A GLASTONBURY VIRGIN’S DIARY

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Wednesday 21st June 2017

08:03am
I am waiting for the bus. My tent bag won’t zip up (they never do after you’ve opened them once), I have a rucksack the size of Liechtenstein, and the bag with the booze is so heavy that I think I’ll lose my fingers. Optimistic.

8:50am
Made the train just on time. And to add to that, they’ve sat me in first class. The universe must be giving back to me. Lord knows why. I’m a bit of a knob.

9:05am
The woman in the seat in front of me keeps rubber necking to check if her bag’s still there. She just turned to her friend and said, ‘If you see anyone pick up my bag and take it, you let me know’. Sweetheart, you’re a white woman with cornrows and dreads, no one wants your incense and ponchos.

9:44am
Turns out the same woman has a laugh that sounds like a goat fucking a jackhammer. Not a criticism. Just an observation.

1:05pm
Been queueing for a bus to the site for 2 hours in temperatures that make me think there’s been a tectonic shift and we’re now in The Gambia. I have sweat enough for Michael Phelps to do the 100m in.

1:10pm
The coach I’ve loaded my bags onto has an air conditioning unit on top. Result!

1:15pm
The air con is so weak it’s like having Nelson Mandela breathing his last breath onto you.

1:32pm
The coach has broken down.

1:45pm
They’re sending another coach, apparently. I feel like a damsel in distress but I’m more like a lad in limbo.

1:55pm
The replacement has arrived. It has stronger air con which is a blessing, but our bags all remain on the stricken coach. I feel like I’m watching the Titanic sink from a first class lifeboat.

‘Well I’ll be God damned.’

4:12pm
The tent is finally erected (giggidy). I have had to reapply suncream as I’m now already 50 shades of red. Just been informed that the showers are a 30 minute walk away. I’d rather smell.

5:00pm
Had a walk around the various shops and food stalls. Got myself an advertised “cold cider” that was luke warm at best.

5:20pm
Just seen a nude lady hula hooping. She looked quite sweet and innocent, like a Dr Suess Who from Whoville. Her tits were here, her tits were there, her tits were almost everywhere.

5:40pm
The sun has gone behind a cloud and I feel human again. Shame I look like a sun dried tomato.

7:00pm
The search for food has begun. Camping trips as a child were more like Bear Grylls: Extreme Survival, so this is a breeze. There was no hog roast in sight when you were having to skin a rabbit for dinner. But the choice is abundant and it all smells amazing! Went for a pork and stuffing baguette.

9:15pm
Sat back at the tent for a “tinny” (can to you, I, and other normal people) of cider. It’s been in the sun all day so it tastes like mulled wine, but at this point I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick.

10:45pm
Went to see the fireworks, and then was asked if I want to walk another 20 minutes away from the tent to watch a wooden dragon get set fire to. I chose to go back and sleep, but not before paying £2.50 for a small bottle of water. Turns out I did see something go up in flames tonight; my finances.

Thursday 22nd June 2017

8:35am
It’s now 13 degrees cooler than it was yesterday and I’m in heaven. I went to use the toilets for the first time. There’s nothing like standing in a queue of strangers holding a toilet roll in one hand, and a cup of compost in the other, to remind you where you are in the pecking order.

8:49am
Just had a Nature Valley cereal bar. Every drop of moisture in my body has been absorbed into it.

11:21am
Bought myself a camping chair. Feeling like a god amongst men.

1:12pm
Walked up to the Glastonbury sign. I was not informed there were hills in Somerset. One woman summed it up perfectly,

‘If I’m not 6 stone now, it’s all a lie.’

1:18pm
My friend just picked up a bottle of yellowish liquid and sniffed it to see if it’s cider or piss.

It’s piss.

1:47pm
Just used a septic tank toilet and mid pee saw a turd from the person opposite dropping into the water. Magical.

3:17pm
Ultimate Power have taken to the Williams Green stage. I am a sucker for a power ballad and am having a ball. Some lad is helicoptering his penis to the tune of Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love.

I won’t do that.

5:05pm
The Smyths are now on but we can’t get into the tent. Listened to as much as we can from outside (they sound great). No other stages are open so everyone has flocked here like moths to a flame. Heading to our tent for a drink instead.

6:31pm
Listening to Celine Dion It’s All Coming Back To Me Now back at the tent. I feel that this song will be Monday’s anthem after all the drinking is over.

9:15pm
Everything Everything have stepped out to do a set. Again, we can’t make it into the tent so are having a mango vodka/coca cola mix outside. It’s as vile as it sounds. But the band sound fabulous.

11:10pm
Brass band cleverly titled Old Dirty Brasstards have started their set. We have managed to get into the tent finally. The man dancing next to me, although enthusiastic, has elbowed me in the face twice now. But all is forgiven when he reacts just as happily as I do to the band playing Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac.

12:45am
Desperately trying to get through Silver Hayes to get to sleep. It’s utter chaos. I feel like I’m in the first 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.

Friday 23rd June 2017

11:17am
Got up earlier than I’d care to, had a bacon sandwich, and now watching Haçienda Classiçal on the Pyramid Stage. There’s just been a minutes silence for Manchester and London and now they have started playing Blue Monday, being sung by Peter Hook. So many goosebumps. They sound immense!

11:30
They’re now playing Ride on Time and the brass sounds incredible. I think after last night and this morning I’ve realised I’m a big fan of brass. The instruments, not those tacky boot ornaments your grandmother has above her fireplace.

1:45pm
Blossoms have taken to the stage. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who they were. They are getting an amazing reception here, though. They all dress a bit like Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen.

2:45pm
First Aid Kit are killing it on the Pyramid Stage. They are among who I’ve been looking forward to from when the festival line up was announced. Their harmonies are even more incredible live. Emmylou is a definite highlight.

4:45pm
Glass Animals are on the Other Stage but I’m focusing more on my fish and chips than on them. Have you ever tried to eat a full battered fish with a wooden chip fork? I feel like it should be a challenge on the new Crystal Maze.

7:45pm
At the John Peel stage and Future Islands are playing. I’m dancing like I’m on fire and am desperately trying to put myself out. When they play Spirit, mine leaves my body. I saw them in Brighton a month or so ago and they are just as good, if not better.

9:30pm
Radiohead are headlining. Not my cup of tea.

10:00pm
Gave Radiohead a chance. Going in search of something else.

10:25pm
Found myself at the Acoustic Stage watching Status Quo. It’s really folky, and I’m having a ball dancing around. Makes me feel like I’m in steerage on the Titanic. Am I making too many Titanic references?

11:30pm
Made it back to Radiohead to meet my friends before the crowds disperse and make it impossible. Heard them play Creep and actually really enjoyed it.

11:50pm
The others (my friends, not the people from Lost) are off to Club de Fromage. Im off to bed. Bore, I know.

Saturday 24th June 2017

9:30am
It’s rained all night. And much like the soil, I am gagging for a shower. Washed my extremities with a few baby wipes. Doesn’t have the same fresh feeling effect. Now I know why babies are always crying.

11:00am
Bootleg Beatles are on. I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like The Beatles, but I have now discovered that I like the song Hello, Goodbye. I can now safely set foot in Liverpool.

1:49am
Just used a compost toilet again. It feels like a luxury after the long drop yesterday.

3:00pm
Craig David has attracted huge masses to the Pyramid Stage. He has sung No Scrubs which is only reminding me that I haven’t showered for 3 days now.

4:00pm
Jeremy Corbyn has been introduced by Michael Eavis. His speech is empowering and passionate, but he’s dressed like it’s laundry day.

4:40pm
Ran to meet my friends at the Avalon stage and just caught Busted singing Year 3000. Though the line “And your great, great, great granddaughter is pretty fine” has made me think of the maths. The song was released in 2003. Let’s assume the person whose granddaughter it is is only 25 or so. They could then feasibly have a child 5 years later. So that brings us to the year 2008. Then that child would grow up and have a daughter. So that’s the initial person’s granddaughter. It’s now 2038. So then let’s say we need 3 more generations and that’s 90 years. Let’s make it 115 years to be fair. That means that realistically her great, great, great granddaughter would live around the year 2153, not 3000. That’s just lazy songwriting. Carol Vorderman wouldn’t make that mistake.

5:50pm
Waiting for Katy Perry. They’re testing her microphone. Lord knows why. She won’t be using it. They’re also faffing around polishing a door on stage that she’ll likely only walk through once.

7:00pm
Okay, I take it back and she was great. I haven’t had a sing-a-long like that in years. Her voice was good, and she had so much spirit! She awkwardly tried to get the crowd excited by saying that it didn’t rain today when it did. She also called out someone stood next to ‘That big blue flag with the X on it’.

It’s a Scottish flag.

22:20pm
The Jacksons are giving me life. They have old showmanship down, and know how to excite a crowd. Tito has played a song off his new album, and it’s actually really good. It’s 8 years to the day since Michael died and they sung a little tribute to him which was quite sweet. The girl in front of me keeps swinging a bag of wine over her head and it’s nearly hit me a few times. I kinda want it to. I’m thirsty but don’t want to lose my spot.

12:00am
Being told I have to go to the Southeast Corner. It has barriers to get in and big crowds trying to get through. It’s like the tube except it smells like cow shit. Turns out the Southeast corner is just a big theme park style club. There’s an area that looks like a dystopian future, an Aztec area, a fairground, and my now personal favourite, Glasto Latino. I have not danced so much in my entire life. Turns out I now know that I like brass, and Latin music.

1:00am
Headed up to Arcadia, which is essentially a giant mechanic spider that shoots fire and has a DJ inside that plays late 90’s club music. There’s a guy dancing next to me with glow sticks up his nose. Less Charlotte’s Web, more Charlotte’s Pleb.

1:45am
Got Chinese food on the way back to the tent. Got the wrong change back so it only cost me £4. Result!

Sunday 25th June 2017

11:00am
Up later than I’d hoped after last nights shenanigans. The tent is so warm, I feel like one of those chickens that you cook in a bag.

1:30pm
All weekend I have wanted some churros, and I have finally bought some. They’re everything I dreamed they be. Except that they were £5; bloody daylight robbery.

2:00pm
Watching Dropkick Murphys on the Other Stage. They’re kind of angry, musical pirates. Really enjoying it, though. Been told to find a Scottish flag as some friends are waiting under it. Good thing I’m not meeting Katy Perry there.

4:17pm
Barry Gibb is making magic on the Pyramid Stage. Every time the crowd cheer he looks genuinely overwhelmed and says, “I haven’t seen an audience in months”. I actually have tears in my eyes. He opens with a few classics and then plays Spic and Spec, which is now my new favourite Bee Gees song. He ends on Tragedy, and most people are doing the Steps dance routine. My friend’s input at the end of the set,

“He looks a bit like Billy Connolly, doesn’t he?”.

5:30pm
Apparently The Killers are about to do a secret set at John Peel. We’ve trekked up there and it’s packed and they’re not letting anyone else in. Because I’m crafty, I get BBC Live up on my phone to see who it is. Turns out it is The Killers but there’s more chance of Kim Jong Un making a guest appearance in The Big Bang Theory than us getting in.

5:50pm
We made it to the Pyramid just in time for Chic, and I’m so glad we did. They are immense, and the sun has come out from behind the clouds to greet them. Nile Rodgers has just told a heartwarming story about him beating cancer, and the crowd roar and cheer for him.

7:30pm
Goldfrapp are late on stage due to a “problem with an instrument”. If I had a fiver for every time a guy arrived late because of a problem with his instrument. But eventually they make it onto the stage and play the perfect set. Though truth be told, I thought that Kylie Minogue sang Strict Machine.

8:50pm
London Grammar have swiftly made it onto the stage only 20 minutes late or so. Hannah Reid’s voice is stunning and has people in the audience in tears (including my tipsy boyfriend). You know you’re meant to be if you can correct your boyfriend’s make up after he’s cried at a music set.

10:00pm
We didn’t intend to watch Ed Sheeran but are now stuck in the middle of his crowd while trying to get to the other side of the festival site. There are so many people here, it’s actually crazy. For a Sheeran fan I’m sure it’s the perfect set, but for me, I just don’t get it. I can see Arcadia shooting flames in the background and I’m wishing I was there.

11:45pm
Back at the tent and ready for bed. What a weekend! For anyone thinking of going to Glastonbury I would say you have to. Even if you don’t like the headliners there is always something else on. I mean, I only saw one headliner this weekend and even that was by accident. The vibe from everyone is one of optimism and excitement. The food is great, and as long as you bring your own booze you can get merry daily, and not spend a fortune.

I just can’t wait to sleep in a bed again and have a shower. Or two. Or three.

See you in 2019, Worthy Farm.

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