Every year, with a group of good friends, I gleefully abandon my day job to work the bins at Glastonbury. Whilst the pleasure of clearing up litter and being covered in bin juice may not seem apparent to some, by Thursday night we had finished our shifts and were ready to hit the festival (the one advantage to having done this for so long is we often get pre-festival shifts and this year was no exception). As I drove to Somerset on the Sunday, we neatly avoided the 12 hour delays that were regularly reported on Worthy FM. With that said, the wait would have been worth it!
As ever, the newspapers fixated on the mud (it was much worse in 2006 and 2007), but even that couldn’t dampen what was a fantastic year for the festival.
For the past couple of years we have completely avoided the main stages. There are so many venues at Glastonbury and so much talent that you can happily avoid the huge crowds and still see some incredible acts. We spent some time in the Cabaret tent, taking in poetry by Murray Lachlan Young and some political ranting from Marcus Brigstocke following the referendum. Whichever way you voted, the performer (pictured) playing Rule Britannia on 2 nose flutes felt bold on the Friday morning given the strength of anti-Brexit sentiment at the festival itself.
We also caught the Metamorphosis show at Arcadia, which was fantastic. Shangri-la was almost certainly the highlight for me this year though. It is usually impossible to see all the little venues in Shangri-la as it floods with people after the main acts have finished, but this year we went early and I would highly recommend that approach to anyone going in the future. We saw a wacky reproduction of Pat Sharp’s Fun House, which saw Sharp trying to evict tenants (volunteers from the audience) from their ‘fun’ houses for failing to keep up with the required maintenance. But the best act for me was the Shibusashirazu Orchestra, who are Glastonbury regulars but this is the first year we caught them. They played the Hell Stage at Shangri-la and it was brilliant.
If you’ve never been to Glastonbury, then don’t let the mud put you off. I have been going since 2006 and it gets better every year.