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Glastonbury Music Festival
Member Name: Daisy Age
Glastonbury Music Festival
Date: 05/07/03, updated on 08/07/03 (312 review reads)
Advantages: Music & Dancing, Hedonism, Shiny Happy People
Venue: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, UK.
Guest List: 150000 music pilgrims.
Before I begin, I should warn you, I'm not going to write about every little detail of the Glastonbury festival. If you want to know about directions, site map, full line up list, etc. then look it up on the officical glasto website (http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/) - that's what its there for.
I've read previous accounts of Glasto from other people, and to be honest, a message advising you to bring toilet roll is stating the obvious. Forgive my ignorance, but if you want to wipe your arse, take some loo roll, you don't need a degree to figure this out. Just bring the things you'd normally take camping, plus ear plugs for the light sleepers amongst you and plenty of pain killers, (and a pack of wet wipes for the ladies amongst you).
There are plenty of things to eat and drink (although at over-inflated prices so bring some food with you that won't go off quickly if you're on a budget). There are loads of different food stuffs from all over the world, ranging from Cornish pasties to West Indian cuisine. Also, I was pleased to note that there was a huge number of food stalls catering for vegetarians and vegans. I would strongly advise that you bring your own supply of illegal substances (NOT a requirement for enjoying the festival I hasten to add) from a known and trusted supplier.
Now that the advice has been handed out, lets talk problems. There were several problems for Mr Eavis even before the festival had started. Firstly, there were problems with getting a license granted, however, the biggest problem was the ticket sales. For the first time in the event's history, tickets sold out in less than 24 hours, leaving many Glastonbury regulars very misearble indeed. The cause? Money-hungry parasites with no concept of what the festival i
s all about. These unscrupulous individuals began to sell tickets on internet auction sites for as much as £400 a ticket (RRP £105). Desperate people took the bait, whilst others, angered by the actions of these maggots decided to play them at their own game and started bidding ridiculous prices (£1 million) in order to ruin the bidding (good on them, I say). This left many of us who had managed to get tickets rather worried about what the festival would be like. The problem arose from the vast improvements in the fences after previous years (especially 2000) where individuals climbed over without tickets (hang my head in shame for I was one). This lead to Glasto being cancelled the following year (still feeling the guilt). In the earlier years, part of the festival atmosphere was made by a small percentage that jumped the fence, however, glastonbury's popularity has grown so exponentially that it is now impossible to accommodate all the "illegal" and "legal" festival goers without safety being seriously affected. Since the improved fence was so good last year, touts realised the way to make money would be through buying as many tickets as they could and selling them at maximum profit. Hopefully, something can be done about this for next year, but what? I don't envy Mr Eavis.
Now for the fun part, the festival. We arrived on thursday morning, although the gates had opened by 9am on wednesday morning. After setting up the tent and having a smoke, we decided to get to grips with the vast site, so we had a wander around some of the tents and stages. Changes this year included the former Jazz Stage being called the One World Stage.
I've been to Glasto twice before, but I'd never gone as far as the Green field and the stone circle. I have to say that one of my festival highlights was this. It was a stark contrast to the bustling areas around the campsites and stages. There was a genuine calm and sereni
retreat when all the crowds got to be too much. There were alot of people there, as with all areas of the festival, but it was just a really peaceful area to chill out.
Now for the main point of MUSIC, after all, that's what we were mainly there for. There were a huge number of performers as ever, and as always, I couldn't get to see everyone I wanted to see. I managed to get about 5 minutes of seeing Goldfrapp before having to go to the Dance Tent to catch the Chemical Brothers' DJ set, before moving again to the Glade to see Apex Twin's punishing DJ set. The Glade was an amazing place, a small stage in amongst some trees, with white cloth draped between them (the trees that is). There was a really nice breeze blowing thorugh and it was nicely shaded which was lovely on sat and sun when it was really hot.
My highlights of the festival were seeing De La Soul and reliving my youth when they played several songs from their fab "3 feet high and rising" album including tracks such as "Buddy", "Me Myself and I", and "Pot holes in my lawn". They also managed to coax the sun to come out-which was nice.
Second Highlight was Jimmy Cliff on the Pyramid Stage in the bright sunshine singing "the harder they come, the harder they fall". The man still knows how to move!
Third highlight was the unexpected pleasure of catching Roni Size DJing in the Dance Tent, although Rahzel was supposed to be on (not that I was complaining) so I don't know what happened there. Although, in my defence, it was Sunday night and by that time I really was dazed and confused.
Next highlight was seeing Aphex twin's set as I've already mentioned. Those were my top four, in no particular order, however, it was all good.
Didn't see Radiohead as I didn't fancy slitting my wrists that night, but from what I heard, they were really good. Manics be
lted out t
he old favorites and treated the crowd to some new stuff. And Moby, bless him, was headlining on sunday. As he put it himself, it was like a clerical error to put him to headline on sunday after REM and Radiohead headlining the previous two nights, but I think he accomplished his mission to give the crowd what they wanted. There was a great light show and he treated everyone to past classics from "Go" to his newer stuff "We are all made of Stars". Thankfully, it didn't feel like you were listening to the soundtrack of one commercial to the next, as he played alot of his techno stuff to get the crowd going.
Actually, another highlight which I've just remembered was Mr Nice himself, Howard Marks, telling us all not to piss in the hedgerows.
Polyphonic Spree were weird but fab. Missed The Flaming Lips and their herd of animal suits, and Macy Gray funked up the Pyramid stage. Terri Walker was very soleful in the Dance tent, infact, was very impressed in general with the talent in the Dance tent, especially Blak Twang.
Regretfully, could not get near the New Tent to see up and coming yanks The Kings of Leon as there was such a crowd. Overall, no one was disappointed in the quality and quantity of music on offer, just abit annoyed that all the things you wanted to see seemed to be on at the same time!
The only down side were the loos. For anyone who has never been to Glasto, yes, they are as bad as everyone tells you.
There is more, but most of it is forgotten - as they say, if you can remember the Glastonbury festival, then you weren't there!
Am abit depressed now as I've had to go back to THE SYSTEM, those hazy days seem like a distant memory, from your mispent youth, ahhhh! Things to look forward to are..............
So for anyone reading this, I would definately advise anyone who loves music to go to the festival at
least once in t
heir lives. Its like no other festival on Earth. But next year, please don't be greedy with the tickets, just get enough for you and your friends and give everyone a chance. And remember, don't piss in the hedges!
I'd also like to say thanks to all of you who went this year, and for making it so wonderful. The people make the festival as much as the music itself.
Finally, all thanks and praise to Michael Eavis; for your enthusiasm, perserverance and hospitality!
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