Warning to Glastonbury festival first-timers – it’s not always that bloody good (see: great mudfests of the past)

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

I fear I would be failing in my responsibilities as a seasoned festival-goer to not pass on some words of advice to those sun-bronzed revellers returning from their first ever visit to Glastonbury Festival.

It’s not always that good. You were damn lucky.

Glastonbury isn’t normally like a holiday in the sun with some great bands thrown in. More often than not it’s an ordeal. A trial of drugs, beer, endurance, bad toilets. Pot Noodles, mud and filth where a few swimming proficiency badges may come in handy.

You usually have to work damn hard to enjoy yourself, goddammit.

And if you don’t believe me, allow me to show what two previous Glastonbury festivals looked like – and it’s not a pretty sight:

Glastonbury 2007

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Here’s the thrills that were in store for festival goers attending Glastonbury 2007.

It started a little overcast. And then rained for just about all of the festival.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Ah yes. The toilets. Lovely.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Rain and mid. Lots of it.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

By Sunday the whole site was a wet quagmire with a biting wind that was enough to break a few hardened festival goers.

People shuffled aimlessly about in wellie-sucking thick mud and tried to huddle under whatever shelter they could find as the rain ceaselessly pelted down. It was miserable.

You know that Verve song called, “The Drugs Don’t Work”?  Well, that’s what happened right here.

No drug could relive you from the dystopian gloom that was Sunday night at Glastonbury 2007. I know because I tried them all.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

The scene of devastation on the Monday morning when the sun finally came out.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Abandoned wellies.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

A scene from The Somme perhaps?

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

The site looked more like a muddy lake with God knows what lurking in its muddy depths.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Leaving the site past submerged tents. Rarely had a bath felt so good than when I finally made it home.

And it got worse…

If you think 2007 looked bad, wait until you feast your eyes on these scenes from 2005, where things got so bad people were treated for trench foot!

It started off so well though. For the first two days I was there it was glorious sunshine all the way. And then…

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

After a night of extremely heavy rain, the site had transformed into a Tribute To Mud.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Sleeping revellers woke to find a stream running through the middle of their tents, with their clothes and belongings floating away downstream into the night.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

During the night’s torrential rainstorm, folks were forced to abandon their tents as a cascade of water ran down the hillside and formed a substantial river.

There were reports of portable toilets toppling over in the mudslide and emptying their contents into the water flowing into people’s tents. Now there’s a thought you don’t want to leave in your head for too long.

After what must have appeared as Biblical retribution, many threw in the towel and just went straight home in the morning.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

Walking between the stages.

Great Glastonbury Festival mudfests of the past

This is the kind of fun that was Glastonbury 2005.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m in any way bitter at those sun-tanned people who have just come back from a wonderful Glastonbury festival just because I decided not to go this year.

Oh no sir, not me.

But if I end up going next year and it turns out to be another mud nightmare, I may have some harsh words to say to Him Upstairs. That is all.

More Glastonbury: 
Smugly discuss this year’s sun-baked festival on the Glastonbury 2013 thread on urban75 (over 1,340 posts)

…or relive the full Glastonbury 2005/2007 experience with these archive photo features:

GLASTONBURY 2007: THE PHOTOS
photosWednesday sun
photosThursday scenes
photosInto Friday
photosAround the Green Fields
photosCraft workshops and bands
photosSaturday wanderings 
photosA very muddy Saturday
photosFriday night to Saturday morning
photosIggy and Trash City
photosSaturday night, Sunday morning
photosSunday, the final day

GLASTONBURY 2007: FEATURES
photosTipi Village
photosBackstage at Glastonbury
photosGlastonbury chums

GLASTONBURY 2007: THE AFTERMATH
photosGlastonbury aftermath pt 1
A Monday morning muddy trudge

photosGlastonbury aftermath pt 2
More mud-drenched deserted scenes

photos Glastonbury aftermath pt3
To the Green Fields and the Stone Circle.

photosGlastonbury aftermath pt 4
A wade around the Other Stage.

GLASTONBURY 2005 PHOTOS
photosGlastonbury gallery
120+ photos in and around the site

photosPhoto thumbnails
photosGlasto chums