I watched some of the Glastonbury festival on television last night. I really tried not to. I tried to remain aloof. I told the TV I was in no mood to turn it on and I shot it some awful, evil looks . . . but then I succumbed. My Glastonbury regret has been huge and this year, more than any other year, I wish I would have gone.
I've tried to kid myself there was not one band that I wanted to see, except there really were so many. I've argued that it's the playground of the unwashed and immoral but then reasoned that a pack of wet wipes and some antibacterial hand gel would have gone a long way. I've thought about the awful hangover, the absolute temptation there would be to succumb to handfuls of pharmaceuticals and the downward spiral that would induce. I've told myself the long journey home would never have been worth it and I even prayed for rain . . .but I still wish I would have gone.
I'm not a Glastonbury virgin. I have been, once, many years ago. I had such a good time that I can't remember if it was 1993 or 1995. I've researched who played there these years and I cannot remember seeing one band. I know for certain it wasn't 1994 because I've just read there were some crazy people shooting at each other and someone dropped dead from an overdose.These kind of things stick with you and I don't recall dodging bullets or giving anyone mouth to mouth.
The few things I remember from 93/95 are:
Laying down on the floor and almost crying because someone threw a Frisbee at me and I thought it was a UFO.
Dancing around a campfire while wearing a poncho I'd fashioned from a blanket and a pair of borrowed cowboy boots (preempting Kate Moss's fashion moment by at least 15 years)
Not going to the toilet for four days.
Other than that my mind keeps drawing a blank.
Glastonbury is said to be the greatest party on earth but I guess that's all relative to what you want from a party. I love the idea of it because it feeds into every one of my senses. You can be as hedonistic as you want to be ( at least you don't have to worry about taking that really dangerous last night bus home) and you can also become one with nature and embrace the land (or get found face down in a field like I did). It may be a cliche but you've got the sex the drugs and the rock and roll all on tap.You've got the being at one with nature and you've also got around 140,000 people all up for the same thing! That's a heady mix for fun and frolics.
The amazing thing is apart from people being shot at and dropping dead in toilets there haven't really been any reported acts of violence at Glastonbury for many years (apart from Amy Winehouse punching a fan in the face in 2008) so it's like the perfect rainbow village. If the Jehovah Witnesses could get rid of all the gays and sinners I bet their idea of heaven would be Glastonbury. I just don't think they'd get any major acts to headline there, although it would be frigging amazing if they did book Amy Winehouse.
The first step to getting to Glastonbury is actually managing to get yourself a ticket and this is getting more impossible each year. The year I went we didn't even have to bother with that. We decided we wanted to go on Wednesday evening. We bought the tent on Thursday morning, saw our dealer on Thursday afternoon, climbed the fence on the Thursday evening and left for home on the Monday morning. Have I mentioned I got the sack from my job on the Tuesday? This will happen if you spend four days out of your mind running frantically through fields and not brushing your teeth.
I wouldn't even think of trying to climb the fence now - apparently they've got attack dogs with taser guns at every entrance.
To try and placate my feelings of missing out this year I keep telling myself that Glastonbury would not really be how I don't remember it anyway. I've heard complaints that it's sold out, that it's more corporate and that it's now the playpen of those with an Aga and a Toyota Prius. After all, Coldplay were one of the headliners this year and I did manage to spot Gwyneth in the audience wearing that damn white blazer that's permanently stitched to her back and bopping gently from side to side but I still don't care!
Everything I saw on television looked amazing! It made me want to strip off my clothes, build a fire in the middle of the flat and go and piss through someones letter box ( not really the best way to endear myself to the neighbours).
I'm determined to go next year but there is just one major problem - I've just looked online and it's not happening. I'm so disappointed. I was already researching Winnebagos (I'm never sleeping in a tent again).
Everyone's had such an amazing time this year that the fields and the cows and the farms and all that other country stuff need a rest.
It's probably for the best, the tickets are so expensive anyway. I'll put the money towards something that I really need, like an Aga or a Toyota Prius.