Glastonbury – Fields of Glory
Glastonbury. The quintessentially British festival. 180 thousand people. More music than you know what to do with. And for the first time in over a decade, 5 days of solid sunshine! We were there and want to tell you the ins and outs, the best bits and the top tips for next year.
Best of the Bands
What to see what to see! It all started with the effortlessly cool Jake Bugg on the Main stage (which, by the way, is designed as a huge white pyramid). The sun was shining, the crowd was electric. We sipped our cider and watched in awe as this young 19 year old commanded the stage. In the early evening sun we strolled over to ‘The Other Stage’ to watch Alt –J. Their songs ’Breezeblocks’ and ‘Matilda’ were truly spine-tingling in this atmosphere. The Lumineers got bonus points for walking into the crowd to sing a song amidst their fans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufIsHbKIcG0. Friday night and yes we saw Dizzee Rascal. and yes he was amazing. He’s a born entertainer and we know he’s a guilty pleasure of yours too.
Ben Howard was our fave on the Saturday. Although Two door Cinema Club were a close second. Roll on Sunday and we saw James Blake wow the audience in the renowned John Peel Tent.
Last, but not least, the Saturday and Sunday headliners. The Rolling Stones (Saturday) and controversially Mumford & Sons (Sunday) were the two big names. Mumford have played Glastonbury five times before whereas it was a debut for The Stones who have turned down Glastonbury for the last 20 years. Saturday night and the queue for the Pyramid stage began at 4pm with die-hard fans getting in position, despite them not set to play till 9.30pm. The excitement from the crowd was uncontrollable and when they open with Jumpin Jack’ Flash all hell breaks loose . All the classics followed including Wild Horses, Sympathy for the Devil and Brown Sugar. To top it all off they came on for an encore to finish with ‘Can’t get no satisfaction’ and the crowd lapped it up. A once in a lifetime experience. Mick Jagger we salute you!
However it was Mumford & Sons which really took our breath away. There was something humbling about them playing for the last five years and a real feeling they had earned this moment. Closing the festival is no mean feat and they rose to the challenge. They played every song like it was their last and of course their most famous releases, ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘The cave’ went down a treat. The finale included them bringing on The Vaccines and singing the Joe Cocker rendition of The Beatles ‘A little help for my friends’. Fireworks, flares and a giant phoenix set on fire above the stage. It was overwhelming and a moment everyone there will never forget.
All the other stuff…
Dare we say that it’s not just about the music at Glastonbury? We couldn’t get enough of the Green Futures field, an area where we almost got run over by a man in a top hat playing the piano whilst riding a bike and expertly helped build a giant castle made of cardboard boxes and duct tape! Foodies we would recommend getting at least one hog roast – sink your teeth into the succulent pork with sweet apple sauce and stuffing, it’s pig heaven. For something truly memorable, pay a visit to the stone circle at night and see it lit up by a carpet of candles covering the field. For the hippies out there, pass through Shangri-la, known as the ‘afterhours epi-centre of the festival’. We could go on forever but it has to end somewhere. So to finish off here are 5 things that made our festival:
The Beat Hotel – A haven for 70/ 80’s Disco during the day and DJ sets from Simian Mobile, The 2 Bears and many more till the wee hours of the morning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFTEZR_g2rE&feature=youtu.be
Secret Gigs – There is nothing more special than stumbling across a secret spontaneous performance from the likes of Fatboy Slim, The XX, Chase and Status and Haim. Keep your eyes and ears close to the ground for these.
The Park - Next to Pennard hill (traditionally the best place to camp) and filled with unusual sculptures, multi-coloured watch towers, those famous Glastonbury letters. Oh and a silent disco.
Arcadia – A giant mechanical spider which spits out flames! Enough said.
Hospitality Tent– For those of you lucky enough to get hold of a pass, this area is great for celeb spotting, champagne tents and clean toilets. Essentially some luxury amongst the madness.
And then as suddenly as it began, you’re packing up your tent and mentally preparing yourself for the ordeal which is your journey home. Our advice? Don’t leave five minutes after the closing act. Don’t pack up your tent in the dark. And most importantly, book Monday off work!
Farewell Glastonbury. So long old friend. See you next year!