Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Wednesday 2nd July 2003

I don't know if my screaming sore throat and my freely running nose have anything to do with spending three days on a hillside in Somerset, but if so I welcome these symptoms as a cheap price to pay for a blinding festival. Glastonbury this year was the most laid back, easy and friendly festival I have been to yet. Glastonbury has always had the edge over the Reading festival (my other festival experience) for many reasons: Generally the atmosphere is different, indefinably special, the music is more varied and it's not full of gobby 14 year olds in long sleeve black t-shirts. But at Glastonbury in the past there was always a moment or two of mental discomfort, a slight threat, a whiff of the chemical loos. But for some reason this year that was absent. A lot of it may have been to do with our excellent pitch - on the hill above the Pyramid Stage, easy to access, spacious and close to the most desirable sanitary facilities in the festival - the flushing toilets (but not so close that you could tell when they had stopped working). Some of the papers have made a lot of the fact that tighter security, better organisation and the 'superfence' contributed to the safe and happy feeling this year - and this is undoubtedly true: the year that seemed the dodgiest to me was 2000, the year of the gatecrashers, when (some statistics claim) the population of the festival was almost doubled by free loaders. What is encouraging about the reports coming out of Glastonbury this year (as opposed to last) is that people have stopped going on about the erosion of the Glastonbury spirit and accepted that these things have to evolve, that ultimately feeling safe and being able to relax and have fun is at the heart of the whole experience.

The music was excellent - a comfortable front(ish) row spot during Lamb amongst a happy and fun crowd helped make for a stunning gig, and a similar position for the Manics did the same. The Manics played a short set with noticeable gaps for a fan, but it was still fantastic: the rain was falling at this point but it didn't matter, epecially since we were sopping wet with the water generously thrown over the crowd (I still hope to be forgiven for pouring water over Claire's head during La Tristesse Durera).

I could go on and on - I think between the seven of us we perhaps ate most of the different food on offer, saw scores of bands and reached more than a few varied states of mental inebriation. The person found passed out with sick all over his face mid-afternoon shall, at this point, remain nameless.

And now, back at work, dull dull dull, trying to convince people that this is a tan, not dirt semi-permanently ingrained into my face.

28 - posted at 10:10:10

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