All week, people have asked me, “How was Glastonbury!?”
And, every time, my reaction is exactly the same. With a big grin, I slowly start to shake my head. My eyes light up as the memories of the week come flooding back. And then, through a low and husky voice, I repeat the three same words:
It. Was. INCREDIBLE!
Glastonbury. It’s a festival you’ve always heard about. Dreamt of going to. But it’s on the other side of the world. Well, for most of your life, it’s been on the other side of the world. But here we were. Finally in the same country. And we had one opportunity for what felt like the impossible mission of scoring tickets.
To this day, I still can’t believe how lucky we were. Or how lucky Sam was, should I say? All of us. Sam got all of us tickets! He’s the Golden Child! So fifteen of my beautiful friends had scored themselves entry into one of the biggest festivals in the world. How grateful I was to share this incredible adventure with them.
DAY 1. WEDNESDAY.
Our Glastonbury experience began with a 4:30am bus. I was too excited to even care how little sleep I got! After enduring the traffic jams, we finally pulled into Worthy Farm. We threw the heavy, heavy packs on our backs, made our way to the back of the queue and began to wait…
Finally, we made it to the front. Despite the heavy pack and the sore back, I literally ran through those entrance gates. We had made it through! But the journey had just begun for we were soon about to develop an appreciation for just how big this festival was. We looked at the map and spotted the ‘You Are Here’ sign. We then slid our fingers down the map to our destination at Pennards Hill.
and further down it went.
Wow! We were in for a hike!
Thirty minutes later and we had finally reached our destination. Pennards Hill; the most popular location of the festival. So popular that by 9am we were jumping on one of the last available spaces. Yes, it may have been right near the toilets. So yes, it would mean waking to the glorious smell of the festival drop dunny. But who cared?! At that point I was just happy to be throwing my pack on the ground and airing out the giant sweat patch that now covered my entire back. Now, the fun of Glastonbury could really begin…
As the sun began to fall we noted crowds flocking to a nearby hill. Not wanting to miss out, we did the same. It appeared as though something official was about to open the festival. But, after we found ourselves a spot on the grass, we turned around and gasped. There it was; the reason everyone had migrated to the hill: Glastonbury! Stretched out for miles ahead were thousands of tiny tents, hundreds of flying flags and flocks of colourful people. We could see it all. Knowing that this was going to be my home for the next five days made me the happiest girl in the world.
DAY 2. THURSDAY.
Day two started like no other. We were sitting around the campsite when Nick came waltzing back in with a huge grin on his face. “What was he up to?” I thought.
“Everyone, I have a proposition. I need £1 from you all. We’re buying a didgeridoo!”
Well that wasn’t something I was expecting to hear! So, for the next hour, we were entertained by everyone’s awful, splattering attempts…mine included. The Kiwis quickly realised that just because you’re Australian, certainly doesn’t mean you have sweet didge skills. I had some practice to do.
With no acts to begin until the following day, we used Thursday to explore. We checked out the Green Peace stage, watched skateboarders and rock climbers and drank ciders in the sun. It was a lovely, relaxing day before entering a night of dancing. Throughout the evening we hopped between four to five clubs and ended in front of a giant, flame-shooting spider! (OK I just realised how weird that must sound, but sorry – I honestly don’t know how else to explain this one!) You could feel the heat on your skin as the fire exploded into the air. The flames lit up the entire crowd. And in that light I looked around; excited and happy faces completely surrounded me.
DAY 3. FRIDAY.
Finally, Friday arrived! The day we had all been waiting for. The day began with Dua Lipa, followed by Glass Animals, Royal Blood and the XX. But the highlights of the day had to be Lorde and, of course, MAJOR LAZER! I had wanted to see Major Lazer live for years. Years! I couldn’t contain my excitement. Throughout the set, I felt like I could have had seven heart attacks. At one point, I was begging for them to play a song that I didn’t like purely so I could rest from the constant twerking. It would be days before my hips would recover. But it was absolutely worth it!
Every Glastonbury morning I had the same ritual. Wake up. Take Berocca. Chuck some eye drops in. Enjoy a baby wipe “shower.” Breakfast and coffee. Beautify with makeup and throw glitter on my face. Then I would make myself a drink and the day would begin all over again.
DAY 4. SATURDAY.
After Saturday’s morning ritual we headed to Craig David; an act I had no intention of enjoying, but boy did he surprise me! And you know what else surprised me? Nick. Who is apparently one massive closet Craig David fan who knows all the words to most of his songs. Now THAT I didn’t see coming!
We also enjoyed a dance to Mura Masa, Katy Perry and the National before getting ready for the most epic set of my life: the Foo Fighters! A two hour set extended into two and a half as Dave Grohl insisted that they would keep playing until they were kicked off the stage. The crowd started chanting “10 more songs” and continued to count down after each song played.
“9 more songs! 8 more songs!”
I saved friends from mosh pits (*Cough* Johanna Tuck!!), pushed crowd surfers along and smiled at friends riding shoulders. We jumped, cheered and danced to every single song. And all in our Wellies! Boy, were my feet sore the next day! But it was worth every single bit of pain.
DAY 5. SUNDAY.
Each morning, it became harder to wake up. But the one thing to get me through was the excitement of the day ahead. It was the final day of acts and, although I was exhausted, I wasn’t ready for it to end. The day started with the Dropkick Murphy’s and Rag ‘n’ Bone man before we decided to take a risk. Yes, ladies and gentleman, a risk! Let me explain. During the same time slot as the infamous Shaggy, a TBA act was scheduled to play at another stage. Rumours had been circulated but nothing was confirmed. Willing to take the risk, in the hope that the rumours were true, we made our way to the already-packed John Peel Stage. Doors closed early as capacity reached its max; it seemed we weren’t the only ones willing to take the gamble.
The music started. I squeezed my eyes shut and excitedly waited for a familiar tune to begin. Suddenly a woman’s voice chimed over the melody.
My heart immediately sank. I panicked! We had made the wrong decision. It wasn’t the rumoured band at all! We quickly started calculating how long it would take to run to the other stage until Helen grabbed my arm. “Just wait,” she said calmly. “It’s only the introduction.” And, thank goodness, she was right…
Boom! It was The Killers!! Yes!! The crowds were so packed that we couldn’t even get a glimpse of the stage but we didn’t care. We danced all afternoon in the sunshine, singing along to their famous songs. It was one of the most memorable moments of the week.
A perfect week ended with a perfect performance from the incredible Ed Sheeran. I sung along to every single song, was raised up high on shoulders to ‘Galway Girl’ and slow danced to ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ I couldn’t think of a better performer to close this incredible festival. And just to really put the icing on the cake, I stayed up dancing all night with my friends. Right up until the sun rose. What an incredible way to finish an unforgettable week. Thank you, Glastonbury!! I truly hope that someday I will be back…
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