Guest Post: 7 Reasons Why Glastonbury Rocks
Last week we had Luke Glassford on the 7 Reasons sofa suggesting Glastonbury wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. At the end of his piece you may remember that he said he was looking forward to the counter-argument. This week we have it. Stepping up to the plate and batting for the other side (you know what I mean) is Adam Robinson. And here are his seven reasons why, actually, Glastonbury rocks your socks off.
1. One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Junk. Don’t worry about litter or what to do with those ironically named disposable barbecues. When the festival ends, the farm opens its gates again for more partying but there is no music. They are here; armed with refuse sacks and a whole lot of enthusiasm, to clean the place up, field by field. They are like a swarm of bees. Nay, they are like vultures feasting on the dying embers of the planets greatest party. But, to their credit, they leave no trace and they depart with a smile on their face. Their reward is the right to keep anything of perceived value that they find. Oh, and don’t pre-judge what might be of value. I saw a smiley chap skipping around trying to make a kite out of an abandoned tent. I think he was trying to fly home.
2. New Appreciation. As you anticipate the headline set from ‘that band’ that they spoke about on Radio 1, you leave the Pyramid Stage with all its colourful flags and TV cameras. You have an hour to kill and your nomadic instinct brings you to the Other Stage. You know that band that your sister likes? Well, they are five minutes into their set and they seem to have a certain presence. You see, Glastonbury is a place for great live music. You may not like their album. You may even ridicule your sister. But today you learned that a band that has a great live act is, well, great live. More discoveries await. You might pass on that headline act. They’re not even that good live.
3. Play It Again. Such is the draw of Glastonbury and all the kudos that goes with it that popular artists of yesteryear tend to make a rare appearance. Sure, it wasn’t the complete original line-up of Kool and the Gang this year but the surviving members have still got it and quite frankly, that’s not even important. The fact is, the younger audience will not have had a chance to see them before (or even heard of them) and the older audience might not have imagined they’d see them again. We are privileged. They may not be making a comeback and they may not have a one-off reunion concert planned at Wembley. But this is Glastonbury. How could they possibly refuse?
4. Toilets. That’s right. They stink and you have to queue for ages for the experience. But let’s face it; everybody has a memorable Glastonbury portaloo moment or a funny story to tell. I know I’ve got a few. Some too grim to share, some so funny I just love it when people say ‘so, how were the toilets?’ I get to tell them of the time when the smartass security meatheads drove over the pressurised toilet sucky pipey thingy thus covering their precious Land Rover in human ……er… poo. They deserved it and I laughed (and sneezed) for days. Glastonbury is about memories and I’ve got plenty that wouldn’t look out of place in a ‘Jackass’ movie.
5. Keep Your Eyes Peeled, They Won’t Just Be On Stage. The artists have come to have fun too. Why should they miss out? The most eagle eyed BBC cameraman will catch a fair amount of off duty singers and other such A-listers bopping around, singing along to their favourite bands. But, if you dig a little deeper, away from all the action for just a while, you might get to experience some real treats. The Banyan Tree, for instance, is a tent not much bigger than my living room. It wasn’t unusual, however, to witness the keyboard player from Death in Vegas jamming with an unsigned band before a crowd of about 25 people the night before his own set.
6. The Glade And Other Such Spin-Offs. Glastonbury Festival wouldn’t be such a global phenomenon if it didn’t promote diversity. It’s not all about hippies. Take The Glade for instance. So popular, it now has its own festival, thanks, in no small part, to its uniqueness. Okay, so you may have strolled past the Dance Tent and realised that there’s even a place for thumping bass bins and DJ’s at Glastonbury. But The Glade wouldn’t look out of place on a Star Wars set. Is it a field? Is it a tent? No, it’s a small, illuminated forest and the DJ’s ply their trade from the safety of a tree house. As you stomp around with the other druids whilst listening to Aphex Twin, you might actually feel like you have landed on Endor except there aren’t scary little creatures making funny noises. Wait, we’re listening to Aphex Twin.
7. The People. People come to enjoy themselves but not at the expense of others. Sure, there are big crowds but there’s no pushing and shoving and if you bump into someone, the chances are they’ll turn round and apologise to you. It’s like one big Glastonbury family sharing one special experience. If your ears need a break and you want to chill out, why spend half an hour looking for your tent when you can go and visit the Stone Circle or the Healing Fields. It’s peaceful there, man.