Glasto Diaries 2016 – Fated & Fabled

Glasto Diaries 2016

source Written by Catherine Murphy (best read in a Scouse accent)

The year 2016 held the 34th Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, which has been going since 1970. The festival is filled not only with world class music acts, but up and coming musicians, comedians, special guest speakers, delicious food stalls, ways to save the planet and places to heal your mind, body and soul. This was my second time, however certainly not my last…

Day 1 – Wednesday 22nd June 2016 THE JOURNEY

I’ve been studying the LPC at The University of Law, Chester and today was my last exam before travelling straight to Glastonbury. I had this vision that the sun would be shining as I ran out of the exam hall with my friends picking me up in their car whilst cheering me on and popping champagne. However, in reality is was pissing down! I had sandals on, my feet were soaked, my friends were late and when they did arrive, there was no cheering, not even a ‘woop’– just a ‘can we use the toilet?’IMG_1632

Alex and I clearly drew the short straw sitting in the back of the car with bags, alcohol, camping gear and the like strewn all over us. We had a very long journey ahead of us – 9 hours of travel to be exact. Here are some of the things we faced on our way:

  • Having to drink Stella as it was the only alcohol within reach;
  • Oil spill on the M5;
  • Being too hot and stuffy but then getting wet with the window open;
  • A loud popping noise coming from the bonnet of the car and having to pull over on the hard shoulder because there was a ‘fire’, which turned out to be smoke coming into the boot of the car from the exhaust;
  • Constantly needing a wee after drinking too much Stella;
  • Deep conversations on the Surgery on Radio 1 about how we should all stick together at the festival, don’t do too many drugs, don’t speak to strangers etc.;
  • Only having one CD in the car – Clubland 90s, which come to think of it, wasn’t such a bad thing.

When we eventually made it to Worthy View, we were now faced with the dreaded mud and I had to make a quick change from sandals to my lovely red Hunter wellies which have served me well at many a festival. After a few tears and threats of leaving due to the trek, we arrived at our pre-erected tents. We headed straight to the Beats Hotel to meet our group of 16 for a rave. Upon our return, we realised we had to climb back up that very steep hill we so easily came down – sob.

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Day 2 – Thursday 24th June 2016 2 STEPPING

When we headed for breakfast, the reality of the mud set in. It was insane! Your feet were getting sucked in with every step and you couldn’t stand still for fear of getting stuck.

The problem with going to a festival like this with such a big group is that everyone always wants something and you cannot please everyone. This meant numerous pit-stops for eating, drinking, pissing and shitting and tired, grumpy people refusing to wait until we were based somewhere before going and doing their business. (Next time, max limit of people = 4) We spent most of the day searching for camping chairs as someone forgot them and wellies for someone else who forgot theirs – surely wellies are at the top of your ‘Glastonbury -Things I need to take’ list?!

IMG_1633We got fed up with the searching and ended up in Rock the Kasbah. Tony Bowen who is like a human jukebox, was on. You were able to tweet him requests for him to then sing and play on his guitar. I tweeted him 3 times to no avail, apparently Tenacious D was better than anything I could come up with!

Thursday at Glastonbury is all about dance music. We saw Annie Mac at the BBC introducing stage before heading to Block 9. Block 9 is another world. Their theme was apocalypse. They had their version of the London Underground with a train carriage sticking out of a building and the main DJ stage where Bicep was playing, had fish tanks towered above it.

This was a proper rave scene. There’s something surreal about standing outside in the mud, fucked off your face, 2 stepping to tech.




Day 3 – Friday 25th June 2016 JUDEGEMENT DAY

I woke up with the sun bursting through the tent, desperately needing a wee, but not wanting to make the long ass walk to the toilets (if you could call them that) – the struggle was real! Upon return, I heard muffled voices from other tents saying, ‘can’t believe we’ve left the EU’, ‘the economy is fucked now’, ‘fascist, Farage loving fanatics’. I thought that no way could this be true! However, sadly it was – we had voted to leave the European Union and when I say ‘we’, I don’t mean ‘me’ as I voted to remain. What would be the point in having studied all that EU law?! I’ll always remember the day our lives changed forever, I was camped on a high hill in Worthy view, on top of the greatest festival in the world, slightly worse for wear and planning WTF to wear in this bloody rain!IMG_1635

On the clothes front I was very festival-ly, wearing lots of prints, playsuits and flowery garments, however these often went unappreciated as I had to cover myself with a drab black poncho on account of the rain. Oh well, I do like wearing black… It matched my mood.

This is vaguely what I can remember from the acts this day: It was absolutely lashing down all the way through Two Door Cinema Club, which did put a bit of a downer on the set. I briefly saw the Lumineers on the Other Stage before moving round to the Pyramid stage for Jess Glynne with the girls. The boys refused to attend! After slating Jess Glynne, I had to remind my boyfriend that I bought him her album for Christmas and that he constantly has her blurring out of his work van… Later on in the evening, we had the pleasure of seeing Foals at the Pyramid stage – what a show! I couldn’t wait for them to do ‘What went down’ and it really did go down. We finished off the main stages with Disclosure on The Other Stage. Their set comprised more of their commercial and well known tracks and some of their oldies like ‘Latch’. When I saw them here 2 years ago at Arcadia, there was nothing commercial about their set.

Image from Carl Cox Twitter

Image from Carl Cox Twitter

It was now time for Carl Cox at Arcadia which is a stage shaped like a spider – it’s huge! Carl Cox was sat in a little pod right at the top playing bouncing tech tunes. You could hardy move because of the crowd – we were like sardines but at this point in the night, no one cared! I think you just learn to get on with the fact that you have to be in uncomfortable close proximity with strangers in order to listen to legends like Cox.

Shangri-La is the place to be at the end of the night, however, you need to get there at about 12 noon to avoid the queues! Obviously at the end of the night, everyone has the same idea – like moths to a flame. The Martinez brothers were on B2b with Seth Troxler – the queue to get in was ridiculous but with the music still pumping outside the actual venue, we were able to rave until the early hours. No queue was stopping us!

Day 4 – Saturday 25th June 2016 ‘THERE’S A FUCKING RAINBOW’ Cam Avery, Tame Impala

By Saturday, my feet were losing the will to live; the skin on the backs of my ankles was gone, my right ankle was swollen like a balloon and those trusted red Hunter wellies were now being absolute bastards and refusing to allow my feet in.

Wolf Alice

Image from Wolf Alice Twitter

As I was throwing a hissy fit for fear of missing Wolf Alice, a few of us split off for the day and based at the Pyramid stage with beautiful, life-saving chairs. Wolf Alice have been my faves for a long time and if you know me, you’ll understand my appreciation for a strong female lead in an otherwise testosterone filled genre. Ellie Rowsell wore a metallic gold dress for reasons unknown before rocking the fuck out of her guitar. She was so appreciative that everyone had turned up to see them. It was their first time on the Pyramid stage and they smashed it!

Next up was Madness. Before watching them, if you would have asked me what songs they did, I could only have come up with one – ‘Baggy Trousers’. Turns out though, I know loads of their songs! All the classics like ‘Our House’ and ‘House of Fun’ had the crowd jumping round and all the old timers acting like 18 year-olds.

The Last Shadow Puppets are a fairly new band with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) making up one quarter of the band. Their sound is nothing like the Arctic Monkeys though! I can imagine they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but their new age sound was pretty captivating.

Glastonbury was made for bands like Tame Impala. Such a chilled out sound making people come together. Glastonbury is said to be a very spiritual place. The spirits were clearly out for Tame Impala as a rainbow appeared for their performance making Cam Avery cry, ‘There’s a fucking rainbow’. The rainbow perfectly complimented the psychedelic backdrop of the sound and staging. I got into Tame Impala through listening to Rihanna’s cover of ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ and wanting to hear the original (which is much better by the way).

The final act of the night, Adele, was one of the more dubious selections for this year’s Glastonbury line-up. People’s criticisms during the lead up to Glastonbury did not go unnoticed by her either as she simply laughed them off and said if you don’t like her, fuck off! Classic Adele really.

Image from Adele Instagram

Image from Adele Instagram

Her opening was fantastic, replacing the word ‘California’, with ‘Glastonbury’ in her hit single ‘Hello’, setting the mood for the night. My experience of Adele consisted of me wailing and crying singing her songs. Adele was on form that night! She was like a comedian in between songs, interacting with the crowd and even getting a little girl up on stage (I was fuming that I wasn’t at the front to be pulled up). Needless to say, it was emotional.

You’ll note that this day, we based ourselves at the Pyramid stage and some of you may be thinking what a waste, but I’m telling you now, that mud would have turned even the most hardened festival goer into a quivering little shit-bag who didn’t want to move anywhere. Luckily for us, the acts were good this day.

Day 5 – Sunday 26th June 2016

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Today was my boyfriend’s birthday and what better way for him to wake up than with balloons all over him?!

IMG_1629Unfortunately, the cake we got him was completely smashed to pieces and the candle number 2 didn’t have a wick on it. But oh well, Happy Birthdayyyyy!

The rain was on and off all day. We didn’t venture off camp until around 4pm to see Years and Years who put on a huge show and gave a massive shout out to Pride with lots of colourful streamers and poppers.

Catfish and the Bottlemen seriously stepped up to the mark on the Other Stage. It was a very energetic and original rock ‘n’ roll performance.

To finish our night at the main stages were the Kings of Glastonbury – Coldplay. I have never in my life experienced such a show. There were fireworks, flares, balloons, huge bouncing balls and even special LED wristbands which were programmed to light up with the same colours at different times during their show. Chris Martin noted our struggle with the rain, mud and ‘the collapse of the country’ as he put it.  They played a mixture of new songs like ‘Paradise’ and classics like ‘Clocks’. During ‘Rule the World’, my boyfriend who is 6ft 5in got me on his shoulders – it was exhilarating seeing the thousands of people all jumping to the same song, feeling the love – we were all one. Glastonbury really is all about atonement, whether that be with the music, earth or people. We were expecting a special guest to come on during their set but were thinking more Rihanna than Bee Gees. It was a laugh dancing to ‘Staying Alive’ though. Michael Eavis finished the set with ‘My Way’ and we were all so thankful to this man for bringing us such a wonderful festival!

trading online 1 minuto Written by Catherine Murphy

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