Have you lost your head at Glastonbury? It was always a distant dream of mine… until 2008 when I dragged my Aussie a**e to England for the musical ride of a lifetime.
Glastonbury is one hell of a unique experience; a former colleague once told me a story about a Glasto diarrhoea “episode” which ended in him taking a crap in a plastic bag. My own memories aren’t so sloppy, but they came flooding back this morning when NovaFM’s Merrick, Dools & Ricki-Lee gave a lucky listener tickets to Glasto 2010. It got me thinking about the moments that made my own Glasto weekend so special. I’ll never retrieve the lost brain cells, but the memories stuck like mud.
“I can’t believe we s*** in a hedge”.
When you’re trekking out of the fest and you overhear a group of men discussing their bowel movements, you know to watch our step. Sure, the festival had portaloos but after five days of public pubic abuse, the smell wasn't pretty. When punters can’t be bothered waiting, they fertilise the grassy knolls. Toilet paper was harder to come across than AAA passes and no matter how hard you tried, it was impossible not to look down into the murky putrid portaloo depths. Don’t forget your Wet Wipes.
Newton Faulkner covering Queen
We stumbled upon Mr Faulkner by accident (as was the case for most acts) and were more concerned with ordering pints of cider than watching the dreadlocked one strum his guitar. He certainly pulled a crowd though, and as the sun belted down on the colourful Bob Marley flags, the real sing-along moment came when Faulkner’s red locks began swinging to the sound of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Believe it or not, the Englishman did it justice.
Jay-Z proves that Hip-Hop has its place
There was no shortage of controversy when Emily and Michael Eavis chose US Hip-Hop master Jay-Z to headline the 2008 festival. Noel Gallagher of Oasis publicly announced that the American was wrong for Glastonbury and the press gobbled it up like pigs at a trough. It could have gone horribly wrong but after hitting the stage against a video montage of Noel’s comments and the comments of world leaders, Jay-Z stormed through an impressive set. Famous faces were rumoured to join him on stage but ‘Jigga’ chose to fight a solo battle and as the world watched on, he won it fair and square. Over to you Noel.
Stone Circle sunrise
Watching the sun rise from King’s Meadow at the top of the Green Fields is a Glastonbury must. Seasoned festival goers will tell you to walk past the WaterAid African loos, and up towards the Stone Circle without looking back. When you get to the top, turn around to take in the view of the entire festival site, it’s enough to knock your wellies off. The experience obviously gets the romantic juices flowing too; one can’t help but wonder how many festival babies were made on the side of that magical hill. I’d tell you about my own Stone Circle brush with a guy in a leopard-print fur coat – but you’d tell my mum.
Beth Ditto wobbling it
It was during the Gossip’s set that I took my first tumble in the mud. Maybe it was the vodka, maybe it was the mind enhancing air we breathed at Glastonbury, or maybe it was just the sheer joy of seeing Beth Ditto shake her ample buttocks. Ditto and her Punk peers whipped the Pyramid Stage crowd into a frenzy with gut wrenching vocals and a stage presence to rival a giant gyrating Ribena berry. Full marks for a very dirty set.
Scouting For Girls’ Glastonbury song
Love them or hate them, the London-based threesome pulled an impressive crowd when they hit The Other stage, the majority of which were of the adoring female variety. Their singalong crowd pleasers included “Elvis Ain’t Dead”, “She’s So Lovely”, “It’s Not About You” and “Heartbeat.” Frontman Roy Stride couldn’t hide his elation when the crowd joined in for a mass sing-along to new tune ‘Glastonbury’.
“Whoaa yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ll see you at Glastonbury next year”. It said it all.
Amy Winehouse losing her temper
When she entered a London hospital for alleged emphysema treatment, the public could be forgiven for doubting she’d show up for her Glastonbury set. The “Rehab” singer not only performed, she also made it a memorable live performance. In true Wino style, the beehived one appeared absolutely wasted, spoke about locked-up hubby Blake and scorned the audience when they showed him little sympathy. It was also reported that the pint-sized singer hit a fan at the end of her set. Lucky there’s not enough of her to pack a decent punch.
Neil Diamond losing his ‘voice’
A career spanning over forty years obviously taught Neil Diamond a thing or two about stage presence and decorum. When the sound on the Pyramid Stage cut out, the silver haired crooner looked a tad bemused but kept right on singing. Luckily, the silence was short lived and “Forever In Blue”, “I’m a Believer” and “Sweet Caroline” kept the fans swaying until the very last note. His all black, sequin endowed get-up bought a dash of class to an otherwise scruffy festival ground. Bravo.
Fire in the crowd during Massive Attack
Anything goes at Glastonbury and one of the perks is that people can take their own alcohol, as long as it doesn’t involve any glass. People wear what they want, eat what they want and dance wherever and whenever it takes their fancy. During Massive Attack’s set on The Other Stage, one eager fan even started an impromptu fire. Yes, bonfires were the fiery flavour of the weekend and the lack of rain made it an easy temptation to fulfil. The fire-starter’s efforts were eventually squandered and as the lasers buzzed above us, “Teardrop” filled our ears and revellers danced on smoky ashes.
The sun shows up
The punters expected rain at the 2008 Glastonbury festival; hell, they do every year. It’s not uncommon to see Worthy Farm turn into a festering mud bath. The music-lovers prayed for sun and after a soggy Thursday and Friday, they got it. The weather God above zipped up his fly and let the rays shine down on the headline acts. The weather had such an effect on the collective mood, it wouldn’t have mattered if Meatloaf had headlined; the people would have left smiling. It also meant the content of the portaloos stayed right where it should have, and that dear festival goers, makes a mighty fine Glastonbury experience.