Glade Festival 2007
Reports and comment from the urban75 massive
(Words © the authors, photos Wisky and Dubversion)
Dubversion - People's Republic of Disco:
" The weather was ridiculous, made life tricky but it wasn't as bad as Glastonbury - smaller site, for a start - and having crew passes meant we could get around on the access roads round the back.
Pretty much only went between the Overkill tent and the Pussy Parlure - apart from the odd wander down to 'the other end' to laugh at the hippies. Overkill was solid wonderfulness despite the liquid mud in there - saw some great dubstep, a genius drummer looping his own beats and making tunes, just stunning. Caught a bit - not enough - of Venetian Snares, who ruled.
Not sure who the yank with the beard and the guitar and the army helmet was but he was top too. Congo Natty pissed about too much, and the Producer was too gabba for me. Getting there so late on Friday means I missed most of Bangface but it definitely wasn't as good as last year, vibe-wise - people were sparse, and it just didn't quite feel like the hardcore neo-rave we know and love, still good though. Wish I'd seen Luke Vibert with the Ragga Twins.
That was fun
Weather was fucking awful but at least it wasn't cold - or at least when it was I was so wrecked I didn't give a shit. Muddy as Glastonbury but with no where to sit, not even in the tents.
Venetian Snares, Congo Natty and lots of of anonymous DJs playing 'stuff'.
Highlights had to be standing in a tent during a thunderstorm and being given mdma off some bloke. Drinking rum and ginger beer until I fell down (I'd of been on my arse a lot more if CC didn't keep a hold of me ).
Wow. I've kind of just about maybe woken up....
That was certainly an experience
Arriving slightly wasted was a mistake, but I did eventually get in, and even found where my hoard of Cambridge mates were camped (where they were last year, thankfully, else I'd never have found them), sorted my tent out, and went down to Bangface. Ragga Twins were on but apparently Vibert had cancelled and they were OK, but not much to write home about.
Ceephax was decent, but the mud was tiring. Can't really give the raving proper attention when your feet are being sucked downwards... Producer would have been fun, I got dancing but got extremely pissed off with the ABSOLUTELY FUCKING GIGANTIC inflatable whales which were covered in mud landing on my head all the time, so had to leave and went and 'ad it to Richie Hawtin/Marc Houle in the Vapor tent which was superb.
Went back to camp after the music finished, sat up, in the folding chairs that my crew had sensibly brought, with a few mates I'd randomly run into who I wasn't expecting to be there, watching the sun rse and the police wandering about in full uniform. Whoop! WTF was with that, I have to ask.
Tied to go to bed but it was too depressing, so stayed up, and managed to get a black bean burrito for breakfast (happy memories of last year).
Spent a lot of Saturday looking for shelter from the rain, eating, drinking the odd beer and trying to stay awake. Gave up and caned loads of red bull and vodka, almost cried, but was persuaded that I did want to trudge through to brown soup and see Venetian Snares.
Made it down to Overkill in time to see Society Suckers who woke me up, and Snares who was great, but as usual an arrogant cockwit. He didn't play his full set because he was too busy having a prima donna hissy fit about it not being loud enough.
The festival was fucked enough without him needing to ladle more on!
Then X&trick and Enduser rinsed it out very hard, which was good for me, as I needed a lot of noise to get me going by then. Dolphin & Teknoist gave it hard hard hard to finish and boy was I happy about having great boots that kept my feet dry!
Then wandering, shuffling through the sludge, some friends, some sunrise, some k, some spliffs, attempted bed, but there was no point, packed up and got a lift home around 12 on Sunday.
I was not built for mud, I discovered!
Home, bath, beer, dinner, bed. PHEW!
Not as easy as last year, but I managed to squeeze a fair amount of fun in! Although I realised after I'd come back that I was so sullen throughout that I hadn't bothered to introduce myself to a single person all weekend. Which is quite lame!
But I am so glad I went. I feel like a rave warrior- came back destroyed, splattered but pleased!
E2A- the only really bad thing was that there wasn't any where to sit. At all. Except behind a speaker in one of the cafes. That sucked arse really badly.
Well, it was pretty obvious in the days running up to the event that the Sun Gods that had shone their heavenly sunshine on the Glade in the past three years had been usurped by Thor and boy, did He rain his Nordic vengeance upon us!!
We travelled down from Edinburgh to London on Thursday night in record time our mate turned up to pick us up in her brand new 4WD which would come in very handy over the weekend. I was prepared to put my eco credentials to one side as we travelled down the A1 at 100mph with four people and all our gear in comfort.
We spent the night with our mate in north London and watched in horror on Friday morning as wave after wave of torrential rain lashed down and reports appeared on Urban and elsewhere that the festie was about to be cancelled.
It stopped raining about two and we thought we'd make our move. Our journey from London to the site was fairly typical I think stop/start almost as soon as we hit the M25. The M4 was even worse and although it had stopped raining, the flooded fields and texts telling us that the entire site was cut off and roads were blocked did not bode well.
About four hours later we tried to pull into Reading services for a much needed piss/spliff break, only to find the entire services closed due to flooding! It was all good though cos we stopped at Sainsbury's just outside Reading where I found a crate of Grolsch bizarrely abandoned on the garage forecourt Nice one.
By this time it was about 6.30 and the next ten miles towards Aldermaston took an agonizing three hours but the vibe in the queue was good. Finally, about nine thirty, we drove over a ditch and into the overspill car park and, after a long walk found our mates, and our tipi both dry if a little bit worse for wear, necked some MDMA and started partying.
Friday night is a bit of a blur
I was up for seeing Aaron Spectre but heard the Overkill tent was knee deep so just ended up down the Origin stage which wasn't too muddy, then saw someone (not sure who cos we didn't manage to get a programme all weekend) in the Liquid tent before ending up in the Pussy Parlurr.
I'd been a bit concerned about security after all the licensing hassle. I've had a couple of run-ins with Stewart Security over the years and they are nasty, evil fuckers but we got some of our booze through on Friday then went back to the car for the rest on Saturday morning and of course coming back I got pulled by a huge bruiser with a skinhead.
The first thing he saw in the bag were a box of Mrs P's cupcakes and when I offered him one, he lightened up then decided my bag was too tightly packed and said 'well mate, if you have any booze in there, you packed it so well you deserve to get it in!' A nice SS security man I've seen it all now.
Security were a bit menacing, as usual but I must admit I didn't see anybody getting done for anything or beaten up so maybe they've been told the softly softly approach works better
Saturday's weather was looking promising and we got to the Origin stage about 1 and liked it so much we just stayed there until the end, although ten hours of dancing in mud nearly pulled my knees out of joint! The music got better and better with Tristan and Eat Static rocking my world at the end. I've seen Eat Static about 50 times since I saw them at the Robey in 1992 and this set really was one of the best they have ever done.
I had really good intentions this year of seeing some different stuff in different tents this year but we had a nice little posse at Origin (definitely the arena with the most beautiful people imo), sound was good, mud wasn't too bad, bar was twenty feet away and we were happy so that's where we stayed all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Sunday was great the sun came out, we did just the right amount of the right drugs, I had my daiquiri kit with me and it was wall to wall smiles.
That's what I love about The Glade and Origin in particular. Happy, smiling, up for it people. Certainly the most beautiful festival crowd I've come across in the UK. Despite the amount of drugs, there were very few munters, Neds or gurners.
I know a lot of people found the Glasto crowd a bit dour this year and put it down to the mud but The Glade had more mud, yet people were smiling and everyone had their party clothes on not a cagoule or pair of waterproof trousers in sight what a great vibe. That's what makes the Glade special.
So, a big thank you to the organisers for having the guts not to cancel when it was looking nasty. Stewards were helpful, the food stalls were nice and small, reasonably priced and friendly (although I didn't really eat much all weekend).
Toilets were ok under the circumstances apparently they couldn't clean the ones by the tents for a while and I felt a bit bad about the overflowing urinals right next to the SSSI. The tipi people seemed to have learned lessons from Glasto and put plenty of flooring in them and, given the weather, we couldn't complain about people camping in the tipi field we were all in it together.
It wasn't a pretty sight on Monday morning the car park resembled the Somme crossed with a demolition derby. One of the most amazing things I saw all weekend was the queue for tractors it was about 800 yards long at midday and apparently a four hour wait was forecast. Unfortunately our 4WD didn't have a tow bar so we couldn't help anybody off site. I'm not proud of it but I couldn't help nonchalantly leaning my arm out of the window as we smugly drove past bogged down cars and off site.
So, Glade 2007. Even the worst weather in 60 years couldn't stop the party and that's something I'm very proud of!
Roll on Glade 2008 and lets hope it's three days of sunshine as usual .
I had a top time considering the weather.
Drove down with a bus full of 12 people and kit, got there Thursday at around 8.30pm, got met by our other friends already there, no hassle from security on the way in, even smuggled one of those silvery wine box inners wrapped in my sleeping bag.
Camped up the hill from Origin stage, with a posse of around 30 all told. Got our tents up 30 mins or so before the rain started to fall. I was feeling zonked due to an unexpected visit from a friend and resulting drink and rugs session the night before, which was stupid, but these things happen, so I got an early night Thursday.
Friday dawned depressingly wet. I knew from the forecast it was going to be shit, so I wasn't surprised, got food, back out to car park for more camping gear we couldn't carry the night before. Stayed in van with heater on for an hour til rain slowed a little and we had partially dried out. Still once we got on it and the rain eased a bit, things looked better.
Can't remember much of Friday night/Saturday morning except it involved too many substances and lots of dancing in v. muddy marquees. No sleep at all tonight.
Saturday was nicer weather, so outside at Origin stage a lot of the day. Fun was had when I met Jodie and discovered the joy of watching "the hole" - an unexpectedly deep spot just behind one of the rear speaker stacks at Origin. Every time someone walked towards it, a crowd was making noises in anticipation of whether they would trip over it. They usually just stumbled, to cheers from the onlookers. Given the level of catcalls and other silly noises in anticipation, I was amazed how many people DIDN'T realise there was something funny going on.
My friend had a dance with "the naked guy" who was kind of bronze coloured this year.
Saturday night a friend of ours came down and was smuggled in with some wristband and ticket swapping, so went and met her, then headed out and ended up at the Overkill tent, followed by Liquid where many of our lot were totally off it til 4am. A river of mud was flowing through the front of this tent for the last few hours which was well weird.
Sleep for a while.
Sunday mainly at Origin, and catching up on food which I had totally forgotten to eat in the previous days focus on getting mashed. Met with various of our group and danced, drank and partied, ending up watching Squarepusher on the Glade stage til 8pm when the music finished.
Stayed outside the cider bar for a while chatting to whoever was there. As some of our lot wanted to drift back to tents or ID spiral, me and Chris could hear the faint sound of beats emanating from somewhere, so squeezing through a gap in the fence by the cider bar, we found ourselves in the the crew bar. We weren't the only ones to notice this possibility, so more drinking and dancing ensued til midnight, after quick phone calls to more folk to come on down! Then back to tents followed by unconsciousness pretty soon after.
Monday up and back to bus. We were parked quite near exit, so plotted a route out avoiding the worst bits. Great thing about a bus is: lots of volunteers to push it if you get stuck, which we did a bit, but no hassle, no waiting for tractors. A lot of stewards/ security geezers helped push us out which was nice.
I must say I thought the security seemed a lot nicer and better behaved than last year, in spite of what others have said about the "SS" and their reputation.
guess who's still on site in the mud...
glad everyone seems to have enjoyed it, definitely the most challenging event I've been involved with, and my dam building exploits as a kid came in handy on friday as I went on a mission to divert the backstage river out of the crew bar & overkill tent and back into the drainage channel where it belonged.
I didn't actually get to see anyone playing at all, but to be honest I'm not arsed, I'm just glad we got through it all and think it's pretty amazing we managed to run a virtually full programme for the full 3 days in the middle of a major flood.
Just general observations really
I have to say that any individual marshalls I ran across were pretty helpful - they just seems a bit swamped, and to not know where the issues were, which seemed unusual, as they're normally pretty good.
Friday night we were in queues for 3 hours 2 miles from the site. One gate (in the village) was shut, with literally crowds of folks with no idea what the hell was going on. Folks were being turned away from that gate, but not told that there was another a mile or two down the road. There were quite a few seriously grumpy people, with it appeared, no idea what to do or where to go.
Other folks were just abandoning cars by the side of the road, and walking in. There were probably a couple of hundred cars there blocking footpaths, people's driveways and stuff. That's probably more of a policing issue really (they were equally invisible) but some form of traffic control, and a presence to tell people what was going on might have made things better.
Once we got in, our wristbands weren't checked moving from the campervan fields, to the site once. Also the access to the site from the campervan fields had a river going through it, that was kind of dark, fast moving and pretty close to welly top height. it was a bit hairy, and a couple of folks went over..no one mentioned of course that 20 yards away was another entrance that was river free...
Also, i thought there was a no glass policy? if there was, it wasn't enforced, and given the amount of people sloshing around in bare feet, I hope no one got hurt.
the toilets were a fecking nightmare - and weren't cleaned enough. They were also very helpfully locked around 10am monday, which considering how much peeps were struggling to get off site, wasn't that helpful.
The site turned into a bit of a health and safety nightmare by Sunday. Bogs had formed in some areas to almost knee height. These should have been cordoned off really, and weren't.
The car parks had SO few stewards in on monday. The ones that were there really seemed to be trying to help, but were just overwhelmed by the number of people trying to get out. We passed a metal trackway that seems to have been pulled up and stacked up on the grass when we did get out, which didn't seem hugely helpful. People having to pay anything up to £40 to get their cars pulled out seemed a bit steep too. The car parks were a bit of an acident waiting to happen too tbh. Loads of cars spinning all over the place trying to keep moving, and then unable to steer in the mud. we saw 2 cars get hit - but I'll be amazed if no people were.
Overall, it was a good fest, and i had a blast, but the organisation wasn't great. Sure they took a lot of water, and did well to get things up and running at all, but we'd known that was going to be a wet 'un for a week. Contingency planning didn't seem to exist really, and preparation for the rain seemed non existent. Marshalls and police didn't seem to be in the right place, at the right time, and were overwhelmed when they were.
Music wise? A+, no worries on that score. Organisation? d-, must try harder, felt a bit like being at a £30 hippy fest, only with food and beer prices from Ascot.
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