Glastonbury 2005: reports and reflections
'It all went pear (cider) shaped'
Report and photos by Giles, June 2005
I had a good time this year.
Headed off from London at around 2pm with 9 people in my bus. Got there in blazing sunshine, very hot and bothered carrying all the gear to our usual camping spot up near the farmhouse in "Row Mead" (key benefits: on a hill, so no flooding - a benefit that we didn't fully appreciate til Friday morning, and within easy reach of the only decent bogs on the entire site).
Our group included my mate's 10 year old daughter Amber (who has been to Glasto the last 2 years) but who was going without Mum for the first time, so I was slightly concerned that we didn't all get too twatted at the same time to keep an eye out for her.
Wednesday evening: set up tents, gazebo, etc, then have nice BBQ for all 15 or so of us. Then, suitably fed and boozed, head off for a wander around the site. I love this time, the sense of excitement and anticipation is everywhere.
Ended up at the stone circle with about half the party. We all ended up carrying a sleeping Amber halfway across the site at around 5am. Good exercise!
Thursday can be summed up by the phrase "it all went pear (cider) shaped". That stuff goes down like fruit juice in the hot sun, and we spent the whole afternoon getting wasted and having fun.
Thursday night ended at the Glade, where one of my kind friends took a pic of me "fully refreshed" on pear cider and various substances.
Woke up in my tent, unsure as to how I got back the previous night, to hear the sound of rain. Crawled out around 10 or 11am to find that Amber's little tent next to mine was full of water, and she was (unsurprisingly) not there.
I did not realise from our vantage point looking down towards the Pyramid stage, how bad the flooding was, until a while later when the others got up and we headed down to get food, and found ourselves walking through a fast-flowing but shallow "river" around the side of Pyramid.
It being miserable and wet, and the music being delayed, we decided to head for the Leftfield tent which conveniently features a covered bar.
After suitable refreshment, go for a wander, see the end of the Undertones, spend the whole day chilling out, and don't go too mad after last night's excesses.
Take Amber to the Kidz field and then to the dodgems and other entertainments, and meet up with other mates camping in other places. I always find that when you have friends camping in other parts of the site with other friends of theirs, its always a real mission to meet up with them. Watch the Killers later on and then head, to Dance field, not being a big White Stripes fan.
Saturday - more yomping through mud, go to see the Levellers in the Jazz field in the afternoon, who are really good and get the crowd dancing away. Later on, refreshed by more pear cider (over-refreshed in Cameron's case when he goes for the "long spit" after getting back to the tents, then watch New Order, then up to the Glade.
The whole group of us gradually arrive at the Glade bar, all absolutely spangled. Around 2am my phone rings, and a voice asks if I am looking after a child by the name of Amber. I reply yes and am about to say that she's sleeping back at the tents, and then realise that clearly she isn't or they wouldn't be phoning me!
So, long trek to the place that they take lost children. She had apparently woken up and gone for a wander round, she was fine but some steward thought she was a bit little to be on her own after dark, so popped her up to the farmhouse. Have you ever had to try to pretend to be a lot soberer than you are for fear of disapproval from others? Well....
Sunday! Wow, sunshine. Up earlyish, food, kids field, ghost train, dodgems (where you CAN drink and drive!) pear cider again, up to Glade for some mad music and more drugs with most of the gang, back to the tents for a bit, then Primal Scream and Basement Jaxx at the Pyramid. Basement Jaxx get everyone going and I'm glad we all ended up together watching this.
After last night, we don't let youngster out of our sight. Carry on chatting partying and drinking till 3am or so then call it a night given the drive back tomorrow.
Lazy Monday - I know that if you don't get up bloody early there's no point in getting to the cars till much later unless you enjoy queueing for hours.
Manage to meet Dr Jazzz who I gave a lift to, and get to the bus for 5.30pm and STILL wait 2 hours to get out onto the road.
Home for around 11.30pm, tired but happy.
More photos here