Glastonbury Festival at 50 – classic sets, Shangri La, lots of mud and Robbie Williams

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Glastonbury 2019

With Glastonbury cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Getintothis team look back at their most memorable times at the world’s greatest festival.

By rights we should be at Glastonbury now.

If Covid-19 hadn’t thrown all of our plans into complete disarray, by the time of writing, we should already have seen the phoenixes go up in flames, had a gin party at the Glastonbury sign, wandered around Shangri La in the dark and seen Andy Carroll rock the Greenpeace field.

By the time of reading, we should have spent the weekend sampling the very best the festival could throw at us and preparing ourselves for the inevitable post-Glastonbury blues that surely would await us tomorrow.

But we haven’t and we aren’t.

It is a cruel blow that we are denied attendance at what would be Glastonbury’s 50th birthday party, but this is the way of the world at the moment.

While lockdown restrictions may be being slowly lifted, large gatherings such as festivals are simply not feasible at the moment.

But would you, under the current circumstances, really want to be in a front of stage squash with another 100,000 people, some of whom would undoubtedly be infected with Coronavirus?

As sad as it may be, we know that it makes total sense for this year’s event not to take place.

But, naturally Glastonbury will be much on our minds this weekend. Personally we will, along with many others, be taking part in Glast-home-bury and trying to recreate as much of the festival vibe at home as is possible.

This includes designating ‘stages’ and bars in ours and our neighbour’s gardens, drawing up a lineup of sets that will be played at these venues and stupid amounts of cider.

It won’t be the same of course, but we will at least be trying.

To further celebrate the weekend, we have asked the team of Getintothis writers and photographers to sober up for a moment and share their Glastonbury memories with you all.

From gang shootings to famous faces to gigs that will always be with us, we are pleased to take you through our Glastonbury memories.

Until we meet again on the fields of Alvalon, cheers. – Banjo, Getintothis Features Editor

Glastonbury 2019

I think my favourite memories of Glastonbury are from before the super-wall went up. Not that I mind the calmer, more managed version, but in the 90s Glastonbury was fucking wild!

Crazed mohawks drove flaming, stripped down cars through the Pyramid Stage area at night, stalls would spring up with a menu of drugs and prices and the few police on site wandered around not knowing whether to ignore people, arrest them or just give up and wait for Monday.

Illicit raves sprang up from the unlikeliest of places, such as the Milk Bar or Joe Bananas blanket stall, but also from other, hidden places that you would stumble on almost by accident.

Drug gangs carved up the site between them and disputes broke out over territory.

One such dispute happened at the top of the Other Stage field when Bjork was playing. She drew a capacity crowd, one of those where you feel you could lift your feet off the floor and still remain upright.

Due to the cramped conditions and not being massive Bjork fans, we left before the end and came across an area that had been cordoned off with police tape.

Apparently, the territorial pissings of the drug gangs had escalated and one person drew a gun and fired at his opponents.

Five people, all innocent bystanders, were wounded, three of them seriously.

The 5 were taken to the Bath Royal United hospital by helicopter, where two underwent surgery.

Glastonbury is usually a place insulated from the outside world, where bad news is kept until your return to the real world on the Monday. But here was that real world, in all of its ugliness, right in the middle of our festival.

Thankfully, the 5 people who were injured all recovered and Michael Eavis, being the man he is, offered them all free tickets for the following year.

So when we turn nostalgic for the good old days, it is worth remembering the level of lawlessness that was around.

The fence may have changed the festival, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily changed it for the worst. – Banjo

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Glastonbury Festival

I was at Glastonbury a number of times throughout the 90’s, but never as a punter; I was always there to do live sound for the bands I’d been working with who’d managed to get themselves on the bill.

Fortunately this didn’t preclude any opportunities to indulge in the full festival experience, but it did provide some other insights.

One year I was doing the Front of House mix for a band on the Acid Jazz stage – an enormous and powerful rig with a good couple of thousand people in the crowd, I thought I needed binoculars to see the band.

All was going well when the great Mad Professor comes up behind me at the desk; he was doing sound for the Ariwa Posse that were on after us.

I shook his hand, gestured to all the gear in the racks and said, “You’ll have some fun with this lot”.

He shook his head and said, “I got my own ting” and produced a mysterious, well-worn, hand-made wooden box – some occult masterpiece of Jamaican electronics, with only input and output sockets visible, marked with Dymo tape.

Sadly I only managed to catch the first couple of tunes of his set, because I had to dash across the whole site (almost tripping up on a sprawled Tricky at one point) to get to the Green Fields for my next gig.

This was to be a live show in the dance tent; I found the band and then located the mixing desk and the engineer.

There was a DJ playing but it was quite quiet and for some reason the lights on the mixing desk were flickering.

I mentioned this to the engineer who, by way of explanation lead me to the side of the stage to reveal a very sweaty, flagging hippy on an exercise bike: the power supply.

As the band got on stage and went into their deep cosmic trance, dreadlocked stoners were pressganged on to the bikes to push up the volume, encouraged by promises of narcotics for their pains.

A very Glastonbury day of contrasts. – Jono Podmore

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Glastonbury 2019

It was a hot day at Glastonbury, one of those early afternoons where the sun is directly overhead and you seem to cast no shadow.

In fact, for me it was too hot to be trogging around a festival site catching middle of the bill bands. So I decided to stay at the tent, kicking back and sunbathing while the boys went off to do boy things in the boiling sun.

I’ve always been more of a nighttime Glastonbury kind of girl anyway, preferring the raves that used to spring up when the sun finally went down; the Milk Bar, Joe Bananas blanket stall and other places that looked innocent enough during the daytime but turned on the lights and turned up the sound system once the bands had finished.

With most people away, the camp site was fairly empty and quiet, so I tried to catch up on some of the sleep, or at least the rest, that I had so far missed out on.

Before long however, someone had stepped into our camping area asking to buy drugs. This wasn’t an uncommon experience then, but as I loooked up to answer I immediately recognised Robbie Williams.

At the time he was still in Take That. In fact, it was this weekend that got him sacked from the country’s biggest boy band.

He had his hair dyed blond and spiked and was hanging around with Oasis and generally being the ‘bad boy’ of the band.

He looked like he had already indulged in some recreational extras that weekend, not least the massive spliff that he had hanging out of the side of his mouth.

He asked if I had any pills for sale. To be honest, I could have sorted him out, but unexpectedly seeing one of the most famous people in the country standing over me asking for drugs kind of threw me a bit.

I can’t remember what I mumbled by way of reply, but he went on his merry way, asking more random strangers if they could sell him some pills.

If I could somehow have expected such an occurrence, or if everyone else were still here we could perhaps have said “Of course we can Robbie.

Light that thing in your mouth and have a seat while we see what we can do for you” and who knows how the afternoon might have turned out. – Lou Reede

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Glastonbury

No one forgets their first Glastonbury – and there’s a reason why all those clichés are reeled out – it’s because they’re true.

If you fall over, someone will pick you up.

When you enter, there’s a special aura – it’s magical, unlike anywhere else.

It’s big – no, it’s absolutely gargantuan. And has a pulse.

It’s a great festival – the greatest festival in the world. Believe all the hype.

My run of five straight Glastonbury’s began in 2003.

I could reel off superlatives of headliners Radiohead and REM but in truth it was making friends with about 20 Cockneys which has stayed with me more.

Those same Cockneys we camped with every year after.

Us a bunch of Everton and Liverpool supporting Scousers, them a ragtag bunch of Hammers and Addicks fans.

Football barely came into conversation.

Instead we shared drunken nights around inflatable wine bars.

Helped manoeuvre tents in the dark when more new friends appeared in the small hours of the morning.

Shared childhood stories while queuing up for the Long Drop toilets.

Then mutually decided never to go near a Long Drop toilet ever again. But of course we did.

We sand The DarknessGet Your Hands Off My Woman Mother Fucker in hideously out of tune vocals at 4am for four nights in succession. Every night. In unison with every one within 500 yards.

Then laughed when it became a festival singalong all weekend.

We gate-crashed other people’s parties – and were welcomed with open arms.

We wandered around the Chapel of Love and Loathing watching a boxing match which segued into a white wedding between Laura and Maureen.

We got lost both physically and mentally amid Lost Vagueness. a field which defied the notion of hedonism. The most debauched of festival arenas you could imagine full of characters from a time music forgot.

Where do these people go when the lights go out?

We drank peculiar brown liquid from a man wearing a hard hat which resulted in wild hallucinations and fed upon free chocolate croissants and left-over minted lamb burgers for breakfast.

A mud soaked Glastonbury in 2005

Hmmm, those lamb burgers were great whatever the time.

Glastonbury was the first time we’d meditated. Glastonbury was the first time we experienced vegetarian food.

Glastonbury was the first time we ate mushrooms other than for culinary purposes.

Glastonbury was the first time we’d heard of falafel. Glastonbury was the first time we’d eaten falafel.

Glastonbury was the first, and only time, we saw a man paddling in a canoe on what was a dusty, dry hill but had overnight metamorphosised into a river of swirling thick mud-water.

Glastonbury was the first and only time I was given a piggyback by my then sister’s lesbian girlfriend because the mud was thigh-deep and I literally couldn’t walk.

Glastonbury was the first time I spent an entire day raving in a dance field with no one I knew but enjoying every minute of being alone, just dancing and smiling and not caring that I was missing all my favourite guitar bands over the other side of the festival because this felt truly liberating.

With the highs come dramatic lows. It’s the only time I’ve bought wellies for £45 three sizes too big because I was fed up of traipsing around in thick cow shit.

At Glastonbury no one can hear you scream with internal frustration when you physically want to be somewhere else but can’t.

But then came Brian Wilson playing the Beach Boys and suddenly all woes were forgotten and we felt better than ever before.

Glastonbury was the first time I saw Echo & The Bunnymen as Ian McCulloch slagged off Emilie Heskey.

Glastonbury was the first time I stood on a milk float to watch a football match and see David Beckham get sent off before copping off with a brunette girl in an adidas tracksuit. I wish I’d asked her name.

Glastonbury was the first time I drank spicy pear cider and loved it. I’ll never drink it again. Anywhere.

Glastonbury was the first time I saw a band being turned off by the sound man; firstly Primal Scream for being drunk, secondly My Morning Jacket for being improvisational wizards.

Glastonbury was the first time I said I’d meet you by ‘the big tree‘ only to find out 4,000 other people had the same idea and ended up making friends with some of them while I waited 45 minutes for you not to turn up.

Then there was Paul McCartney on top of the Pyramid Stage and dancing with a family with seven kids, all of us singing Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah. My cynicism nowhere in sight.

Glastonbury was the first time I sacked off a headliner (Moby) to go and watch a band I’d heard of, but never heard (Sigur Ros) only to become friends with an Irish lass who cried all the way through. I wish I’d asked her name too.

Glastonbury is the first time I’ve queued behind a cow while on my way to the toilet.

Glastonbury is the reason why Getintothis is called Getintothis.Peter Guy

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We can’t ignore the fact that Glastonbury and drugs often go hand in hand. This isn’t always a good thing, as it can be a very overstimulated place to be too off your head.

That said, the first time I ever tried Acid was at Glastonbury.

Looking back, I’m not sure why this happened, as it had never appealed to me at all before. In fact I was dead against it. Maybe I got caught up in the vibe of the festival.

But whatever the reason, on the Sunday me and a friend thought it would be a good idea to try it. It was openly available everywhere in it was cheaply priced, compared to a lot of what was on offer – just two pounds a go.

We approached a person who was selling trips that were all white and marked out into squares with black borders. Obviously home made. There were also covered in Sellotape, or something similar, to stop the LSD seeping into his skin as he constantly handled the sheets.

As novices, we bought one tab between us and asked him to cut it in half, just to give us a taste and immediately swallowed our small triangle of paper..

Fast forward a couple of hours and we were walking around the site wondering why our trips weren’t working.

We decided that half a trip just wasn’t enough, so we found our friend and bought another two trips, one each. I swallowed mine straight away and my friend saved it ‘for later’, maybe after he saw how I was getting on.

Another hour later, we still weren’t feeling the effects of our first LSD experience. We decided that we had been ripped off and had bought three small squares of paper for six pounds.

In case there was a trace amount of anything in the paper, I swallowed my friend’s square as well.

Then, oh my god, the effects of my first ever two and a half trips suddenly came roaring through my mind.

The delay may well have been due to the sellotape that needed to be dissolved by stomach acid before the psychoactive properties of the paper could be accessed, but when it did I was tripping at supersonic speed for over 14 hours!

I remember thinking that Glastonbury made perfect sense on Acid and what a waste it was that I hadn’t thought of this before.

We visited various stages and tents, each one funnier or more colourful than the last. I laughed for what seemed like hours at a tent pole, ate a whole, dry French stick and danced to music that maybe I alone could hear.

I further remember (I think) at one point crouch-walking down a day-glo tunnel into an illicit rave tent organised by the Mutoid Waste Company.

I focused my acid induced laser vision on a girl who was dancing at frantic speed and reasoning that, if I carried on watching her, I would have to become as fast as she was to keep up. I refocused on calmer dancers and felt immediately slower.

My friend eventually tired of my almost incessant laughter and nonsense and retired to his tent while I, still a resident of this newly discovered other world, occupied myself by building a small fire and watching the flames. For about 4 hours.

I introduced other friends to this marvellous experience and, for a while, festivals became lysergic playgrounds for us all.

A few years later, bad trips stopped me from indulging again but, as the cliche has it, you always remember the first time, it will always be special. – Barry Lentil

Glastonbury Festival – a veteran’s tale

Glastonbury

Glastonbury was always an exercise in trial and error for me.

I first went in 2008, the year when the festival was trying to reinvent itself. The past few years had been mud-sodden washouts, and I’d been able to secure a ticket on a whim about two months beforehand, something that’s seemed incredible ever since.

It was that odd period between the erection of the great wall – when returning to your car on the Monday to find all your windows broken was just part of the experience – and the repositioning of the festival as the national treasure that it is now.

We rocked up quite late on Thursday afternoon, blasting out 99 Problems along the country lanes, and pitched our tent in the last two square metres of turf, probably where someone planned to erect their gazebo.

The rain fell, leaving us all worried, but it was solid sunshine from Friday morning onwards.

My memories of that year include going around drinking decanted whiskey out of a plastic water bottle and finding Florence withoutThe Machine dressed as a clown playing Cold War Kids covers on a deserted theatre stage.

I saw Jimmy Cliffe pretending to be a tiger. I saw an incredible Battles performance on the Park Stage. I saw Leonard Cohen in his white suit singing for Marianne.

Everybody and their Dad’s dog wanted a ticket in 2009, but somehow I got lucky again, and my brothers and I were determined to do it right. Some friends had booked a coach from outside the Alt Park pub in Aintree on the Wednesday evening, which left at 6 am.

We got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams and didn’t make it to the site until 7pm.

Once there, we wanted to get stuck in straight away; the unlikely festival rumour that Michael Jackson had died only added to the fervid atmosphere.

There was barely a drop of rain, and the main enemies this time were dust and dehydration.

Neil Young rocked in the free world, Damon Albarn cried, and Warren Ellis rolled on his back as the Bad Seeds called upon the author.

After the nightmare coach trip of 2009, we drove down early on the Tuesday night in 2the following year and slept in the car park.

Our visions of getting straight in and putting our tent up were dashed straight away when we a) overslept and b) queued at the one gate where they didn’t open until midday.

We stood for hours waiting in the baking heat. (In my memory, there was a crying baby nearby; but that can’t be right, can it?)

This was another summer of heatstroke. Me and my friend drank too much cider watching Bonobo and passed out in the only bit of shade we could find.

When I came to, she was gone. I eventually found her hyperventilating and disorientated by the portaloos.

We saw Snoop Dogg and Shakira. Mark E Smith cameoed for Gorillaz.

I saw someone with a badly broken ankle – foot pointing the wrong way – over by the Pyramid Stage.

At night we sat on the hill, overlooking that firmament of fairy lights and campfires and fairgrounds, watching people release floating paper lanterns into the sky.

The rain came deep into Sunday night, just as I was in my tent ‘resting my eyes’ for five minutes. I nodded off mid-sentence, while suggesting that we should go back to the hill for a few more bevvies.

I’ve not been back since. And I’m not sure I could deal with it any more, to be honest.

Glastonbury is a slog. You walk hundreds of miles, you drink far too much, you’re at the mercy of the weather. You’re a shell at the end of it.

Going back to my newly acquired office job in 2010 was a journey into existential terror after the dirty, dusty bacchanalia of Worthy Farm.

Plus, every year it seemed to get busier. Every year the proportion of gap-year kids in search of the 18 to 30 experience they saw on the telly increased at the expense of the freaks and weirdos.

Plus, it’s just so hard to get tickets, the prices of which have ballooned from £155 to £248.

But every year there’s that day in October where everyone clambers for tickets and you think ‘what if’?

You remember the rare moments, like being in a tree house pub in the woods or sitting on the floor of the Hare Krishna tent eating free porridge.

You remember seeing old friends emerge unexpectedly out of a parting crowd. You remember finally finding the fabled flushing toilets.

Every October, I wonder: what if this year is the one I get right? – Matthew Eland

When Mark E. Smith played Glastonbury – a personal reflection on a unique tale

Since I was a teenager, Glastonbury has always been earmarked as the holy grail of festivals.

Having not grown up in the Britain, it was the festival that most non-U.K. residents and music fans had dreamed of attending at some point and I was no different.

Having waited just shy of half a lifetime, my first taste of Glastonbury came in 2017.

A lot of water under the bridge had passed since those first dreams of attending Glastonbury, namely festivals becoming ‘bucket list’ events with sub-cultures seemingly strangled by the middle-classes.

Selfies and narcissism of the new age replacing the spiritual “lose yourself and be free” mantra that we once associated with festival culture.

True, there was still that, but with festivals, it’s what one makes of them. A choose-your-own-adventure scenario and where this is concerned, quite simply, there is no other festival like Glastonbury on earth and there never will be.

People always said that the Glastonbury “vibe” is different and the cynic in me always thought that this was just hippidom bathed in its own naivety.

It’s true, though – there’s an unfathomable spirit that envelopes the fields of Glastonbury for that June weekend and those who have been lucky enough to experience the wonder of Glastonbury will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Glastonbury 2017 was a monumental moment for me for many reasons.

In hindsight I look back at it as one of my favourite festival moments in a lifetime that has experienced many a muddy field, shoddily erected tent and the fetid aroma of portaloos.

Did I mention that I’ve never taken a shower at a music festival? It’s blasphemous if you do…

I could mention bands. The Orb warming things up the Thursday night with cuts from C.O.W. Hamilton Leithauser and Real Estate warming the cockles of the heart and helping shake off the remnants of a hangover. Run The Jewels, Moderat, Radiohead

Well, you’ve heard it all before.

It was the last festival I shared with my wife before she passed away. That’s why I’ll never attend it again. Doing so will only reduce those moments of 2017.

It was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. I don’t really need to go to another festival again because it won’t be that moment. It won’t be Glastonbury. – Simon Kirk

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Glastonbury 2016

Once upon a time, it was easy to buy tickets for Glastonbury. In 1995, I was able to purchase a couple only one month before the festival.

I just went to one of those small ticket shops, somewhere in West London, and asked “Have you got Glastonbury tickets?”. “Sure.” Price was 65 quid, and I probably paid 75 each.

My mate and I had no time to prepare, so we left London driving a rented old Fiesta (a bloody tiny vehicle), with a small bag of clothes each. No tent, no sleeping bags. “We sleep in the car”, I said.

We got there, parked the Fiesta, and right before the gate saw a group of super cool men selling t-shirts. And hashish. Welcome to Glastonbury 1995.

Many consider that year the ultimate 1990s indie Glastonbury festival, and it did feel like it. Headliners were Oasis, in their biggest gig to date, The Stone Roses, promoting their Second Coming, album and The Cure.

Oasis played songs from the still unheard (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, and people went nuts.

Don’t Look Back in Anger was a hit from the moment Noel opened his mouth. Slide Away was insane. The encore with Live Forever and Rock & Roll Star was out of this world.

After the gig, I turned to the girls behind us and said, “Wow!!! If Oasis were like this, imagine The Roses tomorrow!” “No, they’re not playing.” “What do you mean they’re not playing?” “John Squire broke his collarbone or something. It’s Pulp instead.

I was gutted. As we were not huge Pulp fans then, on Saturday we went up on a hill to catch Portishead.

I’ve never seen so many people trying to be in a single place at the same time.

The ground was going down the further away you were from the centre, so although we were inside the tent we could barely tell where the stage was.

We heard very well, though, when Evan Dando left, shouting and cursing – “You fucking hippies!!” –, and I could only have a glimpse of Beth Gibbons’ head a couple of times during Portishead’s historic performance.

I couldn’t see a thing, but it sounded and felt incredible.

We also watched The Verve, Sleeper, Elastica, The Boo Radleys, Menswear, Everything But the Girl, PJ Harvey, Galliano, Offspring, The Black Crowes and even Robert Plant and Jimmy Page playing Led Zeppelin galore in the middle of the afternoon – people had forgotten about Zeppelin in those days. I missed Jeff Buckley, though. I know.

The nights spent inside the Fiesta were like hell – as cold as Antarctica, as uncomfortable as the London Tube at 6pm on a Friday.

By the time The Cure were on the stage on Sunday night, my mate tried to make me stand up, but I think I spent their whole gig on the floor. Unforgettable. – Rogerio Simoes

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Living in 2020 has been as hard hitting a year as many of us have encountered.

With so much lost and so much sacrificed, it has been tricky to keep our heads above water, but one thing that has helped us through is our memories.

Those moments that we will cherish even more when they come back around, giving us a glimmer of hope for the future, a future that may be better off due to the troubles we have faced.

As we start to drink deep from summers’ short-lived, but fulfilling cup, that annual wanderlust creeps in and our minds drift towards swigging from a warm can under the blistering sun, watching our favourite bands.

Our memories flood with nostalgic promise and our guts flutter with excitement. Festival season is upon us, but there’s a void left in our hearts.

It would be easy to list all the bands that have truly blown me away at Glastonbury: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at John Peel, Warpaint at The Park, Justice at West Holts, Sasha at The Glade… I could go on, but really, Glastonbury memories always go beyond the independent moments themselves; it is a collective feeling, a oneness, pure bliss.

While we will miss the spellbinding sets and monumental vastness of Glastonbury, it would be difficult to write anything without mentioning the community spirit, the comradery and the overwhelming proof that we can live freely, liberally and peacefully.

Getintothis’ Matthew Wood at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage

Ever since we have had certain freedoms taken from us, what have we seen? A strive for positive change, unparalleled activism and the greatest uprising for a generation!

Without the promise of a sunbed abroad, or a week of escapism at our favourite festival, it has meant we have seen more action towards changing our realities, and the realities of others for the better.

Glastonbury is heaven on earth, but we have to admit that this is a much-needed fallow year, to allow the rest of the planet to take a step closer to the blissful community that Glastonbury embodies.

Perhaps next year when we dig out the wellies and begin gawping with significant intent at the line-up, we will be closer to the reality that we are striving towards today. See you next year! – Matthew Wood

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Glastonbury 2015 (Photo credit: Jessie Colman)

The first time I went to Glasto I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d been to numerous T in the Park and V festivals amongst others and I suppose if anything I was expecting it to be a music festival but a lot bigger.

But it is not that at all. It’s one of those things that you have to experience for yourself as no-one telling you about it will do it justice.

And don’t be put of by its size, as countless people say they are: you are in one place at any one time, the fact that it is within something the size of a city is neither here nor there (if you’re sat in the Caledonia watching a Bluegrass band does it really impinge on you how far Huyton or Fazakerley is away at that point in time?).

At T in the Park or V you may plan your day with a spreadsheet and zigzag between the main and second stage, dipping into the smaller ones and newcomers: and be able to stick with it.

At Glasto you pick your two or three ‘must sees’ and are prepared to ditch them by finds along the way.

You could go there and see a mountain of bands and have a fine old time, but you could go and see hardly any and have a better one.

If there was a time and place where ‘go with the flow’ was made for it is this festival. If I could only have one holiday a year–and I could be sure of a ticket–then I would pick Glasto as my destination of choice.

If you ever get the chance to go, then go. I couldn’t pick a standout moment per se. Band wise John Fogerty, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and the like were all beautiful moments.

The year I won a pair of tickets on Twitter and took a mate there for his first visit was special though. – Andy Walker

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Glastonbury Festival

The café in the Avalon field is a perfect retreat and has maybe the best macaroni cheese on the planet.

Certainly when the rain lashes down and everyone huddles for shelter, it tastes divine. When the sun is out and the heat is unbearable, it tastes delicious too.

There’s a small stage at one end of the café, local bands play and battle with the PA coming from the much larger Avalon tent.

I’ve wiled away many perfect hours in that café – beer in hand and an empty plate of mac & cheese.

The Johnsons played back in 2013, a local band from Somerset, the whole thing was just bloody good fun. Watching the world go by on a sunny afternoon, there’s no better place on Earth. – Steve Hanlon

When Mark E Smith and The Fall terrified Glastonbury revellers

I have only ever been to Glastonbury once, back in 1992, before it became unbearably trendy and unfeasibly massive.

Carter USM headlining was the main reason for going, but saw so many other great bands, including Blur, who were on just before Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (imagine) and were truly terrible (it was before they got ace).

 

Loved it, the weather was fantastic, and the thrill of eating pizza, drinking lager and watching Stewart Lee all in one place before lunchtime blew my youthful mind.

 

It was my very first music festival experience, and yet every year since, I think “should I do it again?

 

And then I see how many people it now holds, how dull the headliners always are, the amount of walking in between stages, bringing in the possibility of missing bands you want to see.

 

Because I seem to be something of an anomaly, by wanting to go to Glastonbury again, not for the “festival experience”, but for the actual bands.

 

So I’ll stick to Sound City instead. – Steven Doherty

 

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