Before arriving at Glastonbury, I imagined an expansive bumbling chaos. It was a festival I was determined to experience once, but was unsure of how I would feel when leaving. When I got there, my presumptions were valid, however, they were overruled by the wondrous setting and amalgamation of people all there for different reasons.
I am used to festivals where they target a specific audience- all after a relatively similar experience and who all share a love of a similar genre of music. At Glastonbury, you stroll (or slip) for hours, encountering different people after different things, yet harmoniously enjoying it all together. For this reason, it is so unique- I can understand why people wake up at 9 am on a dreary Sunday in October to refresh the same webpage until their tickets are secured.
Despite the mud and almost constant drizzle, everyone is in great spirits. You wander aimlessly for hours to explore areas you have not seen, somehow stumbling upon a random bar with frozen margarita’s, playing 80’s pop tunes. A couple of women dressed as bee’s bump their bottoms to the beat, and you spot a mum and dad with their 17-year-old who is seemingly loving the music more than they are. You walk a short distance reaching a path full of eclectic niche shops, whose vendors are happy to chat to random wanderers about their craft and their passion.
For me, the most amazing moment was watching Earth, Wind and Fire at the West Holts stage on Sunday night. This was a life dream of mine - although I was born 2 decades after their first album was released, they are a favourite of my happy, enthusiastic being. When the band began to play, and their falsetto rang across the field, a father with his one-year-old baby were dancing joyously in front of me. This tiny soul, unaware of who this notorious funk iconic band even are, let alone understanding the concept of music, was bouncing up and down in his father’s lap with the largest grin I have ever seen. Next to me was a woman in her 50’s - she stepped up on to the bench next to me as I had taken my wellies off to stand barefoot and free, and we held on to each other to steady ourselves, and also share that moment together.
Glastonbury - although the size is somewhat daunting, it is also the very thing that makes it an absolutely incredible experience. Whatever your age, whatever your preferred genre of music or past time, Glastonbury truly has something for everyone. If you enjoy people, food and music, go at least once in your lifetime. I promise you won't regret it.
(Image used with permission from Glastonbury festival, photographed and coprighted by Andrew Allcock)