One year ago today, I arrived at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts i.e. the biggest outdoor festival in the world!!!
It was a family holiday with a difference and yes, I went with my siblings and my Mum. Dad doesn't like a/walking, b/camping and c/modern music. My mum is cool and well into her music. She likes Arcade Fire, Fionn Regan, The Shins, Broken Bells, Midlake and Laura Marling. Mint.
Glastonbury is in the ever lovely South-West of England in a little village called Shepton Mallet but for one week in late June, it is suddenly populated by an astounding 200,000 festival goers, tech heads, performers, caterers and people looking for an adventure. Now Glastonbury was born 40 years ago at the cusp of the music vs. politics front and it was known for its acceptance of people that bit different like the hippies, travelers and whoever else needed a break from society and had something to yell about.
It's become a bit more mainstream and middle class since those days [as was bound to happen] but it still retains its title as the most alternative music festival you could go to. People who haven't gone always hate hearing people's experiences there.
"OH my god, it's life changing. I felt so at one with nature."
"I shaved all my hair off to shed myself of stress and release my aura etc... etc..."
Some people go over the top. But then, they aren't far wrong either. Glastonbury [or known as Glasto, affectionately or annoyingly depending on your point of view] is so vast and mind-boggling HUGE that you could go and spend the 4 days looking at the markets, the green fields, the healing fields, the night time areas, the kidz field or the circus areas and not see any bands or music and still have the best time imaginable. It absolutely kicks Coachella's ass.
Glastonbury is so popular, you have to register in advance in order to apply for tickets in October with a passport photo included. Ticket day is the most stressful day imaginable. Imagine one website and over 1 million people continually hitting refresh. One year, all tickets sold out in one hour. We were lucky because it took 12 hours. We had both laptops on and 2 computers as well as two phonelines and had no success for about 6 hours until I realised I had spelt our address wrong the whole time. My bad.
Anyway, I won't harp on any longer. Just wanted to share the majestic atmosphere that Glastonbury creates. It was the friendliest place I've ever been. People just wanted to help others. I didn't see a single frown! There was no crowd pushing either. And my Mum was.in.her.element. And the music... Well let's just say, we're already planning 2013. The festival is being broadcast all over the BBC, the Guardian and respective radio stations this weekend but seeing as I'm 11,000km away, I'd rather not tune in.
Beyoncé, U2 and Coldplay are headlining [Coldplay. The one year I'm not he....*grumblegrumble*] and it'll be a cracker, no doubt.
Here are some MORE snaps from last year. Enjoy. And go.
It really will change your life.
Did I mention the tickets have your PICTURE on them? Or that the wristbands glow in the dark?
Or you will find people in fancy dress all over the place?
Or that the food is amazzzzing?
Or there are always Chinese lanterns, fireworks and confetti cannons?
Or you can camp in a tipi?
Or that there is a hill with incredible views?
Or there is a pyramid shaped stage?
Or when it is sunny, it is the most beautiful place in the world?
Or that lying down is encouraged?
Or you see punks hanging with their kids?
Or people are really into their music?
Or you find astonishing art pieces around every ... field?
Or that humor is everywhere you look?
Or that it is easy to get into the pit?
Or you might be interviewed for TV?
Or that you can get fresh farm milk every morning?
Or that flags are loved and adored?
Or that there is a maypole?
Or that you can send a postcard from the festival?
Or all the other random things you see like the people, the props and the stages?
No? Well, just thought I should add that in there quickly.
See, I didn't even touch on the bands that played and I've taken up most of our front page...
P.S. And Megan is back from her French adventure! Expect wonderful posts about croissants and pan and petite pois and much better French words from her than I know.
P.P.S. And my sister finished her Leaving Cert! Hurrah, I'm so proud!
P.P.P.S. And I have exactly 2 weeks left in South America. Where has the time gone!