go lucky festival goers? You get mud. Thick, sloppy, sticky, unforgiving mud. Undeterred, we made good use of some plastic carrier bags and set off to the festival area.
It became immediately apparent that walking was going to be a difficult task. It took every ounce of energy to maintain balance and avoid slipping whilst trying to negotiate the site amongst the thousands of others also trying to maintain balance and negotiate the site. The flooded area had caused several of the portable toilet units to topple and spill their contents. Not a pleasant sight or smell and the area required careful avoidance to ensure that no excrement found it's way onto our clothing...
I'd been told that one of the best ways to enjoy a festival like Glastonbury is to just wander around until you see or hear something that takes your fancy, hang around for a while, then move on. It didn't work like that for us as there were several bands we particularly wanted to see which involved careful planning, namely Coldplay, The Killers, and Kaiser Chiefs amongst others.
Being more of a dance music fan, I took it upon myself to venture to the "Dance Village" on the first day. Taking in the joys of several hours of drum and bass and techno, I made my way back to the Pyramid Stage area to meet the others and see The Killers play an hour long set, which for me was one of the highlights of the weekend. Hearing the wonderful Hot Fuss album performed live and soaking up the magical atmosphere was something I shall never forget.
There was a wide selection of food and drink available on site, everything from pasties and burgers to pasta and chicken was there for the buying. Usually ridiculously overpriced, I was glad I'd packed a few boxes of Nutri-Grain bars to keep the energy levels up. However, I did enjoy a pasty and a burger during the weekend from the food stalls and surprisingly, they were well cooked and tasted OK, costing around £4 a go. The alcohol was similarly overpriced at around £3.50 for a bottle, but this was expected and we made sure we were well equipped with supermarket goodies.
Fortunately, the weather held off for the remainder of the weekend and on the Sunday took a turn for the better as the clouds parted, allowing the sun to dry out the soaked fields. This had a bad affect on me as I got badly sunburnt after falling asleep laying down listening to Jools Holland (which was nothing to do with the music I should add!!).
I decided to give Basement Jaxx a miss on the Sunday night and visit the Dance Village again. 2 Many DJs, otherwise known as Soulwax had taken to the stage, offering their unique brand of electro funky rock-pop and it was a great way to round off the weekend. I'd arranged to meet the other group of friends up at the Stone Circle area and there we stayed until the sun came up over the gargantuan site, another sight that will stay with me forever.
It didn't seem like a day had passed until Monday morning arrived and the time to depart was upon us. On the one hand I was slightly aggrieved that we had to return to reality, but on the other, I couldn't wait to get home, have a proper shower and sleep in a proper bed!
On the return leg of motorway travel we stopped at the services and procured a large Burger King meal, which filled the stomachs and tasted like heaven!
All in all, Glastonbury 2005 ranks as one of the best experiences I've ever had. The people, the music and the fun of the weekend is something that I would recommend to absolutely anyone. Whatever your age or music preference, there is something for you at the greatest show on earth.
Summary: If I could give you one piece of advice for 2007, it would be to take wellies. And an anorak.
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