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By Tara Porter on 21.8.2023

Tales of A Festival Goer: The Great Glastonbury

This year, my friends and I decided we would go to our first ever music festival, and where better to begin than the biggest and best: Glastonbury.
For decades, it has been a music festival great, creating a unique culture involving a free-spirited attitude and outrageous fashion statements, which can only be experienced in its muddy fields. Understandable, then, that its reputation lures in the best acts and hundreds of thousands of people every year.

My desire to go came about after my Mum and I went on a very long car journey to visit my grandma and consequently listened to hours and hours of Glastonbury coverage. Whilst sitting in the car looking at the same grey motorway with the same green bits on the side, I realised Fearne Cotton was having a much better time than myself and that needed to change.

So with the tickets purchased (for £200) the preparations and excitement for Glastonbury began. For months, we planned shopping trips to buy our ‘Glastonbury clothes’, as obviously, usual attire will not suffice for such a week. Then rumours started circulating that the person whose music I can listen to in any mood, in any environment, and just love; Beyoncé, was going to be one of the headliners. She has always been there for me and has only failed me once, and that was partly my own fault as I attempted to sing ‘Irreplaceable’ at Karaoke whilst on holiday. So as more and more artists were announced and the date grew closer, I was ready to start my Glastonbury experience.

After a long days’ worth of travelling squashed up against hundreds of other Glastonbury-bound people and queuing in mud pits for hours, we finally arrived in the grounds.


“Muddy hell!”: Our writer enjoying the infamous Glasto mud pits

As it had been raining for quite some time, and I was covered in mud, even my hat had managed to fly off my head into a big sloppy puddle, I to say the least was not in a good mood. I stormed up to our friends who had arrived earlier in the morning and demanded to be taken to the tent, which thankfully they had already pitched (right next to the Other Stage). Soon however, as we walked past the John Peel Stage, through the dance village and the long lines of food stalls my disposition miraculously improved. We dumped our bags, which were mostly filled with crates of cider, and were shown around the brother’s festival cider stand (which my boyfriend and his friends became very well acquainted with on the first night), and all the main stages like the Pyramid.

Countless people from my neighbours to TV personalities have always raved about the overwhelming size of the Glastonbury site, and to some extent I believed them; however I was still shocked as each day that we were there, there was yet another huge field filled with stalls offering things from homemade cider to people teaching others how to make fences. Consequently, by Friday morning when the music actually started, I was almost shocked that was the reason we’d been traipsing through the mud the two days previous. We started off our day with Chipmunk, and despite some people shunning his ‘mainstream’ act, me and my friends were proud to sing along and by the time he’d sang the last line of ‘Take off’, his cheesiness had earned him a spot on my friend’s ‘list’. We went on to see Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club, Miles Kane, Paulo Nutini, Laura Marling, Plan B, Mumford and Sons, and a good number more in the space of just one weekend. To me, that signified an amazing value for money, considering that individually tickets for their shows would have probably added up to a lot more than £200.

Furthermore, I did not spend my Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights simply at venue or the pub quiz. Instead, I spent three unbelievable nights watching U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé.


Formidable: Beyoncé performing live at Glasto

These huge artists teamed with the largest crowd of people I could imagine, created an absolutely amazing atmosphere which made me feel strangely privileged to be a part of. Unfortunately, on Monday morning it was time to leave the inimitable Glastonbury and enter the queues that would, a few million hours later, result in us being back home.


Amazing atmosphere: Our writer catches a snapshot of the famous Glasto experience

My first time at Glastonbury was an amazing experience that I cannot wait to repeat in 2013, and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone. Even for people who don’t like camping it isn’t that bad. Granted the long drops are puke-worthy and you do have to accept the fact that you will find mud in incomprehensible places. But you can always go and buy some home-made sausage and mash and warm spiced cider (or any other type of food or beverage from any part of the world that should take your fancy) to cheer you up.
So what I’m trying to say is – Glastonbury: the pinnacle of the music festival season, and is the biggest and best for a reason.

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