Steve's music >
Having been several times now to the festival, 1995 for the first
time, and been in dry and in wet years, I wanted to make a few notes
about it for myself and thought I may as well share them with the world
It is very hard to describe to people who have never been, somehow
there is always a block to what is being said. Glasto is NOT like any
other festival I have been to. A few points:
- The site is big. It takes an hour to walk from the north boundary
to the south boundary.
- The festival is NOT just a music festival (although lots of music is
played and that is why most people go), there is a vast amount of other
stuff going on. Music is maybe 45% of the festival.
- The festival is big. 120,000 people is bigger than the town I live
in and it needs all the facilities that a town has, but just for a few
days. Having said that it isn't crowded because, being so big, you can
always get away from people. Crowds do often develop - in particular
near the popular stages and the market area.
- There are 8 main stages (Pyramid, Other, One World (was Jazz),
Dance, Acosutic, New, Avalon, Glade). There are dozens of smaller
musical venues in cafes (eg Avalon Cafe) and in field corners around the
site (eg market Bandstand, Performers corner, Energy 24) apart from
impromptu performances by musicians "on the roadside". You cannot hear
everything and often the big names conflict so you have to choose.
- The site is big. Especially at the end of a popular act the flow of
folk from one stage to another means you have to allow enough time to
get there. Eg Pyramid to One World can take 25 minutes.
- The site environs are big. Local roads (such as the A37) have extra
speed limits imposed, roads are closed and there are check points
several miles away. Allow 30 minutes by car from the A37 to the car
park. Allow 1 hour to walk from the car park to the back of the long
entrance queue - if you are lucky this may only be 30 minutes. Allow 1
hour for the queue and entry to the site. When carrying equipment (tents
etc) allow an hour from site entry to tent pitch (flat is much
preferred, it is hard to sleep on a slope).
- You do not HAVE to bring anything. Everything can be bought on site
for reasonable rates - in 2003 I saw Tents £20, Blankets £5, chairs £8.
There are food stalls of all sorts, clothes stalls of all sorts from
camping clothing to high fashion to fairy tutus. The yellow fronted 24
hours general stores sell a wide range of stuff but are expensive (mars
bar 60p, roll of 36 35mm film £6).
- Bring loo paper in a plastic bag with no holes to make it
waterproof, no loo paper is supplied. The loos are OK despite their
reputation, they can smell a bit though. The crew work hard keeping them
operational. There are three sorts: The long drop (a seat over a big pit
several meters deep), the plastic cubicles and the gents urinals.
- Bring stuff for hot sunny days (including sun tan lotion, sun hat),
for wet rainy days (waterproof overtrousers, rain hat (can be same hat
as sun hat)), cold nights (jumper & anorak).
- Apart from the music, there are craft stalls, craft demonstrations,
circus acts galore, fun rides (ferris wheel, dodgem cars), art -
particularly statues, street theatre (strange looking people doing
strange and entertaining things, theatre acts (indoor, outdoor and
cabaret). There is "Lost Vagueness" which can't be categorised but is
full of weird stuff (and cafes, music, statues, ...). There is an
outdoor cinema and other tents showing odd films, political debate and
education, ecology and technology exhibits, kids areas, a beach,
climbing walls, fireworks.
- Showers are a problem - they are limited and even if you try to get
one in during the weekend you may fail.
- When the last official act finishes at around 24:30, wander up to
the green field for a cuppa tea in a cafe with more music, often live.
At 27:00 (3am) this area can be heaving with humanity.
This is only a small selection of things happening. You will get
tired, beware and if you go home late on Sunday night, be prepared in
case drowsiness affects driving.
A wheeled carrier (eg a shopping basket) is recommended to convey
equipment you bring.
Steve's music >
Last updated 2005-07-03
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