One more week until Saint Michael (Eavis) opens the door to his back garden and invites over 200,000 people to drink, dance and ‘just lie down a little by this trash can for a minute’. Well, two years later than planned, Glastonbury is finally back for the delayed 50th anniversary; you can almost feel the vibe change as half of the capital prepares to move to Pilton in five days.
A lot has changed in the two and a half years since you bought your ticket – namely, you’re two and a half years older. If you – say – bought your ticket in the fin de siècle glory of your late twenties, chances are you’re at – say – 32, and getting a little ‘panic-y’ if You miss a step in your nightly skin care routine.
On the other hand, maybe it’s your first time going and you don’t know what to expect; Or maybe this is your 11th festival, but you’re remembering that you had to live outside for five days, and now you’re pretty excited about your bedding? Whether you’re new, old, or a veteran, here’s a guide to surviving the Glast-off.
In the bag
New member? Glastonbury has drawn up a list of essentials (glastonburyfilities.co.uk). Recommended additions include portable chargers (try Iniu, amazon.co.uk), earplugs (try BioEars, boots.com), blister putty (always with Compeed) and Berocca (trust me).
On the wardrobe. You’ve organized your virtual mood board (read: Google screenshot) about your festival thinking: Alexa; Kate; a photograph of Florence Welch. You imagine yourself looking long and déshabillé, perhaps wearing a visor, or a crochet dress; you conveniently overlook the fact that Alexa, Kate, and Florence are all in the hospitality and have access to hot water.
Wear what you want underneath, but don’t forget: overalls, men’s trousers (or sturdy boots), and a raincoat. This may sound obvious, but you will be surprised. Scandi-brand Rains does a good job of (very) luxurious, comfortable waterproof jackets (uk.rains.com); Hunters are a cliché for a reason (they sure are), and their baseball caps are high-spec and stylish, if expensive (hunterboots.com). Sandals are the go-to item if it’s warm, though by day two it’ll be muddy around the straps, so you’ll want something else without the risk of cholera on your feet. Think Doc Martens raw soles, not a gold sandal (drmartens.com).
If you need a quick change of clothes, there are several Oxfam stores on site where I once bought a denim vest that had blistered my shoulders after exposure to the sun – although I had to take it off when a friend said. I look like Avril Lavigne ‘in a bad way’.
On the road
This doesn’t take much more than a sentence, but the act of attacking means it’s not as simple as it seems. If you’re going by train – it’s fast, green and relatively comfortable – you might find it a bit more complicated because there are planned strikes on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 (and a subway strike on Tuesday, possibly knock-on). Rail service GWR says it’s working on a backup plan and is hoping to keep trains on schedule – keep an eye on their website (and perhaps look into a backup plan of your own). friend).
As a result of the chaos, roads are likely to get busier as more people hit the A303. If you’re on coach, know this: they never leave on time; they will be stuck at Stonehenge for at least an hour; one is always broken (a friend has been on the offending coach in two separate instances). Driving is fun – unless you’re a driver – and means you can come and go whenever you want (a godsend on Monday morning), but today is the deadline for parking permits car, so hurry up: £50, visit glastonburyfilities.co.uk for more information.
Key tip? Once you get there though, don’t finish your glass of wine on the way there as it’s a fair hike to all the campsites and from experience, if you fall off your backpack you can hard to get up.
Summer of our disco tent
You’ll hear a lot about camping spots – Pennard Hill is carnival nirvana, and you’ll have a horrible, laid-back, unrelated time unless you stay there; Oxylers has a full range of tonics; there is a secret campsite inside Shangri-La, etc
In most people’s experience, the best camping spot is a quiet spot near some pretty decent places. The site is huge, but it’s also fully expandable – camping ‘far beyond’ not Glasto is the equivalent of living down the Met line. Wherever you are, you’ll be pretty close to the action, and while central positions mean it’s easier to fall asleep, it also means it’s more likely that an interested person will fall into said bed at night. 7 am. My advice is to see what’s available when you arrive, put your tent there and then go get the cider.
Five days outside – literally, and in a more spiritual sense – is a long time; calibrate your alcohol to your tolerance (honestly, one rule for all cases).
Want a pint for brekkie? Do it – while commenting on how ‘should you be in an 11am meeting now!!’. Rather than not? I have a friend who does it sober every year and comes back feeling great; for each of their own.
At its best, Glastonbury’s energy is like the best segment of a wedding, when all the speeches are over and the bar is still full and Rihanna is playing at full volume – but before Everyone was intoxicated, the bar was empty of everything except White Claw and someone was singing along to The Proclaimers. Everything that goes up has to come down – I used to cry when I finished a toastie, because I ‘can’t believe it’s over’ – but the lows are usually proportional to the amount of sleep you get, because so make sure you go to bed. at least once (and ideally bring a self-inflating mattress). Also: remember to eat – a real meal, not cereal bars. The festival promises to make hearty dishes for £5. If you’re feeling stingy, a vegetarian curry is sure to help.
As in previous years, Glasto’s technology partner is EE, which means the site is connected to 5G (it also runs the EE Recharge tent, 10am to 10pm Thursday through Sunday, so you have a phone can be fully charged – visit ee.co.uk/glastonbury). This also means you can share everything on Instagram/Twitter/TikTok/WhatsApp from the moment you wake up in your tent, hugging a warm Strongbow box, to your selfies from the Southeast Corner at 4 am. Things to remember: videos of Pyramid Stage scenes often look like your story; anyone you meet on Hinge won’t shower for three days; and your boss may be watching, so it will be harder for you to pull sick if you still haven’t recovered by the Wednesday after the festival is over.
Me with the band
Headlines are important, but they are not the be-all and end-all. If you’re really serious about seeing something (and you should), the Glasto app, another EE product, is a smart tool: you can create a stream, share it with friends and get notifications so you don’t miss anyone – this year’s iteration also features a Dark Mode that consumes less battery and an interactive map to help you find (and stay on top of) your goals.
Are you prone to getting carried away and losing the Pyramid Stage title? This year, EE also created a giant WiFi-connected rooster at the Recharge tent, which will crow half an hour before the title continues – your cue to get it on the main stage, quick fast.
You’ll also be given a similar guide to the festival – i.e. a show – when you arrive, although I usually end up in a puddle of cider before 4 p.m. on the first afternoon. There will be rumors of secret sets: the frontrunner is Harry Styles, who seems to have a considerable gap in his touring dates. See you in the fields…