SURVIVAL KIT: GLASTONBURY

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STEVE WEBLE

STEVE WEBLE

I am a writer and web developer with over 7 years of experience and a strong background in Engineering and Computer Science. I have written and edited for some of the world's biggest news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal and travel magazines like Lonely Planet Traveller.
STEVE WEBLE

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Last month I had the pleasure and dare I say occasional discomfort of attending the Britain’s largest festival – Glastonbury.

Michael Eavis organised the first festival back in 1970 as a one off event to raise some extra cash for the farm during the summer (which also took place the day after Jimi Hendrix’s death) and has of course become the  5-day event it’s now known as. Then it’s back to being a farm. It’s also known for a number of other things besides awesome music such as the Pyramid Stage, the stone circle, Michael Eavis’s beard, roughly 5000 Porta Loos and of course the obligatory hippies. and Mud.

The Glastonbury festival is of course a 5-day event during which a plethora of artists spanning multiple genres appear at this music venue to make it one of the most iconic music festivals in the world. However if you want to be in hippie heaven instead of moaning in the mud or if you are wondering how, in the name of Kanye West, will you survive this event, fear not as we have compiled a few insider’s tips for you to make the most of the experience.

Essential items

Do a search online of what to pack and there are lists of all kinds but one glaring omission from all of them is the humble plastic bag. They compact perfectly well, are mostly free and will save you in time will be wet.

Remember your grandmothers adage about underwear and buses? Apply that knowledge here and pack like you’ll be changing underwear every two hours.

Before The Festival

Let’s make something clear – even if the weather forecast says just a ‘chance of’ rain, your bum will get wet and brown with mud and if you want to have a good time, you’d better soldier on with a British spirit of acceptance. Make sure that you cut your fingernails as removing mud from them can be next to impossible without proper soap and a scrubbing brush (who brings these to Glastonbury?). And, you will be eating with your hands, so…
Get to Glastonbury early and upon arriving, pinpoint the best available camping spot, pitch your tent and memorise it’s location by picking out some solid reference points. Tent flooding is a nightmare when it happens and it is always wise to camp on high ground, avoiding ditches where water will settle after heavy rain.

During The Festival

Ah, finally the artists start performing and the crowd goes wild. One thing that many people do not take into account is the weather in Glastonbury, which can and will vary, often within the same day. Expect to be exposed to the sun for most of the day. So, apply sun cream, preferably factor 30+. In fact don’t even think of leaving your tent before doing so if you want to avoid a painful night’s sleep.
The best piece of advice that I can give you is to have a blast. Glastonbury festival means 5 days of fun that brings people from all walks of life together. Nevertheless, do not get too drunk as you may end up as one of those idiots to the side of the Pyramid stage who find it amusing to indulge in some sliding around. They are usually paid by photographers for these stupidities and although a cheer from the crowd or their picture in the paper seems very motivating in the moment, I’ve never seen one of them not regretting it half an hour later. They end up cold and wet for the entire day and when the sun comes out, the mud solidifies, making it awfully painful to get off. Their clothes are trashed and they will almost certainly get the runs.

After The Festival

After 5 days of fun, it’s time to pack your things and leave no trace that you were in Glastonbury. If you are leaving the area in heavy mud, you will find that cars getting stuck in the mud is a common and massive problem. However, you will notice that hundreds of abandoned wellies are scattered throughout the area. So, if you are traveling by car, grab a couple and tie/stick them to your tires (front or back).

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