by Jack Henison
I really do not know how to sum my experience of this year’s Glastonbury festival, I feel that whatever I write will just not do it justice but I will try. Glastonbury was quite honestly the best festival experience I have ever had in my life and I’m a self-declared festival veteran not a newcomer. That being said this was my first ever Glastonbury and I feel immensely lucky to have gotten tickets, yet at the same time feel nothing but compassion for those who didn’t get hold of one, the ticket purchase has to be one of the most gruelling I have ever faced and seriously needs to be reviewed.
The festival was enormous and just to give you all a rough idea how huge it was imagine this… it took me three hours to find a camping spot! As luck would have it though we ended up in a pretty good spot. From our campsite you could see the whole of the festival and what a spectacular sight it was, plus it was only a short walk from my tent to the stages. The people at Glastonbury were all wonderful and I did not meet a single person who was there simply to cause trouble or be impolite to others. Everyone had one clear goal, be sociable, enjoy the music and ultimately have an amazing experience. It was a very diverse crowd too with people of all ages and outside of the UK.
Now the music was incredible and fortunately I can write that there was not one bad performance from any of the musicians. Every act gave it their all and were very humbled to be there regardless of how many attendees they had in the audience. Personal highlights for me had to be Johnny Marr singing ‘There is a light that never goes out’ getting the whole crowd chanting along with him, similarly The Smashing Pumpkins also got the crowd involved when they performed Today on The Other Stage just as the sun was setting and lastly Phoenix who’s engaging frontman Thomas Mars crowd surfed and then climbed a safety poll to everyone’s disbelief. Of course I could never write a roundup of the festival without including the mesmerizing set from rock legends The Rolling Stones. I was roughly in the middle of the crowd for their set and it felt like I was part of vast and deep sea of fans, people were gathered in awe as far as the eye could see, and it was a very spectacular image indeed. Nostalgia of their performance had already sunk in by the next day as it was the main talking point amongst the attendees. Now after speaking so highly of The Rolling Stones it may astound many of you that they weren’t actually my favourite live act from the whole weekend, no that honour belongs to The Hives a band whom I have wanted to see for years and they did not disappoint me one tiny little bit. I will also have to give special mentions to both Stornoway and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds to who also gave captivating live performances that really hypnotised me much to my pleasure as I hadn’t given either act a proper listen before.
Glastonbury really felt like an out of this world experience, I have been back home now in what I shall refer to as ‘reality’ for over a month now and I really haven’t gotten over it. Unlike most festivals I have been too Glastonbury has events that go on all throughout the night, the dystopian themed Shangri-La, a circus tent or the infamous stone circle where the hippies all gather to watch the sunrise. If you are also a self-declared festival veteran, Glastonbury is one that you must attend before you die and like me you will find it incredibly hard to get over.