Glastonbury 2011 was without a doubt one of the best weeks of my life. And I don’t bold text lightly. I went with my boyfriend and our best couple friends and managed to have fun whatever the weather was throwing at us. You can read more about my first time at Glastonbury here, or read on to find out what I learned and how I’ll survive Glastonbury next time…
The weather – I experienced cold, rain, torrential rain, storms, thunder, sunshine and extreme heat during my five nights at Glastonbury. Trust me, you need to be prepared for all weathers, including snow most probably. Good wellies are a must, as is a rain jacket, flip flops, umbrella (maybe) and a ground sheet for your tent.You can buy all the essentials there, if you need. They literally had everything in the shops – the boyf bought some wellies for £15 that served him well. I also bought some long socks for £3 and neon face paint for the same.
Food – There are a ridiculous amount of food options at Glastonbury. From falafel wraps, to salt beef bagels (arr yes), to milkshakes, burgers and hotdogs. Every cuisine you could want, you can find at Glastonbury.Me and my chums did take a few things – we made ourselves a sausage breakfast one day, and some hot soup another. We also took plenty of sweets to keep the energy up and some homemade flapjack which was especially enjoyable sat in a mucky field.We also had a stove and a percolator – yes, that’s the type of camper I am – so we were treated to freshly brewed coffee every morning.Next time I probably won’t bother taking the sausages and other food. It wasn’t that expensive to buy from the stalls and it saves a lot of time, hassle and equipment, although I did enjoy my morning brew.Food was around £5+ per dish.
Drink – I will learn from my mistakes and on my next time at Glastonbury Festival I will definitely take more booze. We had a few bottles of spirits and a carton or two of wine between four and kept panicking we’d run out. We didn’t realise you were actually allowed to take alcohol into the festival you see. From my previous festival experiences I thought it would be for the tent only.Of course being in Somerset meant we drank plenty of cider along the way. There was a delightful range in Brother’s Cider available and I also tried some West Country home brew, which was a warm cider that made me want to vom immediately.Beers were around £4.50 a pint.
Drugs – From my previous posts on Bestival, EXIT, Field Day, Eastern Electrics and Parklife I know what you kids want to know: can you take drugs into Glastonbury? The official answer is no. The other answer is that I didn’t have to go through one check to get in there. That’s not saying you won’t have to though, so don’t get cocky. I can’t imagine anything worse than arriving at Glastonbury all pumped and ready to go and then being turned away while your mates go in. Imagine!So, although I’d say you’re pretty safe getting them in it’s not really worth it. Leave it up to someone else and buy them in there if you’re that desperate. I can guarantee you’ll be on such a natural high anyway you won’t need any drugs at Glastonbury.
Keeping clean – My friend paid £17 to wash and dry her hair at one of the hairdressing stands – there was some misunderstanding and I got mine for £5, thankfully. So we split the cost. For this grand sum we got to use their ‘solar heated’ showers – just a bag that had about as much heat in it as an ice lolly – their shampoo, hairdryers and straighteners.I was enraged at the time of paying, but after three days of rain, grot and grime I was feeling grim and that £11 was possibly the best I could’ve spent. I was a new woman.Next year I will be taking my own solar powered shower though at just £3 according to Google shopping search. Might even get to wash the bod then too.There were rumours of body showers, but I have a feeling they were just for families.
Toilet situation – Yep, it was as bad as everyone says, but you know what? You kind of get used to it. Now whenever the smell of boozey piss and poo hits my nostrils as I wander through life I’m reminded of happier times at Glastonbury Festival.Make sure you take toilet roll around with you, and baby wipes if you fancy a quick body rub in the portaloo while you’re there. A torch is a must if you’re out at night – there can be some nasty surprises on those toilet seats I warn you now.If like many of Glastonbury’s festivalgoers, you decide to give the toilets a miss towards the end of the festival, make sure you find a quiet spot to do your business and not up against my tent.At night it’s only natural to want to use the ‘ensuite’ as well – if you know what I’m saying.
The site – Glastonbury Festival site is huge and I camped in the wrong spot. Study the site map carefully before you go and decide where you want to be before you go. I got overexcited at space and just plonked down in the first available one, but it meant we had to trudge across the camp to get to where we wanted to be for the stages, big mistake.The site is 1,000 acres. You will walk for miles at Glastonbury and still not see it all. There are many entrances and exits and if I was going to give you one piece of Glastonbury advice I’d say to make a plan before you go as to which field you need to head to to camp.
Tent choice – I stayed in a 3-man with lilos set out on the floor. It was quite cramped, but only because when we arrived on the first day everything we owned that wasn’t in a bag got caked in mud. To try and keep the muddy stuff apart from the clean took a lot of effort – in the end we just gave up.Also, because we set up in the rain and just wanted to get in our tents we didn’t do a very good job of it. Top tip: take the time to pitch your tent exactly how you want it. We couldn’t get out of ours as we’d pitched too close to our friends and had to adopt a baby-out-of-the-birth-canal movement every time we wanted to – not good for emergency wees in the middle of the night.Having a stand up tent would be a joy – and possibly worth the investment for Glastonbury 2013. Have to see how much money I have at the time.
What to take – Your ticket Money Light and nifty tent Cosy sleeping bag Comfy wellies Lots of socks Winter clothes* Summer clothes* Sun cream Rain mac that fits in your bag – it will rain Camera – you’ll want to remember what you don’t remember Beers on a trolley – I was so jealous of the clever ones that thought of doing this, although when it’s muddy it’s not such a good idea Bags of wine – cheapest and lightest way to get your fix in. Saves hundreds. Toothbrush and paste – one of the only ways to stay fresh Hand sanitiser – Glastonbury = grime Toilet roll – possibly the most essential item, after your ticket Baby wipes – too many reasons, but you need these *Check the forecast before you leave, and prepare for the worstAs long as you have the above, you’re pretty much sorted.