Below the Radar

Somehow a whole year’s managed to fly by and it’s festival season again, already? How? That was fast, but this year’s a goodun with SGP on the list again, along with a whole list of other festivals, great and small.

First up was Glastonbury, a firm favourite of mine, although I must admit, our entry into Glasto wasn’t all that, err…legal this time around. That said, we were fairly convinced that we had sufficiently paid our dues in the time it took waiting around hiding under camper-vans until our friend masquerading as a security guard came to sneak us in.
Once in it was time to really get into the festival spirit, but first we had to pitch our tent. There was one big problem with this situation, which was that I didn’t have a tent, and I soon discovered, as a result of an earlier epic miss-communication, my friend didn’t either! To add to this it had just begun to rain…lots! But not to worry, the beauty of Glasto, or any other decent music festival for that matter, is that we’re all family once we’re through those aluminium gates and into the fields of mud! So it wasn’t long before we found a surrogate tent and owner!

Now we were pitched it was time to get into the soggy festival spirit, and head straight to the Stone Circle for some mesmeric drumming, spontaneous cello-inspired mud raves and watching at people’s failed attempts to fly soggy Chinese lanterns.

To fully maximise your Glasto experience, here are a few rain-related tips you really need to be aware of:

  1. It’s MASSIVE! The size of a small town, and has been affectionately nick-named ‘Tent City’
  2. It rains, a lot, which isn’t really a problem aside from the fact that that brings me to points 3 and 4
  3. It will get very VERY muddy at least once during your stay at Glastonbury. Why? Because even if it just spits for most of an afternoon, there is enough dry mud and damaged ground pounded by thousands of welly-clad feet that it instantly becomes sludge and
  4. If it rains enough you can actually go ‘swimming’ and wrestling in the mud! Or, just lie in it. Something you may not consider right now as you are reading this, but trust me, once you’re in an epic mud situation, soggy beyond repair, anything goes! Check out this video if you don’t believe me.
  5. If/ when it does rain, there are plenty of ‘in-tent’ activities to partake in, not just bands in tents big or small, but circus acts, theatre, poetry, magic shows, healing, meditation, yoga, adventure, eating, tea-drinking, shisha-smoking, dancing, climbing, face painting, the list goes on!
  6. There really are a great selection of tents to check out (no, not the ones people are staying in – although some do get quite creative). But the bigger music tents, you obviously have the ‘Greats’ like the Pyramid stage – which actually stays on the site all year round, although in a more rudimentary form, the John Peel stage – for those up-and-coming acts. Then you have your smaller stages, the aptly named ‘Small World Stage’ (which is actually solar powered), the Bimble Inn – which is a lot more like an inn really, than a festival tent. The Party Bus and…drumroll please…The Rabbit Hole! One of my favourite tents which you literally have to crawl down a Rabbit Hole to get to!

Once you have a rough idea of what to do when it rains, it’s also worth taking note of the below:

  1. Have fun – sounds obvious but some people do get quite down if it’s raining the whole time, but soon cheer up when they realise that everyone else is as wet, filthy and muddy as they are and decide to just not give a s*** any more.
  2. Carry cash, but don’t flash it around or leave it all in your tent – although the general vibe of Glasto is a very friendly and positive one (one year I lost my wallet, then found it the next day with EVERYTHING in it), it’s like anywhere where there are lots of people, one bad apple and all that.
  3. Eat a Hog Roast at least once while you are here
  4. You HAVE to get yourself up to the Stone Circle, it’s one of the main ‘landmarks’ of Glastonbury and the view from there, especially for sunrise, is really quite breath taking (and always results in a lot of wooping, drumming and dancing)
  5. Join a flash mob at the Pyramid stage – of which there are many, including tomato-throwing and paint fights
  6. Eat a Hog Roast – oh, wait, did I already mention that one? Sorry.
  7. Eat a…dammit, sorry, it’s just that the Hog Roasts really are AMAZING!
  8. Find your inner self in the Healing Fields, have a massage and a meditate
  9. Check out ARCADIAAAAA!
  10. Go lose yourself in Shangri La and pretend like you’re a robot man-girl from the future
  11. Make a new friend
  12. Dress up
  13. Have a mud wrestle
  14. Charge your phone using rechargeable energy – CYCLING! Seriously, instead of wasting most of your day standing (stuck) in the mud queuing up to charge your phone at the Orange tent, you can burn a few calories, help save the environment AND charge your phone all at the same time at one of those solar powered charging tents in the Healing Fields
  15. Drink coconut water, and lots of it, straight from a coconut from the Coconut King

Author: ellecoco

A buckaneering chocolatier, fuelled by chocolate, powered by adventure...

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