I’ve got that sleepy, happy feeling. The dawn is about to break; peaks of sunlight shimmer their way across the sky and the scent of wood smoke lingers in the air. I’m hugging my knees, looking out at an idyllic green valley of brightly coloured tents, fluttering flags and ethereal sculptures, living and breathing to a continual, haunting drum beat. It’s huge up here in the stone circle above Glastonbury, the size of it and the beauty of it knock you flat. I’m sitting on the cusp of the day; on the cusp of the best festival in the world.
If hours spent listening to the engaged tone and hitting refresh paid off and you are one of the lucky ones who got yourself a Glastonbury ticket, you are about to have the best five days of your life, rain or shine. Fact.
This year will be my ninth as a Glastonbury-goer and I grow more in love with the festival with every visit. Far from a deterrent, Glastonbury’s size allows it to be lots of things to lots of people – you can be chilling out in a tiny, permaculture garden eating veggie food one minute and the next you could be listening to a rock legend in front of the almost-as-legendary Pyramid stage. But far from a place where disparate communities do their own thing, the true amazingness of Glastonbury is that everyone comes together in a ‘peace-and-love-esque’ shared experience. The ‘happy’ vibe of the festival is magical.
Since it’s so soon that I feel like screaming with excitement, I thought I’d give you my Glastonbury top tips.
1. Head uphill don’t camp at the bottom of the valley – if it rains, you and your possessions might be done for!
2. Be prepared remember to pack toilet roll, bin bags and booze in plastic bottles – they don’t allow glass on site – and bring more cash then you think you’ll need
3. Before the music starts make the most of exploring the other things Glastonbury has to offer on Wednesday and Thursday before the bands take to the stage
4. Find the perfect view sit at the top of the stone circle and just look out over the festival –it’s the perfect vantage point for a spectacular panorama and impromptu drumming
5. Cider in the sun when it’s sunny, head to the Brothers Cider tent in the West Holts field; they have special festival fruity flavours and deals
6. Discover the special guests make time to go and check out the ‘special guests’ in The Park – I’ve seen Radiohead and Pulp there and rumours of who will play start to circulate as soon as you arrive
7. Go clubbing Arcadia, Shangri La, Block9 and Unfairground will give you the best night of your life in mind-blowing surroundings – think fire breathing sculptures, tubes crashed into hotels and once, in a tiny club, I saw a Fatboy Slim secret set – AMAZING!
8. Check out ‘Sandalism’ a sand sculpture in The Park that changes on a daily basis. In 2011, it started as a woman and each day, a layer was removed, right down to her bones
9. Chill out with chai the Chai Shop Organic is unrivalled for amazing falafels and steaming, sweet chai
10. Dream the future with the help of Imagineers, dream up a future world you’d really like to live in; time travel, write postcards from the future and share ideas by visiting the Dream The Future stall in the Healing Field’s Earth Circle
11. Party in a forest The Glade attracts some amazing, dance-your-feet-off artists, so party like there’s no tomorrow in the middle of the trees
12. Scale a wall in the Greenpeace field show off your climbing skills and skate tricks on the outdoor wall and skate ramp
13 Dance all night The Dance Village is a riot of thumping bass, fluorescent sculptures and pounding dance moves
14. Shop til you drop for one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery and unique clothes, make sure you take a bit of extra cash
15. Admire the artistry from a rainbow washing line of clothes spanning The Park, to giant sunken birds nests in the Green Fields, Glastonbury is full of colour and creativity
It’s known as ‘the festival that never sleeps’, but I think it’s also the festival that never leaves you – it’s got a powerful, intoxicating energy and vibrancy and five days there will get you hooked. Top tips aside, ultimately every Glastonbury experience is completely unique, so just ENJOY and maybe I’ll see you there!