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

12 July 2013

A (part two of) Glastonbury tale

Happy Campers
As you can see, Saturday brought sunshine to our festival experience. The day didn't start until the afternoon as we had no real plans to see anyone before the evening. We spent the morning (after a late wake up - until Glastonbury I don't think I've ever slept in beyond 10am!) relaxing; reading our books, drinking tea (me, English Breakfast) and coffee (the boy, black) and listening to some music before hunger attacked us (ok me, always me) and we ventured in to find something for lunch.

Crowds gathering around a performance near the Big Top
It was BUSY. It seems with the sun now attending came EVERY Glasto attendee, milling about, enjoying what the day and festival had to offer. We walked in through the circus field, past the Big Top, where there were street (can I say street when there isn't one in sight?) performers/performances aplenty - music, dance, acrobatics (a trapeze!) and people on stilts (of course). Everyone seemed a lot more relaxed and carefree than the previous day; those who hadn't been before were now used to what being at Glasto was like and regulars were happily lapping up the sunshine-filled-festival-vibe (happy the rain, as of previous years, hadn't come to a head). We walked past stalls and stands offering activities such as face painting (and it seems many took them up on their offer!) and arts and crafts (I think I saw spoon-making?!) as well as campaigns highlighting situations and problems being faced in the outside world (Stop Hinkley, Water Aid, Oxfam and Greenpeace were all in attendance).

The aforementioned stilts!
Reminds me of the SATC episode in which Carrie tried this out. Anyone? Just me? Ok!
A pretty little touch
Festival etchings
We had a brief wander through Green Futures (how awesome is this water-sculpture-feature-doo-dah?!), me searching for a lemonade (you'll obviously be happy to know I found one, phew!), where people were sat in groups on the grass, surrounded by flag poles, happily chatting about their experiences so far and those they were excited to come. It created a lovely, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, one that the sun happily added to.

Shirts off, wellies on (what an odd combination!)
Walking through the tented area was a bit of a surreal experience. Not having to deal with it myself (and thus not having done so since Wednesday like everyone else there) I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief when I walked through each of the sites we came across. I applaud all of you who managed to last the time, I certainly can't imagine being able to do it. Lack of space, forever overflowing bins, stomping feet, loud (albeit happy) festival-goers and smelly (complete understatement!) loos? You all deserve a medal, especially as so many of you looked darn-it gorgeous despite the obstacles (hello, how bloody fabulous did Lisette look?!)

Tents for milessssss
Back up to the flagfield we went, armed with a beer and lemonade, ready to sit and enjoy the view with the sun on our faces. Although the sun was hot, the strong winds kept the temperature down, so I wrapped myself up in what I had to hand (I think a scarf, seems highly likely) to keep my body temperature up but my burn factor down!

People enjoying the sun on the flag field
Then came a sit in the stone circle, where we were greeted by a very old and very naked woman walking through (we bumped into her again on the last day and, shock horror, she was fully-clothed of all things!) and we had another relaxing time chatting about all things-festival and making plans for later, before heading off to get me something to eat (yes, I waited all that time!). 

Dancing, guitar playing and other I'm-sure-there's-no-need-to-mention activities were happening in the Stone Circle!
We walked via the Other stage and caught a wee-bit of Two Doors set. I've lost interest in them a little since we saw them back in February (they seemed disinterested in the audience and far too interested in providing a completely unnecessary light show) but it was nice to see lots of people enjoying themselves, singing along.

Two Door
Food we did get, and yet more drinks (oooo, one cider for me please - my only alcoholic beverage the ENTIRE time), and another wander was had before we needed to set up camp (ok, not really, we just had to walk over there and stand) at the Acoustic tent (which is massive!). 

I think this globe was in the Greenpeace field (correct me if I'm wrong), where they were talking about their latest campaign to save the Arctic, resplendent with fake snow (which lots of children were enjoying being covered in!).

Ah, right, the Bootleg Beatles. Obviously The Stones were headlining Saturday but neither of us are fans so we felt it wasn't necessary to head over to the Pyramid - we were happy to leave the space to be filled up by those looking forward to the experience! Instead we decided - well, I decided - to go watch The Beatles tribute act (said to be the best around). We'd seen one before (in Bangkok of all places and, yes, they were Thai!) and really enjoyed the experience so I thought it would be nice to indulge in another, maybe jog some memories.

Early Beatles
Of course, they wouldn't be to everyone's tastes, just like The Stones aren't to ours, but as Beatles fans we couldn't help but enjoy our sing-along experience. There was quite a big crowd in the end, all happily dancing, jumping and shouting out the words. The band were fantastic, happy to interact (all in Liverpudlian accents, of course!) and make a few funny remarks about the headliners!

Sergeant Pepper Beatles
They went through the years, starting (obviously) with the earlier stuff (reminds me of travelling through Europe in Eric, specifically in 2010 to a town in Germany. Oooo, Trier. See? Love that memories are jogged!), through 'Sergeant Pepper' Beatles to the 'Come Together' Beatles. The costumes were great, the music fantastic, and the whole experience really did make it feel like we were watching the real thing. I'd have to say that they were definitely a highlight of the festival for me. Hey, it's the closest I'll ever get, so I'll happily take it!

Closing out the set
Afterwards we made our way over to Shangri-La and spent a couple of hours sweating off our drinks - the boy his multiple beers and my one cider! (more about this area later!)

Helloooo crowds!
We awoke to more sunshine (happy days!) and a slightly busier Sunday schedule. Another (late) morning during which we spent yet more time reading and relaxing. In fact, we were so relaxed we missed Rufus Wainwright (although typically because we'd got confused with times!). We made our way in at about 3ish and went straight over to West Holts to pick up some food (the boy had seen a stall the night before selling a veggie Thai-dish he liked the sound of). The sun was hot hot hot at this point, so we decided to just sit on the grass and bathe in it whilst eating (not sure when we'd be able to enjoy it again!), listening to the music playing and preparing ourselves (ok, just me then!) for the couple of acts ahead.

Enjoying his spring-rolls (I had somehow come away with a salad. What even is that?!)
Before making our way over to the Other stage we had another walk through Green Futures and into the Healing field, which we hadn't yet visited. It offers massages, yoga, meditation, quiet areas, different circles for different types of healing sessions, homoeopathy and so on and so forth. I was quite tempted by a massage but decided in the end it probably wouldn't be worth it as I had hours of jumping ahead of me so I'd just get tangled up in knots again!

The Healing Field 
Back to music! The boy is a huge fan of Editors (older stuff mainly) so it was a-given we'd go and watch them. Now I know NOTHING of their music so it was little bit odd for me, standing near the front, next to crazy-ass fans singing their heads off, looking like some sort of swaying loser! Still, it was fun to watch the boy enjoying himself (it would have been even more so if, as always, I didn't attract those who love moshing. Mosh-pits. Why do they exist? WHY? They always drain the happiness from my experience. I, of course, managed to be elbowed in the nose and kicked in the shin before I managed to back away. Thank you annoying men!).

I'm so happy this wonderful campaign - 'I need feminism because...' - made it's way to the big screens of Glastonbury. It's a fantastic project that was started by a Cambridge University student, who has since battled through despite hoards of nasty backlash to raise awareness of said campaign. If you haven't read her story, make sure you do here.

This sign reads 'I NEED FEMINISM BECAUSE Page 3 still exists'
Next up were Smashing Pumpkins. I realise I'm probably not your most obvious fan but I do love me some 90s Pumpkin. Unfortunately the boy and I got separated, due to yet another moshing sesh, and he ended up making his way to the barrier by the end of their set. It was really nice to see young and older generations come together to enjoy their music - the most diverse crowd I had witnessed the whole time at Glasto.

After food and another flagfield visit, to 'enjoy' the headliners from afar, we made our way over for our second trip to Shangri-La, boasting places such as Hell, The Seven Circles of Hell (hmm, theme?) and Heaven (ah ok, maybe not!). It's also situation alongside another area, Block 9. This was awesome and it's a shame I didn't get any pics. They'd erected a ruined tower block with a tube-train bursting through it, plus the NYC Downlow, a hotel used as a bar. Such amazing effort! 

Last time we ventured into underground territory in Shangri La but this time we decided to stay outside and watch the beatboxing on Shangri Hell, before spending time in a few different dance tents. These areas of Glasto are absolute must-see's; it's such a fantastic idea to have a separate corner that can come alive, properly, at night-time.

Pretty self-explanatory!
Check out this creepy area. Buildings with eyes that blow smoke rings (the building, not the eyes), larger-than-life dolls (hairless, limbless, eyeless - all the less's), side-show acts (one of those 'show off your strength' things, where you hit something with a mallet and it springs up and tries to hit the target at the top? Hopefully that makes sense!) and lots of games and activities meant for you to lose your money and them to gain (a lot of) it! 

I was tempted to get a tea from this fantastic 'Down The Rabbit Hole' tent but managed to stop myself out of the fear that I'd be showing my age!

Ready to go back, and indeed walking towards our exit, we 'stumbled' across Arcadia, a monstrously-sized spider hosting dj's, acrobatics and lazer-light shows aplenty. It really is something that needs to be seen to be believed, in all it's flame-throwing glory!

Arcadia (on the DL)
I won't keep you much longer (I promise) so here is a summary of our last day:

The clouds appeared, although the sun still made an occasional appearance, making it a little easier for those packing up stuff.
We had another flag field view-admiring session (there it is!) before walking through the Stone Circle (which was heaving, obviously these are those Glasto-hardcores you hear about, living it up 'til the very last minute!) and meeting the stone dragon!
We ate lunch (yet another veggie burger, too many to count) and watched the festival being taken apart (stage/tent/stall dismantling).
The boy sat outside enjoying the last few minutes of Glasto in Eric before we joined the queue home, the journey of which took 8 hours (and the less said about that the better!).

At last, the view!
Taking their time!
The hidden dragon
A rather large tree-man
The boy and his Eric
Little did we know.....
And there we have it! Well done, and thank you, for lasting the distance!

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