The week I returned from Glastonbury was a miserable week. It was the second time I had experienced the Somerset based festival and so I thought I knew what to expect when trying to resume my normal life of 9-5.
It still knocked me out completely. Constantly tired with no energy yet I couldn’t sleep. No enthusiasm for anything or anyone. Little I could muster up in terms of small talk with friends, family and colleagues. It was a bad week.
On the bright side, it reinforced what a fantastic place Worthy Farm is. Hundreds of thousands coming together to appreciate great music, good times, and of course plenty of alcohol, nicotine and whatever else you’re into. Weather was for the most part perfect. Bit of rain which lead to some muddy areas, but it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without it.
From a musical point of view I saw most of the bands I wanted to see. There were clashes of course, as there always will be. The Who, The Chemical Brothers or Flying Lotus? Kanye Hot Chip or Jamie xx? Luckily the Foo Fighters pulled out to make the decision some what easier). I made decisions mainly on who I thought I would enjoy the most, as well as a wow factor – I don’t really like Kanye West, but I appreciate that he is a big deal, a huge character and has an immense back catalogue of material, so I caught the second half of his set just because.
Hot Chip supported by Caribou were probably the highlight of my weekend (as well as Lionel Richie, hands down the coolest man on the planet). Other bands and sets I managed to catch were, but not limited to; The Cribs, James Bay, Alabama Shakes, Jungle, The Vaccines, The Maccabees, The Mothership, Four Tet, Alt-J, Hozier, and a Smiths (The Smyths) tribute band.
We arrived early on the Wednesday, with the festival proper not kicking off until the Friday, at least that when the stages are open for the live acts to start rocking. The festival was by no means dead though. We had a great time re-familiarising ourselves of the layout and location of the main stages and tents, the best bars, the best clubs, where to go if you need to chill out (GreenPeace and Green Futures, for your eco friendly, therapeutic needs as well as a cheeky massage if you fancy) etc. There was so much going on and we all felt like we had experienced so much before the music even started on the Friday.
The food was fantastic. Don’t let anyone pass on the old ‘urgh, festival food’ bullshit; it’s lazy and I’d like to think most don’t even consider it a stereotype any longer. Name a cuisine, it was at Glastonbury. Name your allergy or dietary preference, you will be catered for. Over the week I dined on Giant Yorkshires, sweet and savoury crepes, pizza slices, vegetarian curries, falafels, Poutine (a Canadian styling of cheese, chips and gravy), mac n’ cheese, breakfast quesadillas and much more. At times it was on the pricey side but hey, you’re on holiday.
Beer (and other drinks) were expensive – but unlike other festivals, you can bring in as much alcohol as you can carry (that’s not a challenge-if you want to lug 3 crates of beer along with all your camping stuff for a mile then go ahead). I brought along plenty of gin to keep myself merry. Problem is I can no longer stand the stuff. There were some excellent cocktail stands which again were harsh on the wallet, but when they taste that good, who cares.
I’m ashamed to say that the last night most of our group, myself included, slunk back to our tents with our tails between our legs at the embarrassingly early time of around 2am. The festival was still alive all around us but our feet, legs, bodies and minds were broken. It was an exhausting week – please don’t go expecting a holiday. I took a week off for the whole event (being from Guernsey, there were return flights to take into account) and felt like taking another week just to recover. It was in-tents. But a hell of a lot of fun.