I had never been to a music festival until this year. It was on the List. The List that I wrote back in January of things I wanted to achieve, places I wanted to visit and experiences I wanted to have. Glastonbury Festival was on it. My friend called me 10 days before the festival to say he had a spare ticket, did I want to go with him? Hell yeah! Is it on your vision board? He asked me. No but its on the List! After saying yes I had 10 days to prepare myself and get together what I needed. I googled for tips and ideas.
( If you are squeamish and don’t want to read about blood or periods then skip this paragraph) I realised I was going to have my period that weekend and started googling having your period at festivals. I had heard so much about the toilets and how they weren’t particularly pleasant, so the last thing I wanted to do was to spend more time in the toilets than I needed to. I have a mooncup so tried using that before I went. Nightmare. You need to practise using this for probably several months before going rather than a day. The bathroom resembled a scene from a horror movie after I tried to empty it one morning. That’s not going to work. I then spent nearly a whole day reading and reviewing period pants. I eventually ordered some to be delivered next day delivery. I can sometimes be a bit last minute! They didn’t arrive on the Thursday and I left on the Friday. I ended up doing a last minute supermarket dash stocking up on tampons, pads and panty liners. None of which are green or environmentally friendly. However, I knew what I was doing and could change them in the dark if need be. In the end it wasn’t as big a deal as I had thought it would be
Non squeamish people you can resume reading here. Bag packed and drove down to Glastonbury. When you park take note of any flags and numbers nearby. I took a photo of where I parked my car which was actually extremely handy. Now bear in mind you might have a bit of a walk to where you are camping. It took me an hour from where my car was to reach the tent. Take a trolley or wheely device to carry the heavier stuff. When I arrived it was 28 degrees and by the time I got to the tent I had a thumping dehydration headache. Decide who you would like to see before you get there. The time it takes to get between stages can take up to half an hour or more. You also need to take into account waiting times at the bar, eating, sitting and enjoying some of the therapies on offer in the Healing Fields.
Go with the flow. I have no qualms about going anywhere by myself. I was lying in the tent one morning and I heard a lady say that she had missed going to see a band that she loved because she didn’t want to go by herself. This is YOUR festival and YOUR experience. Don’t stay with your friends if it means you miss seeing one of your all time favourite bands. I wanted to see the Killers and my friend wanted to see the Chemical Brothers so we went our separate ways and both had a blast! I got chatting to a chap next to me and we went for drinks afterwards. My friend got chatting and went out afterwards too. Neither one of us came back and said how gutted we were that the other one wasn’t there.
Be open to new bands and artists. I had never heard of Stormzy ( What? I hear you cry) I live in my own bubble at times. I saw him and thought he was amazing! A grime artist ( I didn’t know what that was either!), an entertainer, 25, on the Main stage at Glastonbury, bringing black ballet in front of thousands, and giving shout outs to upcoming artists that he personally knows, oh and showing huge gratitude, a belief in God and singing about it. For me it showed true authenticity! Lizzo was another artist that I had heard of but never heard before. We were three rows from the front. Onto the stage came this lady with such force, energy and presence. Wearing a bright purple sequin leotard with an extremely high leg line, this amazing hair and owning the stage. Another artist who expressed huge gratitude. She had been to Glastonbury a few years before and 2 people had turned up to watch them and this year she was performing in front of maybe 30000 people? She is a lady about body positivity and self love. She had the whole audience telling themselves, “I love me. I am beautiful” then turning to our neighbours and telling them the same. A lady with a global message of love. Her authenticity and gratitude shined through. Prior to Lizzo coming on the stage was Slowthai, a white rapper from Northampton, 24. During this whole festival one thing I learnt is that I have no idea how to dance to rap or grime so I seemed to spend a lot of time bouncing and doing some sort of bobbing. I saw my first mosh pit via the screen. My friends actually wanted me to participate in one and thought it would be fun. I preferred to watch on the big screen. At 24 to be playing at Glastonbury, I think is awesome and hats off to him. From my personal point of view, he seemed to be channelling anger in a very constructive way, which I think makes him a great role model for our younger generation. ( I feel so old writing that but it is how I feel) I also just saw a tweet from him that said. ” See you on the Pyramid Stage next year” Love it! Aim for the skies.
Overall for me, watching these artists, Glastonbury is more than just the music. It’s about ambition, drive, determination to succeed, having that dream, authenticity, love and gratitude. Immense gratitude for their journey. I wish them all well and am so grateful that I got to see them all live.
Finally I am going to leave you with my top tips for enjoying the Glastonbury experience
- Take a reuseable water bottle and stay hydrated
- Compostable toilets are cleaner and smell better than the longdrops, they are the way forward!
- Longdrops are green toilet cubicles scattered around the site. Take your own toilet roll.
- Suncream, hats, wellies AND comfortable footwear are a must
- You can take your own alcohol onto the site which saves you money, but no glass bottles
- A sleeping bag and a self inflated mat with a blanket on top kept me warm enough at night
- Some places only take cash. There are cash machines on site but they do charge so take some cash too
- You can volunteer there which means you get to camp, take showers and eat meals in exchange for working in various areas
- Be prepared for a long walk to the car
- Take your own bin bags
- Enjoy the experience!
YouTube link for Stormzy https://youtu.be/DxsjQ967kV8
YouTube link for Lizzo https://youtu.be/R9CTs1NsZRI ( If you are offended by strong language don’t watch)
YouTube link for Slowthai https://youtu.be/qXjfng3TRi0 ( This video contains explicit language)
I would love to hear your thoughts on Glastonbury Festivals, your experiences and what you thought of the music this year