Us Glastonbury folk (I think I can say "us", this was my fourth festival in succession) seem to like to place each festival in order of quality. My best was my first in 2003. This, by no small coincidence, was also a year in which the weather was perfect. It was sunny but rarely so much that it was uncomfortable. The weather has got steadily worse every year since then. Last time saw a deluge of biblical proportions, literally more rain than I've ever seen, let alone camped in. It made life difficult but by the Sunday, when Brian Wilson played and made the sun come out, the ground was pretty dry. This week saw one decent day, Wednesday, followed by four days in which it rained until around 3pm every day. The entire site was a quagmire. There was no escape. It wasn't my worst Glastonbury but my second worse and I don't know how I'll deal with it next year if the weather is the same. I've had enough wet and muddy Glastonburys.
However, like a dog's feelings towards its often cruel master, my love for Glastonbury Festival is unconditional and this will always be so. I have moments of happiness there that just can't occur anywhere else. There exists an atmosphere that I don't believe can be found anywhere else. It's a city where people approach life with an open mind, where they can express themselves in whichever way they feel knowing that they won't be judged. It's somewhere you feel anything could happen, something completely wonderful and unexpected. All you have to do is go look for it and you'll find it. And if all you want to do is get whacked out on goofballs or drunk on gallons of magic monkey juice then so be it.
Good things that happened this year include:
- Seeing Arcade Fire at their spiritual home
- Having our biggest and best camp ever - 12 of us! And managing to get camp fires on three consecutive nights
- Enjoying a few communal breakfasts of sausage sandwiches washed down with cider
- The Park - an excellent new area
- Seeing the Hard-Fi secret gig
- Having a group discussion on the fact that centipedes shoes would be in the style of those worn by Mr Noisy.
- Seeing Super Furry Animals at last
- And loads of other things that I can't remember right now
There were also gripes but most of these revolve around the weather and underfoot conditions. I can't complain about those two as a great deal has been done to improve drainage and the weather is under no-one's control, not even Michael Eavis'. There are just two things I believe he needs to address and that is that there are too many people now onsite and that there is no supervision for those leaving after the festival. Some people were in the car parks waiting to get out for up to ten hours with no idea of when they would leave. I, on the other hand, was out of the car park in around six hours. It would have been less than one hour but my idiot sister lost the car. We trudged around in the driving rain for many hours before she finally found it a mere 5 hours after we first left the site. I would have been angry with her but she was too distressed and I was too tired.
It's a shame that the weather has caused some of my friends to claim this is their last Glastonbury but I understand. I've decided to get a ticket next year but I won't go if the weather forecast is as bad as this year's. The amount of work you have to put in compared to the fun derived is becoming a bit much. I want to be able to sit where I please and feel the sun on my face. I don't like walking around the site having to look at the ground in order to not fall over in the mud. I don't like being muddy but I'll always love Glastonbury.