My Glastonbury Experience 

Apparently this year’s Glastonbury Festival was the the wettest and as a consequence, the muddiest of all time. Just my bloody luck.

This was my first and could of course be me last. Not because of the bowel cancer, but because I need to decide whether the overwhelming magnificence of the the music, performance and theatrics outweighs the depressing sight of thousands upon thousands of people trudging across a small part of Somerset up to their knees in sequins and mud.

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Glastonbury Festival, is bloody brilliant. Spending time as a family, with some good friends was a much needed tonic and I saw some truly spectacular, spectaulars.  Coldplay’s stunning show on Sunday night was unbelievable and to stand (in the shitty mud) and watch two of my musical heroes ELO and Squeeze (all time favourite band) play their hearts out, was just very special.

But, there were times when I just thought that it was all too much.  Getting caught up in the mass migration of tens-of-thousands of middle class kids and ageing hippies, trudging through the mud from one part of the site to another on Saturday night was at times frustrating and at other times just a bit scary, even for a big lad like me.  The other thing that hit me was the lack of diversity in the crowd.

The music offers everything and anything and foodstuffs are similarly varied, so if you want a tofu hot dog or a organic brownie you can get it.  What you see very little of though, is any diversity in the faces, take a look on BBC iPlayer at the crowds and you will see that almost in attendance are white and tend to fall in to the 16 to 25 or 40 to 60 camp.  In fact, just like the group I was part of.   I know it’s Somerset and diversity down here struggles to get further than a choice between sweet or dry scrumpy, but really.

The little video clip above is my family (Sam vocals, Benji drums, Alice Maraca) and friends serenading me from the very, very small stage with their version of Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive.  I will of course go back, probably in a yurt, along with the thousands of other white middle-class, middle-aged ne’er-do-well’s.

Andrew Williams

50 year old, living with his colon and bowel cancer and all that that entails. Quietly sweary, family man living in Somerset, UK.

Comments 1

  1. Andrew,
    That was a pretty good analysis from the human perspective,maybe cost a factor in the ultimate profile of the people there?
    Good to know that ELO and their music still resonates with you fifty year olds

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