By Steve Jenner, creator and editor of Virtual Festivals. Steve has been to every Glasto since 1994 (when he worked as a gate steward). He's seen some pretty special moments in this time, but Glastonbury 2003 topped the lot.
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glastonbury moment/, Glas·ton·bur·y mo·ment/ a magical occurence that can only occur at the Glastonbury Festival, typically associated with a tingling of the spine, the hairs on the back of one's neck standing up and a lump remaining in the throat for some time afterwards.
Wednesday, June 25Having arrived onsite today, it didn't take long for the first 'moment' of Glasto 2003 to make itself known. It took a couple of hours to pitch our big new tent (leaving the instructions at home didn't help), after which an amble around the site was required. First stop was the Lost Vagueness area, to make sure we knew where it was when we needed it (usually around 4am of a morn), but it was still 'under construction' so we headed North to...
Moment 1: The Tipee Field, 9pmThis has to be one of the most tranquil places on earth. As we wanderded into the center of the field, surrounded on all sides by Tipees, the compulsion to sit down and just absorb the scene was overwhelming. Memories of fighting my way through London's crowded streets yesterday floated peacefully away with the musky wood smoke. John got out the Sloe Vodka (try it!) and Glastonbury had begun. Children danced around a campfire and the liberated folk behind us (accountants, probably) joyously bongoed to their hearts' content, under the magnificent sunset.
Thursday, June 26
The first two thirds of today were spent in a sweaty portacabin backstage, setting up our equipment and co-ordinating with the official festival web team and other publications, to make sure we knew how to use their systems - the price of a press pass and definitely NOT very Glastonbury!
Moment 2: The Official "Meet You By the Mixing Desk", 8pmThankfully, relief came around 8pm when we had arranged to attend the official meet-up with people who use Virtual Festivals and the Official Website, and in particular, the Message Boards. Michael Eavis even dropped by to say hello, which was nice. The highlight was the big coming-together with our friends at Efestivals in a big huddle of peace and love in the appropriately named One World Field (they would probably consider us mortal enemies at any other festival!)
Friday, June 27
Today, we had to get up at the unearthly hour of 8am, as we were on duty to help out the official website guys, so I was certainly not expecting much in the way of Glastonbury moments this morning. However, I had failed to consider the similar predicament of the band who were tasked with opening the Pyramid Stage at 10.30am, The Darkness. These guys had had to get up at 6am! "Who serves you rock before breakfast?", screamed singer Justin. Ut oh - there was definitely something in the air...
Moment 3: The Darkness perform 'Street Spirit', 11amJust when it couldn't get any better, Justin announced, "We're gonna do a cover now: 'Street Spirit', by Radiohead". And he was serious. And it was blindingly excellent! Sped-up and rocked-up, the classic ballad took on a big new lease of life, as the unprecedented crowd of 20,000 or so early risers (probaly the same early birds who snapped up all the tickets), stood with arms aloft and mouths agape. Genius.