Glastonbury is the following greetings from stage to audience:
“Hello, Pilton Pop Festival.”
“Alright? Everybody OK? Excellent” (This was Robert 3D Del Naja of Massive Attack’s genuine greeting to the massive crowd at the Other Stage on Sunday night)
Glastonbury is a nightmare to get to: And so it begins, with the usual giant stress of getting on site, and trekking across site to a place to stay - or not: Glastonbury is a nicer place if you have friends. A lift round the site to the gate nearest to the spot cuts out the usual trek through the crowds/mud (Massive Thanks to Maccy-B, the Leg End).
Glastonbury is two festivals, or two cities, side-by-side: Pilton Pop festival, where you can see just about any “superstar DJ”, bog-standard British indie-rock band or the flash-in-the-pan pop sensation, “legendary” (ie, over 50) stars and plenty of very interesting music as well.
The twin city is the one that is home to The PFR, and all the other stuff you’ve never heard of but might love, and all the stuff that’s never on the BBC, despite the 22000 hours of coverage they supply, (almost all from the biggest 2 or 3 stages) paid for by your taxes. It’s the “secret” Irish bar, it’s Shangri-La, Arcadia, Block 9, Avalon, The Glade, The Theatre & Circus Field, Cabaret, The Kids Field, The Stone Circle, Green Futures, it’s brilliant, it’s rubbish, it’s mostly whatever we make it.
Glastonbury is London: it’s massive, it takes an hour to get anywhere, you know loads of people who are there, but hardly ever see them, everybody wants to be here but there are too many people already, there is a queue for everything, it smells like an open sewer peppered with various nice food aromas.
Glastonbury is a massive pile of wasters leaving a massive pile of waste.
Glastonbury 2014 is Tuneyards (superb), Jurassic 5 (superb), Arcade Fire (alright – should have gone to MIA instead), Beth Orton (short and sweet, left to see - ), Pixies (wonderful) and Massive Attack (perfect, a real highlight, similar to Portishead last year).
Glastonbury is The People’s Front Room: you’re now rockin’ with The Best. The Festival Family, back together for another season of entertaining ourselves and others, creating and re-kindling loves, friendships, rivalries, collaborations, energy, napping, munting, munt recovery, amusing squabbles, hilarity and everything else that goes with hundreds of thousands of people in a small space at the same time, having a great time, just for the sake of it. It’s more fun than anyone could reasonably expect, and it’s absolutely wonderful.
Glastonbury 2014 at The PFR is Jez Sings Things, Bombs, Three London Planes, Lucy, Chas, Eddie “Crazy” C, Alba T, International Jazz Disaster, Clayton Blizzard, and The People of The People’s Front Room.
The PFR is Auntie Sarah, Uncle BriDog, Blunt BloorFace, Gillie, Sarcasm fan Lara, The Teenagers (if they were a band they would be called The Sarcastic Teenagers, or Lara and The Literals, or The Short Shorts, or Responsible Young People, or something better), The Bucket of Drugs Crew, Feral Youth (that’s not another band name, amazingly) The Dogs (Gray-, A-, K-, Fry- etc), Fitzensperger, Dolly Barton, Joey Parton, Trenton F. Dewsbury III and all The People of The People’s Front Room.
Glastonbury is the two lads who danced all night on Sunday (or was it Saturday – or both?), through several very different sets, eventually getting down the front during our set. Someone asked what the PFR was all about and I just nodded toward them: These people right here.
The PFR is guesting and freestylin’ with Bombs (and everyone else), playin shows with GrayDog and Fitz, playing solo. And also Trenton. It’s about Trenton, who played on his own while the festival was largely deserted (Dolly Parton was on and there were a billion people there, so the rest of the site was a Ghost Town). And then it was about A-Dog and Crazy Eddie, who turned up in a hilarious state to join Trenton in a jam.
The PFR is closing out with Eddie on piano for a massive singalong, leaving the P of the PFR howling for more – however much they get. (The final tune of the weekend was Jump Around by House of Pane. It was the fourth “last/one more tune”, I think. A chant went up all four times. There was lots of singing along.)
The PFR is all of us, and PFR AIN’T NUTTN’ TA FUCK WIT.
Glastonbury is bumping into some inimitable characters – for example: Paul Bradley, Sparkatronix, Sally J, Dreadlock Alien, Ruth, Donny B, Cliff, Jane, John, Kim, Officials from The Stag & Hounds Crew (including representatives of The Slap Ya Mama Big Band and Poor Old Dogs - Thanks for coming), Phil Jupitus, John Hegley and Kelis.
Glastonbury is predominantly middle-class, as can be expected of an event with a ticket price of over £200. But there remains a spirit in place which has not (yet) been extinguished, which attracts people willing and able to pay this price. Who may potentially usurp this spirit if they keep coming in large numbers…hmmm. Those who can work there or find a blag are still there in significant numbers, mind.
Glastonbury is time:
A time to come up, a time to come down, a time to chill out and a time to get down
A time to munt, a time to chill out
A time to sing, a time to refrain from singing…
There’s a time and a place for everything,
and it’s called Glastonbury.