A (part one of) Glastonbury tale | tori's tales: A (part one of) Glastonbury tale

8 July 2013

A (part one of) Glastonbury tale

The morning of Thursday 27th rolled around and, after getting the last of my bits together, off we set for Glastonbury. The drive was quite a beauty and the only problem we were ‘plagued with’ was the endless supply of stunning views which, on occasion, managed to distract the boy! 

Rolling hills, quaint villages and pretty buildings are the stuff countryside-drive-dreams are made of!
We, unfortunately, took a wrong turn at the last minute after deciding to stop following the directions we had and instead start following signposts to 'Glastonbury'. Rookie mistake - we ended up driving into the village, the opposite way we needed to go to the festival (silly people!). 

Eventually we made it back onto the correct course, although we entered the festival on the opposite side to the one we needed to be on, which meant following signs right around the outside of Glasto (a 20+ minute journey, it’s a big ‘ole area!) to our gate. However, we made it within 3 hours (which I thought was pretty good going considering we took the scenic route!) and the entering/Eric-checking (a lady came on board to have a nose-around and a peek in our cupboards!) went off without a hitch!

The drive in, ready to be searched!
After a couple of hours relaxing (the boy needed to after the drive) and tea-drinking (you’d expect nothing less, surely?) we made our way into the festival-proper. Eric was parked about 15 minutes away from an entrance (the perils of driving your own home to the festival, we can’t have it both ways!) but the walk ‘in’ was fine and there was no queueing for wristband-getting (annoyingly we still had to keep hold of our ticket to enter and exit the festival every time we went in and out, as well as a ‘passout’ ticket. All needlessly fussy - I suggest taking a leaf out of Hop Farm or Reading/Leeds book, Glasto!).

First off we made our way over to the flag-field for a view over the festival (a sunny photo from another day is being saved for part 2!). The photo below is pretty much the only one in which you'll see a 'festival outfit' from myself. I have no full-length photos mainly due to my looking incredibly dowdy and dull throughout! Not one for accessories, or shorts, or daytime glitter/sequins, I went for simple, easy to thrown on-and-off pieces (this top and pinafore combo was the most 'jazzed up' outfit I wore the whole time), mainly because it had to be something I'd be able to wear from dusk till dawn (slight exaggeration, but there was no going back to the motorhome for us once we were in due to the almighty trek - and hill - involved!).

Sat in the flagfield!
Wristband action (and yes, I've still got it on!)
We spent about half an hour watching over everyone before the rain started (and ceased to stop!) which lead to us moving on for a wander round the site. We watched tenters come in and look for somewhere to pitch (this went on well into the weekend, and we both felt sorrier and sorrier for those who were unable to turn up on the Wednesday to pitch somewhere decent). I got my first look at the Pyramid stage, before the crowds gathered, and an idea of what Glasto offers beyond music (which is a great deal). We had an amble through the kids village (I’ve forgotten the actual terminology, but I'm sure that’s clear enough!), full of colourful decorations, before ending up in Pilton Palais (the cinema tent) to shield ourselves from the incessant downpours! We came in about halfway through Beasts of The Southern Wild, which I had heard about but had no actual knowledge of, and I still don’t really know what the heck happened in it, but it was an interesting tent to experience.

Everyone settling in on miserable Thursday
Awesomely-painted teepees
The kids festival-y-festooned area
The boy liked this sign!
After the film we walked back to Eric, where the boy snoozed and I read. A few hours down the line and 10pm appeared, alongside grumbling bellies, so we braved the rain for dinner (a veggie burger - I wish I’d taken note of the name of the company because the boy ended up returning 5 times!) and a look at what Thursday evening could offer us. We made our way over to the dance village, partook in a little band-viewing (I think they were called Metals?) in La Pussy Parlure Nouveau (oh haiii mouthful!) before watching mountains of people having a boogie in the silent disco held in Silver Hayes (and a dance in front of the lit-up blocks seen below!) before calling it a night and heading back to Eric and our most-welcomed bed!

Getting their blue-blocks-boogie on!
Friday morning brought with it better weather (although I’d woken up in the middle of the night thanks to rain and boy did I curse - not one for mud, me!) - i.e. grey and no rain - and we prepared ourselves for a long day, me with a bowl of cornflakes (I was ‘on holiday’, it’s a tradition!) and the boy with a banana and some pineapple (I know, WHAT?!) before heading out into the Thursday-created mud-curdled fields.

Morning contemplation

Cornflakes (always) for the win!
Putting our wellies to good use
John Peel was our first stop, to see Swim Deep (who we are aware of thanks to them supporting Two Door at Rock City in town), who I bloody loved. There’s something so 90s-retro-sunshiney about them that they can’t help but bring a smile to my face and rhythm to my feet! The girls stood in front of me looked about 13 and didn't seem to have a clue what was going on. I can't imagine my first gig being Glasto!

The Swim Deep boys in action
Enjoying some sunshine....
....so off came my wellies!
Dog is Dead and some rather (un) fetching guy-dungarees!
Next up was Dog is Dead (a local band) who we’d miss seeing in town a couple of months ago (yes, we were lazy!). We decided to sit outside for that one, as the sun had reared it’s most-welcomed head and we fancied ray-bathing! They had a fantastically fun and enthusiastic fan-filled-crowd and I enjoyed listening to them and being able to sing along! The photo above was of their last performance of the set; we shuffled back in to soak up the atmosphere before moving on to the Park stage. 

With time to spare I decided then was the perfect time to fill my belly (the boy seems to have supernatural powers when it comes to food and is able to last hours off the most minute amount). I went for a cheese toastie and tea. Yup, not very original, but it hit the spot rather nicely!

The Tea and Toast stall I grabbed lunch from
Noticing the stage area was pretty empty we ended up getting a spot up against the barrier (methinks Jake Bugg on Pyramid at the same time may have had something to do with it!) and parked our bums up against it, ready for King Krule. He wasn't my first choice (that would be Jake) but the boy was really looking forward to seeing him and I couldn't say no! I have no idea how to describe his music - look up his set to suss it out for yourself - but he is a surprise; I never expect that voice to come out of that mouth.

Relaxing against the barrier!
King Krule in all his odd-shirted glory (the band wore matching shirts in different colours!)
I had a good nosey at the set myself and who did I spy? Yup, there we be, oh so casual, with hands draped over the barrier. SO nonchalant (it's an every day occurrence, this front row malarky, didn't you know?

Image courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01c301k/Glastonbury_2013_King_Krule_Glastonbury_2013/
With no solid plans for the rest of the day we aimed for the Other stage (which ended up being our most-frequented) and Tame Impala (who were bloody-trippy-fantastic, all 70s and 60s twirly beats - I'm sure you've all probably heard Elephant before - I had, but without realising who it was by) although not before catching a little bit of The Lumineers (yes, I admit it, I was there for Ho Hey. And they did play it. And fun was had for about 2 minutes and then that was that).

Mumford....oh wait, no, The Lumineers (oi, cheeky!)
Not sure where the boy thought the camera was!
Kooky-cool Tame Impala
It drizzled - I'm guessing we didn't have our hoods up for fun! - whilst we were there but had disappeared by the time we’d arrived at the pyramid HOURS early for Arctic Monkeys (not The). Dizzee Rascal was, well, Dizzee Rascal (seriously man, can you not form one sentence without an accompanying swear-word?) and we had fun dancing along to the last hour in the crowds.

Dizzee Rascal - you'll just have to imagine what he looked like on stage!
This is when things went a little pear-shaped. I had NO idea what we’d have to get through to get into the barrier area of the crowd so wasn't prepared for the absolutely mental crush of people that happened on our way through from the main section. Although we did eventually make it in, the time spend jostling in-amongst various pressed-together bodies left me feeling more than a little overwhelmed and I became worried about what would happen when AM started. As this was the case, I had a bit of a tizz, and decided to leave (meet-up area well and truly sorted) and find myself somewhere a little more Tori-friendly to enjoy them. 

This decision, however, was my biggest regret of the festival - I couldn't relax by myself, nor could I find a decent enough spot to view the set from. Also, as I wasn't surrounded by fans (knowing the words to I Bet You...and Fluorescent Adolescent does not an Arctic Monkeys fan make), I felt a little odd-one-out-y shouting along to every song. People actually seemed a little bewildered by me doing so! The boy ended up having a spot on the barrier, although he didn't enjoy himself as much as he hoped because he is, lets call it, a JUMPER, and it seems the rest of the crowd were happy just to nod along. Nothing wrong with that, I myself on occasion am happy to do exactly the same, but I think we were both expecting a little more life to the crowd. Of course, I know now that festival goers are a varied sort, and it doesn't mean that just because someone is at the front of the crowd they are massive fans - some are there because they love to be at the front and immerse themselves in the atmosphere (lesson learnt!).

Despite all this, Arctic Monkeys were undoubtedly fantastic (out came drunk Alex with his ever-so-strange hybrid drawl) and I enjoyed the set they put together. I'm also happy to report we are off to see them again this October in Earls Court - the boy has never been and we thought we'd get in one gig there together before it gets demolished.

Alex, U R MINE. (fullstop, no question asked).

Note - not just Arctic Monkeys initials but the name of their new album!
If you've made it through this instalment than a) congratulations on the willpower and b) thank you very much!

Be sure to check back for part 2!


  1. Tori this sounds amazing. Glasto 2008 was my first festival and I absolutely loved it - can't wait to read part two!

    Efia @ Effy Talks Life


    1. Awwww, thank you Effy! I'm happy to know you are looking forward to the next installment :D And wow, 2008! I've only ever been to one other, for one day, and that was Hop Farm in 2011! xx

  2. This all looks like so much fun! Ive never been to anything like this, I cant wait to see more!

    1. Thanks Chelsea, stay tuned for part 2 soon! Is there any festivals (day or so forth) held near/where you live in the US?! People tend to travel from all over the UK for Glastonbury but I imagine that's not the case in America, it's a bit too big!!

  3. Great photographs :)

    Looks like you had an amazing time!


    1. So pleased you like the photos Laura, thanks! :) Yup, it was pretty fab, although still suffering from a cold I've had since we left!!

  4. Aw I just did a post about my Glasto too... I heard the arctic monkeys was ridiculous to the point of not being fun at the front. I went with a sound engineer friend though so he insisted we stood in some kind of strange place where it was apparently the optimum speaker sound crossover area thing. Haha! Glad you had a good time, I can't wait for next year. x



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