Glastonbury – an incomparable festival

(Our Editorial assistant, Claire Herbert, went to Glastonbury for the first time last weekend. Here’s her review. I really am very, very jealous!)

With tickets selling out in under 2 hours, Glastonbury returned to Worthy Farm last week with high expectations, and it certainly did not disappoint.

As festival lovers streamed their way through the gates on Wednesday, the finishing touches were being made to the stages and scenery, ready for the chaotic and exciting weekend.  There were huge sighs of relief throughout the site as hot and tired campers dropped their bags to set up tents in the scorchingly hot weather. There were plenty of sunburnt backs and faces to be seen around the farm, as well as a severe lack of wellies.

The festival came into full swing on Friday lunchtime, as crowds flooded to the stages to watch their favourite artists perform. The Arctic Monkeys headlined on the Pyramid stage on Friday night, opening with “Do I Wanna Know” – a song from their new album “AM” (performed for the first time in the UK) and proceeded to play a mixture of their best-known songs and songs from their new album.

But when they finished, the night was far from over. The spider-shaped, fire-shooting Arcadia stage quickly filled up, and thousands of people headed to the psychedelic areas like the Unfair ground, Shangri-La and Block 9 to party until the very early hours.

On the Saturday night, it seemed as though the whole festival had turned up to see the Rolling Stones, with crowds spanning more than half a mile from the Pyramid stage. Bringing the young and old together to enjoy the music, the Stones put on a highly commendable performance, more than proving that they can still bring incredible energy and presence to the stage.

Mumford and Sons closed the festival on Sunday night despite the rumours of a last minute cancellation after bassist Ted Dwain underwent brain surgery. They had the crowd in high spirits, singing along to some of their most famous tunes including “I Will Wait” and “Little Lion Man”, but the encore is what everyone will really remember. Bringing the Vaccines, Vampire Weekend and other bands out on stage, Mumford turned the crowd into one big family, singing “With A Little Help From My Friends” - a truly euphoric way to end the Festival.

But it’s not just about the music. Glastonbury really is incomparable to any other festival. Yes, there is music, mud and plenty of cider, but the attitude and atmosphere create something you simply cannot find anywhere else; you find yourself making friends with perfect strangers within the space of a few minutes.

It sounds unbelievable when Glastonbury-goers say how easy it is to go to the festival and not see any music, but from salsa lessons and stone carving to giant Twister and gong baths, you can easily find yourself forgetting about the music as you dive into the workshops and activities available. It’s impossible to do everything you want while you’re there, no matter how well you’ve planned your weekend. There is something to discover in every corner, and by the end of festival, you’ll already be wanting to buy a ticket for next year!

(Here are the Stones - from a few years back)!

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First Voice

  1. Ed Cross:

    I made my first trip to the festival, having first intended to go in the early 80s, after 30 years of thinking about it I went en masse with my wife and chiuldren (aged 7,13 and 14). And even though my preference is heavy metal music I thought the festival was absolutely fabulous. It was so much more than the music, instead to coin a hippie phrase it was the ‘vibe’ that made it so special.

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