GlastO-A-P: granny does Glastonbury
United Kingdom | 30 June 2009
I'm a well known procrastinator, dreaming dreams but never getting around to realising them, so my son Jon, VF photographer, probably sick of hearing me say "Oooh, I'd love to go to Glastonbury," year after year got me a ticket for my 70th birthday! Calling my bluff or what?
Imagine my amazement - hard to take in at first - was I really going to Glasto? During the intervening weeks I was like an excited kid before Christmas. There were a few anxious moments, when I was afraid I'd be unable to keep up and people would give me strange looks that said "what the hell does that old dear think she's doing here?" I needn't have worried. There were plenty of other recycled teenagers like me - and why not? I also worried that after all that dreaming and build-up, the reality would turn out to be an anti-climax but it was just unbelievably, amazingly fantastic and I had a total ball.
However much you hear about the vastness of it all, you don't appreciate it until you experience it for yourself, even the crowds are a bit daunting at first. However, if you’ve survived Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon you'll be able to hack it.
The highlight for me was Neil Young - I've been a huge fan since about 1963 (so long ago, but only yesterday) - and it was an immense treat to see him in the flesh. He didn't disappoint. Loved him! What a brilliant musician, still rocking after all these years and especially after recovering from a life-threatening illness. Other treats included Status Quo, (lots of partying) Tom Jones, (great sing-along) Madness, The Specials, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lily Allen, Peter Doherty and countless others too numerous to mention and even more which either clashed with something else or were too far away to reach in time.
Pity they put Rolf Harris on at the Jazz World Stage because the entrances were too small to cope with the crush of fans crowding in and there were no screens for those at the back. I shouldn't complain, because we were unbelievably lucky with the weather, but it was too hot to stay put in those circumstances. It was wonderful to chill out at The Park Stage at the end of a hot, tiring but thrill-packed day where you could sit in the natural theatre-shaped venue and enjoy Bon Iver under the stars with some cooling cider - and so on (if you catch my drift). Heaven!
The climax of the weekend was Blur at the Pyramid on the Sunday night (cheese man from another farm included) - I was sorry not to be more familiar with some of their numbers so that I could sing along and jump around with the rest of the crowd but it was still a great way to end the festival. And I mustn’t forget all the themed fields with their great eateries and things to do and see and buy. I got high just walking through the Stone Circle field one morning.
All in all a never-to-be-forgotten experience and I can die happy even if I never go again. I'd like to think I will, although I was very privileged this time to have access to decent loos and I'm not sure how I would cope with ploughing through mud if it was a rainy one!
By Marion Cox
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