Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.
tinyjo

Glastonbury 2004: a report.

So, Glastonbury.  The whole getting there thing turned out to be slightly more stressful than expected what with the extreme lack of organisation by National Express at the Heathrow change.  Still, we got on the bus we'd booked on, more by luck than anything else, and the fact that we were forced to listen to the football over a very crackly portable radio was slightly mitigated by the fact that we got to see Stonehenge.

By the time we got to the site, it was about 11pm and already dark.  I was pleasently suprised that getting through the gates and in only took us about 20 minutes and then we had to find a place to camp.  Despite Alex being a Glastonbury veteran he's never had to do that before as he's usually in the Oxfam field so we ended up picking somewhere kind of at random.  It turned out to be a really ace spot - on the way between the Pyramid stage and the Other stage at the edge of the market.  There was also enough floodlighting etc for us to manage to set the tent up without too much hassle, zip the two sleeping bags into an uber-sleeping bag and settle down to sleep.

Friday morning was mostly spent exploring the site.  We managed to meet up with Alex's dad in the Avalon field and wandered in search of hippies up to the Green fields where we more or less found them.  We saw quite a few pieces of unexpected installation art, plently of craft and other worthy stuff, I got a tarot reading done and all was sunny and nice.  Once a bit of food had been aquired, we headed back to the mainstream to watch Nelly Furtado on the Pyramid stage and spent the rest of the day alternating between music and meandering about in the market.  I even tried to post to LJ a couple of times but I couldn't log in on the web and I couldn't get through on the phone post, probably because the site didn't have enough capacity or something.

Saturday, we woke up to hear the sound of rain.  Not good.  Fortunatly, as well as bringing sunhats, sandels and suncream I had packed a full set of waterproofs and hiking boots.  To start with, it was rather fun, wandering around wrapped up watching people who had been rather less foresighted wearing plastic bags over their shoes and so on.  Unfortunatly, it quickly became apparent that walking in mud is not unakin to walking in sand but worse.  Resistance when you put your foot down is less and when you pick it up it's more.  This made me increasingly tiny and tired as the day wore on and I soon invested in one of those little three legged stools so that I'd be able to rest my aching legs at any opportunity.  Still, despite the weather I did enjoy some good music, particuarly seeing Spiers and Boden play in the Bandstand.  We also managed to hook up with Geneva in the huge crowd which was the Scissor Sisters gig, which I was quite impressed by.  I was annoyed to discover when I woke up that my Treo wouldn't respond to anything, despite having been reporting half batteries last night.  I had bought the charger, but you can't use your own at the Orange tent and despite a lot of wandering we couldn't find the solar energy tent where I could have paid for a bit of plug in time.  As a result, I was forced to purchase a notebood to write in and, to add insult to injury, it was a handmade paper one!  The evening was mostly devoted to the more alternative side of things, although I didn't make it to Mitch Benn at the cabaret tent, and I decided not to go and see Paul McCartney on prinicple so we actually got a rather early night.  I felt a bit like I was wasting opportunities but I was too knackered to do anything else!

Sunday, fortunatly, it was not raining.  Or at least, not when we got up.  The whole site was still the consistancy of melted chocolate to begin with, but we made it up and out in time to get breakfast and settle in at the Pyramid stage for the ENO, again managing to meet up with Geneva, which was rather nice.  There were enough acts that I wanted to see on the Pyramid during the day that I decided to be lazy and just camp there for the acts that I didn't recognize too.  This turned out to be a pretty profitable strategy actually, and while I was there, the site kind of dryed out around me.  Unfortunatly, before I moved on, the rain was back, bringing with it an unpleasent discovery.  My anorak had been in one of those little bags clipped to my handbag when I left the tent.  Unfortunatly, somewhere between the tent and the Pyramid stage it had come off!  Luckily I noticed this just before the rain started again and was therefore most of the way to the camping shop to buy a poncho before the day's rain kicked in.  I have to say that I became rather a convert to ponchos.  Combined with my little camping stool, the whole thing becomes a mini tent, which is kind of fun.  I got hold of a relatively decent quality one on the second try, which I shall be saving for Truck.  This was definitely the day when I saw most music, wrapping up with Orbital on the Other stage and I went to bed knackered but happy.

Monday, it was time to say goodbye and after the confusion last time we were rather paranoid about getting early to our bus.  This time however, it was more like the military operation you might expect when that number of people are travelling.  Rather to our surprise, we hit no traffic and made it home about 1.75hrs earlier than planned, leaving us plently of time to relax in the bath, enjoy steak and wine and the Henman/Phillopousis match before retiring to bed.

The conclusion? The whole thing was great! Even with the mud and so on, I had a brilliant time and I'm already planning to go next year, possibly as a volunteer if I don't manage to get punter's tickets. Maybe next year, I'll actually see all the stuff that looks interesting, get more of a tan, who knows!

You may have noticed that this is rather light on info about the actual music.  This is because I tried for the most part to take notes on the bands as I went along, either on my Treo or the old fashioned way.  The results are posted up as follows: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Tags: glastonbury
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