Glastonbury Festival 2008
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June 26th, 2008 – by: funinuk
This year my overview of Glastonbury is going to be slightly different, not because the first 2 days are an absolute blur of cider, dancing, fire and music, but because I never really caught the essence of the festival by just explaining what we did on over the 4 days.
Glastonbury for me means 4 days of total stress free partying; it’s about learning and appreciating how other people view the world, whether they are hippies, rockers, crafts people or undercover layers.
It’s about moving away from conformity and testing your boundaries. The man in the tutu with the love heart shaped giant glasses might be a dentist or the man wearing a gingerbread man suit may be an accountant.
This year I saw Cows, Sheep, Superman, Batman, Fairies, Gingerbread men, Bananas, Elvis, Bin Laden, Ex Presidents the list could go on.
Glastonbury is also very much about harmony. Everybody is there to have a good time and people seem to respect each other more. There must be around 50,000 walking to and from the main stages at any one time during the headline acts, that’s about 35,000 drunk and high people! You would think that’s a recipe for disaster, but not once did I see anyone pushing, fighting or shoving, instead people walk along, weaving in and out in an orderly fashion, sometimes even striking up a conversation to the person next to them.
That’s the nice thing about Glastonbury, situations which would usually end in drama, seem to just seem to be forgotten about in a millisecond and harmony resumes.
With all the negative press shown in the media, coming to a place like this renews your faith in the human race.
Where else on earth can you see international living music legends, buskers, street performers, choirs, bands, DJs, Beat boxers, Kareoke and a whole host of other music types in one place.
Most of us see the line up and decide what we will go and see months before we are on site but not all plans come to light! I saw around 75% of what I wanted to see but I also discovered new music, memorable characters and artistic flair.
Seasick Steve, an old country singer from America who called it Glas-ton-ber-ry was brilliant and it’s very emotional seeing these people who are just so happy and excited to be invited to play in such a special place. Manu Chao, a Spanish reggae band put in a wonderful emotional performance, a band I would have never heard, had I not gone to meet some friends at that particular moment.
The smaller performances are sometimes the best and the most memorable, places you stop in to have a rest and listen to whatever is playing or the music you hear in the background while you’re in your tent.
This year’s ‘anthems’ for me are….
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond The last song of his set and a huge sing-along
7 Nation Army – White Stripes Heard this blasting from speakers all over the site
Turn It Up – The Feeling Brilliant new song
Superstylin – Groove Armada Fantastic light show and our last set of the festival
I have heard so many references to these from websites, TV, radio and magazines, and it’s not until you go to the festival and have one that you truly understand.
An example of one of mine is on the Saturday afternoon, laying on the grass, my head on Dave’s stomach and looking up to the sky and watching a small plane fly overhead, it was then I first realized for the first time there was not a cloud in the sky, Duffy was playing her beautiful song Warrick Avenue and I just thought ‘This is what life is all about’
Another is one I couldn’t not talk about is Crowded House.
One of the biggest talking points leading up to the festival is always the weather. 2005 had sun then massive flooding and 2007 we saw rain and bad mud. Typically it always rains at Glastonbury and Wimbledon. The BBC weather forecast seemed to change each day and we had no idea what to expect.
So in went the poncho and wellies as well as the shorts and singlets!
It pissed down as we were walking in and continued into the night. But not enough to deter a late night walkabout and drinking session.
Friday it had all but dried up and was starting to look ok.
By Saturday the sky was blue, the sun was shining and all memories of mud and rain had disappeared turning the skeptics around and starting the best Glastonbury in 10 years.
People started taking to the grass, sitting, lying, relaxing and having a great time which made the festival definitely feel busier. The fashion changed and for the first time people didn’t have wellies on but flip flops and shorts. Bloody Brilliant! I still have a red nose!!
Glastonbury food can be either absolutely great or tasteless slop!
The sheer amount of food stalls is staggering; sometimes you can be wandering around for hours trying to decide what to eat.
A few examples are, Indian, Chinese, Pilipino, Italian, Pizza, Chicken, Burgers, Vegetarian, Fish & Chips, Cookies, Fudge, Salads, Welsh oh the list goes on!
There are thousands of stalls open 24 hours offering food, cold drinks, coffee and sweets.
A few of this years meals included, Chicken Nuggets and chips, Pasta carbonara with potato & salad, a horrible cheese burger, bacon & egg baps, BBQ noodles and a ham and cheese toastie.
Getting to these stalls can sometimes be a huge problem, I say if you want to eat, do it late at night when there are no queues as most of the time the decision on what you are going to eat depends on the queue! They can stretch for miles!
There are more shops at Glastonbury than Newbury and Thatcham put together!
You can buy anything and everything there. Our first purchase was a new airbed (as it was last year), then some batteries.
The sheer volume of items on sale is mind-blowing and you can find things on sale you wouldn’t dream of buying anywhere else!
Some examples of crazy stuff we saw are multi-colored tutus, mermaid wigs, Giant flags, crazy hats, Kayne West Sunglasses and Bubble makers.
As well as all the festival necessities like ponchos, chairs, beds, tents, hats, sunglasses, clothes and jewellery, there is certainly an array of goods.
We spent a lot of time here as we had a friend working on an installation within this area.
The whole place is a ‘Mad Max’ looking city with sculptures, vehicles, DJ booths and installations made up of trash.
I always feel right at home here in amongst the thousands of craft vans and tents. Everything from Stained glass to wood sculpting is here and you can attend workshops and make your own special Glastonbury souvenir.
We all need to take a trip to the Greenfields, and not just to use the showers! Eco friendly ideas and solutions are on show here and give people the tools they need to reduce their waste and environmental footprint.
GREEN FUTURE FIELD
Dave lured me to a planetarium inside a big tent in the futures field where a nervous man went on for about half an hour about the ancient Mayan people….it was really boring and quite a weird place to be in. The Green futures field is all about modern ways to be environmentally friendly.
We didn’t spend a lot of time here this year, came up in the morning on the Sunday to go up to tower. Then sat near the Park Stage, reminiscing about our time at Glastonbury and having a few beers in the afternoon.
Glastonbury 2008 was a success, after slow ticket sales, weather worries and a lineup not quite up to scratch the festival blew all that out of the water with the most amazing show in over 10 years.
Glastonbury really is ‘The Best place in the world’
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