It’s not Glastonbury without a bit of mud, and this year there was plenty of it.
Last year, after one major downpour, we were blessed with glorious sunshine for the rest of the festival… enough to get a tan (or in my case, more freckles). This year, the lead-up to the festival looked promising with sunshine forecast for most of the weekend. However, as the time approached doom and gloom took over. I remained ever optimistic that it would all work out until I did a weather check on Tuesday night and saw that thunderstorms and rain were still predicted for Friday-Monday. Not ideal! A quick late night Asos order later, I had a cute pink and white heart rain coat ready to battle the weather. It (and my Hunter wellies) definitely came in handy!
We made our way down to Worthy Farm on Friday and arrived to a somewhat confusing weather situation; blue, blue skies on one side and a giant, nasty looking cloud on the other. Unfortunately, the cloud was coming our way.
Just as we were walking up to Worthy Farm to check into our tents (we decided to ‘glamp’ this year), the rain erupted. This was no light summer rain, this was the type of rain that saturates you no matter what you are wearing. We managed to avoid most of it by hiding inside the information tent and eventually it subsided enough for us to find our bell tents and get back outside to explore the weird and wonderful world of Glastonbury.
The scale of Glastonbury is staggering – there are over 100 stages, 250 food vendors, 135,000 tickets sold and thousands more volunteers. Walking down from Worthy View, you can see just how far the tents, stages, markets and carparks extend. There really is something for everyone and the best (and only) way to see it all is to wander around and experience a little bit of everything.
One of my favourite places is the viewing area behind the Park stage, which sits up high on the south side of the farm and has a view of the whole festival. We were fortunate enough to have blue skies on Sunday so we made the most of the nice weather by sitting up there enjoying the sunshine, view and amazing atmosphere.
The south-east corner is another favourite and is the place to party the night away after the main shows have finished. Although the venues and music might not be to everyone’s tastes it is definitely worth exploring even if it’s just to see the amazing sets. It’s made up of a few different areas including Block9 which is an apocalypse wonder-ground and is home to The London Underground (a decaying 5-storey block with a smoking tube crashed into the side) and NYC Downlow which we made way into last year before realising it is actually a vintage New York gay bar. Further into the SE corner is the ancient aztec jungle themed area, The Common, where we spent some time partying in The Temple stage and even took part in a giant UV powder paint fight. There is also the crazy world of Shangri-La. It’s a mix of art installations and bars, with one side representing heaven and the other side representing hell.
Our festival experience was a mix of eating, drinking, walking (or rather, sliding around in the mud), dancing and more eating. Very little sleep was had, but that is to be expected!
My highlights included watching Bonobo as the sun set, being up close and personal with Disclosure, taking part in a UV paint fight in the Temple, being one of over 100,000 watching Dolly Parton dominate the Pyramid Stage, singing along to Lana Del Ray before the rain came down, dancing to ‘I Follow Rivers’ at Lykke Li in the mud, exploring the food markets, and absorbing the festival from high up in the park.
In the end, we were pretty lucky with the weather. Although it rained and it was crazily muddy and dirty, it wasn’t a wash out (thankfully) and it was no where near as wet as originally expected. The sunshine on Sunday only served to remind us exactly why it is the best festival in the world.
Bring on Glastonbury 2015!
© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.