Glasto Day Three (Friday)
A day of glorious sunshine!
Finally, I could replace my wellies with a pair of trainers as the ground hardened under the scorching sun.
The site is now packed and we took a good look around to see how things have changed (the last time I was here was back in the fence-jumping, tent-stealing Scally days).
There’s been a lot said about the corporatisation of Glastonbury, and things have definitely changed: the bands are more mainstream, the place is crawling with BBC live broadcast folks, there’s cashpoints on site and Orange have erected mobile masts all over the place.
But I’m happy to report that the spirit of Glastonbury is still very much alive, although you may have to look a little harder for it.
A trip to the Green Fields will immediately confirm all is well, with all the usual bonkers hippy stuff in full attendance.
If you’re after obscure healing practices, strange massages and oddball cures for insomnia, you’re definitely in the right place.
There’s a strong environmental message throughout the site, with a nice touch being Eavis’s insistence that all coffee sold be Fair Trade. Respect!
So, on to the day’s report: we started late (naturally) but after a trip to the sacred stones (now a bustling tourist spot), we managed to catch the second half of Wilco’s set.
And it was rather a strange set, with the guitarist seemingly unable to stop himself bursting into guitar noise frenzies every other song.
That’s all well and good of course, but it does sit rather awkwardly when the rest of the band are playing melodic country-rock!
Next on the agenda was a trip to the Glade stage to hook up with a host of Urbanites in various states of disrepair (some had over indulged in the mighty fine pear cider being sold nearby).
We headed off to the dance tent for a bit (it is massive!) before rendezvousing back at the cider bus.
Suitably refreshed, we hauled over to the New Stage to see new Canadian rockers, The Stills who put in a fine set of Brit-inspired gloom-rock (think of the Cure meets Snow Patrol).
Things get a little hazy in the evening. We returned to the cider bus for some beers and found ourselves uncomfortable close to the dire dirge of Oasis.
Rarely have I heard a band sound so tired. Awful stuff.
At the end of the evening we headed up to the star of Glastonbury: the Lost Vagueness area.
It is fantastic! Like a mutant Las Vegas set in squat land, there’s a church, casino (dinner jackets required), diner and dance hall decorated with sumptuous red velvet and oversized chandeliers.
Burlesque dancers, trapeze artists and ring masters entertained the dressed up crowd with a fabulous show before Fat Boy Slim put in an unexpected appearance. The place rocked!
Is Glastonbury still a magical place? You betcha!