Music, cider, sunshine, tan lines, tents, late nights, long drops and too many talks about the toilets. It sounds like your average music festival, but after doing a few weekend and day festivals the Glastonbury Festival experience is like no other. I know it’s not for everyone but if you like a laid back atmosphere, more live music than you could manage to hear in a year and so much to see you leave wanting more, then it’s definitely for you.
After a great five days at this year’s festival, let me show you why I think it’s something every music lover should try to get a ticket to. (If you’ve been already be sure to share your experience below!)
Great live music is what the festival is all about. The line up has caused some controversy over the years for becoming too mainstream, either way you can’t deny the wide variety of music genres covered. There’s really something for everyone and every mood, which means not only do you see your favourites, you also discover new music without having to trawl through Spotify to find it.
Bastille were high up on my must-see list this year and they didn’t disappoint. I’m a big fan of the music tents as they trap in all that atmosphere, you can’t beat being part of a crowd singing their hearts out in union! The well-known track “Pompeii” under the canopy of the John Peel tent was pretty electrifying, as was their cover of “Rhythm is a dancer” (skip to about 43:00 of the clip on iPlayer to hear it!).
The Hives aren’t to my usual taste but the lead singer had a great stage presence and knew how to get you bopping along outside the The Other Stage.
Then there’s the mood changers that are vital when energies run low. We stumbled upon Public Enemy at the West Holts stage just before heading to Shangri La for a late evening. The hip hop beats definitely got us jumping and ready for more.
Other highlights included Haim, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, The Vaccines, and Rita Ora, to name a few. The only problem with a great line up and a massive site is accepting that you’ll have to miss some great music! I really wanted to see Ben Howard, Chase and Status, Zero 7 and Fat Boy Slim too but the timings and other desires just wouldn’t allow it.
At least you can easily drown your sorrows with a cider…
A bright tent or hand-built bar will always tempt you to buy chilled drinks to enjoy in the sunshine. But you can also take your own beverages into all areas of the site so you don’t have to pine for your favourite summer drinks whilst you’re there.
As the music starts two days after pretty much everyone arrives you get plenty of time to explore the other side of Glastonbury – its green and charitable credentials. Benches, buildings and bunting are largely made from recycled materials and they definitely encourage you to recycle your rubbish. The only advertising you’ll find is Oxfam and Greenpeace. But it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to brainwash you with a new way of life even in the Green Fields!
Here you’ll find holistic treatments, hand crafted goods, hippy sing-alongs, locally sourced drinks and delicious veggie meals.
Good food is one thing you can easily find all over the site. There are your usual fish, chips and burger vans, but there are also loads of independent vendors. You can imagine how happy I was to discover London’s favourite macaroni maker Anna Mae’s!
You definitely need to get fuel for the Pyramid Stage headliners. Getting a good spot, dancing and singing for the full set, amongst a crowd of 100,000 or so others requires a good bit of energy!
Mumford and Sons were my favourite of the three. But it was great to see rock legends The Rolling Stones, even if the sound was a bit iffy and I don’t know many of their songs.
If you thought the day ends there, I’m afraid you’d be wrong! The night is still young for many, you’ll find DJ sets at various bars, but you really need to see and experience Shangri La to believe it.
Fire throwing, beat boxing, theatrics, unusual bars and alternative entrances, alongside the weird, the wonderful and down right crazy. (Be warned it does get a little out of hand after 3am.)
Ooo wee a long post, but as you can see there’s so much to experience at Glastonbury Festival! I was surprised that after a second visit I find myself wondering if I can satisfy my festival cravings with just one more…
Have you experienced Glastonbury Festival? Did you love or loathe it? Would you kill for tickets to 2014?