Glastonbury 2004: reports and reflections
Sunrise and Cider Bus
Report by Deus Irae, July 2004
Well, several days after, I feel prepared to post my post-Glasto review:
Left on the Tuesday night, planning to stop over at a friend's house in Newcastle. Several hours later: lost in Newcastle . Pulled into a side road, started consulting the map and a police car followed us in (eek!).
However, situation defused by my mate going up to them and explaining we were lost... they then gave us a set of duff directions which got us lost (they failed to mention the next roundabout was a *double* roundabout and it was the *second* roundabout we wanted to turn left at...!!
Lost again, phone friend (by this time getting her out of bed), finally manage to navigate there. Mad evening ensued, but one of her neighbours gave us a pair of wellies each - 'salvage from Glasto 97' as he explained [Nice to know some of that salvaged gear goes to good use eh?] - only problem being mine were three sizes too big, but never mind ...!
Left Newcastle about 10:30 am which was annoying as I had hoped to leave earlier. Predictably, lost out chance to camp in the Dragon field and instead ended up in the overspill camping area between the Other Stage, the Glade and the railway track.
For some reason my mate thinks this is an ideal spot despite the fact we are about 70 feet from the Glade cafe and its sound system... Pissed off, pitched up the tent, sulked, eventually got over my bad mood and went wandering with Ed (my mate that is, not the Editor).
By this time (abt 10:30 pm), we went to the cider bus, but failed to spot any urbanites in the dark (Urbanite spotting in the dark is not easy!).Went up to Stone Circle, waited a lot, and eventually saw the sunrise.
Yeah that was cool, but it took bloody ages... hehe!
Stagger back to tent and 'rest' (Sleep is impossible amidst the heat and the noise of course...I was prepared of course, and brought a book to read, for those times when I wanted a rest but was too spangled/otherwise distracted to sleep).
Got up a bit later and wandered about the markets etc. Ed buys huge amounts of stuff.
Bought 2 very trippy lithographed (? they look lithographed anyway) t-shirts, one was 20 quid and the other, thanks to a small flaw in the print, was 3 quid (and they guy told me was also the last of its kind as he wasn't doing that design anymore cause he got too many rejects and seconds...). So, very reasonable!
Wandered up to Green Fields and helped make a mud oven, which was lovely messy fun. And I wish I'd got a chance to talk some more to that Irish lass in the orange skirt... ah well.
Finally manage to make it to cider bus. Stumble around blindly for a bit and lo and behold - Urbanites! Bumped into Mike and eme and ... umm, onemonkey and ... umm... well, memory becomes fuzzy. There were about 6 or 7 of us at that time. Had a few ciders and beers before wandering off to do other stuff. (What did I do? I can't remember much!).
Fail to meet the elusive feyr. Think I may have wandered back to the bus at some point and met more Urbanites. Or was that Friday? We went back to the Green fields, and passed by where we had been making the mud oven... stall was shut but lights were on behind - so we just wandered in and said 'hi'.
Result! - a nice hour spent sharing a beer and a few bits of pizza cooked in the oven we helped to make! Eventually wimp out about 11pm after 40-odd hours awake and actually sleep for 4 or 5 hours...
Friday: wake up in pool of sweat in the tent (do you get intelligent sleeping bags that insulate less as the outside gets hot? I want one...!). I think it rained a bit.
Ah yes, it did rain, that's right... Made coffee (Oh yes, I brought a camping stove, coffee, and an espresso maker... how decadent!
Wish I'd bloody brought sugar, though...).
Went back to cider bus, met a few more urbanites (about 8 or 10?), had a few drinks, wandered off. Did stuff I can't remember. Wandered back to cider bus later at night and saw a bit of Oasis from the vantage point of the cider bus.
Remember becoming someone's Scottish friend...! More aimless wandering. Back to tent for no sleep again later where Ed tells me his secret - earplugs (Huh. Thanks for letting me know earlier...!).
Saturday: Lovely weather. Drank several beers in the morning, dawdled off to the Leftfield via markets (where Ed spent *more* money), where we saw a debate with Billy Bragg, whatshisname the leader of Amicus, and whatshername the Brit who got chucked in prison in Burma for singing protest songs (oh well, if I can't remember the names at least I can remember their background!).
After that, ambled over to cider bus and said hi to some more u75 peeps. Think I might have managed to see a band too, but it all gets a bit fuzzy. Must be the cider.
Arranged to see Macca that night with some urbs, failed to meet them, saw a bit of it, then got bored and wandered off to see One Giant Leap instead, which was much better! Think I slept after doing more stuff I can't remember.
Failed to meet the elusive feyr again. (Is she just a figment of my imagination? )
Sunday: Big Bands day for us (why do all the best bands seem to be on Sunday?). Slow start to the day, met some urbanites at the cider bus, then later I remember breaking a cap off my front tooth (bugger), and we went off to see Billy Bragg (top performance!), then a short hop over to Acoustic tent to see Suzanne Vega, then a bit in the middle where there was much wandering about and waiting for Ed (mobile phone batteries gone y'see).
Then off to see System 7, altho I split and went and watched the last half of Orbital. Nice...
Got dragged off to go see some fire procession that didn't seem to exist, then got lost and went back to tent.
Monday: Wake up. Pack stuff, somehow. Manage to lift it off ground, somehow. Walk 2 1/2 - 3 miles (? Not sure. It's from Glade to car park E4, if someone can work that out...) to car, somehow.
Collapse on grass next to car, totally knackered. Load up car. I drive off. Notice that the ground seems a bit bumpy and it's hard to get a grip, but think nothing of it.
Whilst in the queue a nice lady points out we have a flat tyre...! Pull out of queue (we had advanced about 50 yards in 45 minutes), borrowed a fencepost (I did return it), changed wheel, rejoined queue with difficulty. Left site about three hours later.
Yes, I know we did better than some... but we still had about 490 miles to go . Arrived home about 2:30 am. Sleep.
So, what did I like about it:
- The people (didn't seem like a bunch of middle class twats to me; we even met some nice Oasis fans believe it or not )
- The weather (it wasn't all bad)
- Watching the sunrise from King's Meadow
- Billy Bragg, both at the debate and at the live set.
- System 7. Lovely. Was sober(ish) at the time though as someone had to drive the next day, so didn't derive full enjoyment, but Hillage was still brilliant
- Orbital's last gig (sniff! Ah well, at least I have seen them live once, even tho it happened to be the last!)
- Helping make the mud oven - great fun
- Zoiderr!! Oo aar!
And, what pissed me off:
- The sticky mud, especially when carrying the 3 stones worth of gear back to the car. Totally energy-sapping...
- Not getting into the Dragon field and being stuck in the same place as last year (which I didn't think was all that good last year either)
- Not getting to wander off and do enough of my own stuff cause my mate was there and he'd rendered himself incommunicado thanks to a sim card screwup...
- Not seeing wolfie's tipi
- Missing PROD (but wasn't it backstage, where I wouldn't have got in anyway? Can't remember)