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Glastonbury festival 2008

The weather is sweet – yeah

This year was different and special for us. After camping at the festival every time since 1995, this one we went to bed – a proper bed – every night in the comfort of our own home. We have just experienced Glastonbury from a locals’ perspective. And I tell you, when we saw all the people struggling and looking exhausted, hauling all their stuff in on the Wednesday and Thursday; I didn’t miss that one bit. Mind you, I didn’t particularly enjoy the long uphill walk to the car every evening.

So it felt a bit strange for me – especially for the first couple of days when I was stressing about the in-laws staying at our house and worrying we didn’t have enough towels unpacked or enough food in the fridge etc. But I soon settled in and despite the negative press, this year was definitely one of the best ever. It felt so much more chilled out and relaxed and you got the feeling that everyone was happy and having a really good time.

Whereas last year when there were more first-timers; this year the more experienced Glastonbury-goer came back. You could tell because everyone new about welly-rub and had long socks on! I still got the feeling though that Michael got his wish and there was an increase in younger people. But there was also a huge increase in the 45-60 age group and the under-tens. The Kidz Field was heaving – they need to move the showers and crew camping to give them more room next year.

I think the change in ages was due to the fact that people had longer to get their tickets; making a very sweeping generalisation: the middle-aged parent is less likely to want to be constantly on the phone and internet on a Sunday morning to make sure they got tickets; and students are not so good at saving, so never have the money ready when the tickets go on sale. Anyway, the slow ticket sales meant that the crowd were the real Glastonbury fans and the atmosphere was definitely an improvement on last year.

The line-up was pretty good I thought. they certainly booked the bands that did the rounds on Jonathon Ross, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and various other entertainment programmes on telly – names I recognised but couldn’t really name any songs if you asked me. The problem is, Britpop isn’t the popular music trend at the moment and big rock bands ask for too much money. So many festivals are around now, and the honour of playing Glastonbury, the mother of all festivals, seems to have gone. I’ll do little reviews of the bands I saw over the next few days.

Trash city did look good; loads of effort had gone into it, though I very much missed walking through the tipi field. The new one was too far out the way, so I never went there to see if the atmosphere was the same. The craft field was better than ever this year; as was the Greenpeace field, but the Green Futures field was disappointing – I felt the people were only there for the free ticket and somewhere to park up and weren’t really contributing much to the festival. Even the people I spoke to about wind and solar power couldn’t offer me any more advice than hand me a leaflet and my questions remain unanswered. Glad they moved the circus big top – it made much more sense in the new position; and they made the right call on getting rid of boghenge. There wasn’t much to see at Shangri-la during the day, and I get the impression it’s not the place for kids there at night, so I can’t comment on that new field – I never made it to Lost Vagueness anyway, so I couldn’t compare.

The garlic bread at The Garlic Kitchen wasn’t as nice as last year. The chocolate cakes and brownies in the stall at the back of the Jazz World Field are a dream – good job I can’t get them all year round or I would become very fat indeed. You really had to shop around at the food stalls this year – some places were charging £5 for a burger, while others were the usual £3.50. This makes all the difference when you’re feeding a family.

Clothes – not so many bargains this year – especially on the Sunday night, but I still came away with some gorgeous clothes. After attempting to shop in the big stalls run by the Indian guys (there are 4 or 5 around the site), I gave up. Please leave me alone when I am shopping – I don’t need someone following me around offering advice and telling me what I will fit into and what I won’t. Go away!! It’s frustrating because there are some reasonably priced nice clothes in those stalls, but I don’t dare go in them for fear of losing my temper and bashing one of those guys!

Discounting Thursday evening and Friday daytime (which weren’t even that bad) the weather was perfect: warm, but with cloud cover so we got a nice tan without getting burnt.

Very glad there were less landrovers along the roads – it was so much easier to get around.

Oh and I saw loads of famous people walking around this year: Mark Radcliffe, The whole of CSS (minus catsuit), Trevor Eve, Lauren Lavern, a guy from Grumpy Old Men, a guy I recognised but couldn’t place, and none other than Michael Eavis, who I stopped to talk to briefly before loads of other people wanted their photo taken with him.

So that is my review of Glastonbury 2008.

Events, Out and About,
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Writer, pyrographer, renovator, crafter, photographer and maker of bohemian clothing and costumes.

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