Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Glastonbury 2008

Get ready for a picture post bitches! Normally I would accompany this photo assault with witty social commentary as per usual. However, most of things worth discussing (Jay-Z; the difference between food now (organic gourmet dishes) and what I was faced with 10 years ago (tepid pizza and cheap crepes); Kate Moss's face etc.) I have no pictorial evidence of.
As such, I will simply display pictures and then interject with captions which will for the most part, tell you nothing that you couldn't have gathered yourself. I call it "subverting the rigid conventions of photo-journalism", you'll call it "irritating and ultimately tedious".

But first - I will say that there were 3 marked differences between this years Glastonbury and the Glastonbury's of yore - i.e. the late 90's:
  • 1. Fashion. I unfortunately took few pictures of this, but girls have upped their festival fashion, big time. I'd say about 90% of the girls there were wearing 'outfits' - every day. No more of this combats stuffed into black wellingtons with a dreary kag thrown on top. Literally every girl there looked like an extra from The Hills; it was incredible. They were hot, young, slender and well-dressed. I welcome this change; I've never agreed with the notion that because one is in a tent, one must compromise her style. Sartorial laziness ain't cool. Luckily I am no longer alone in this opinion. I remember years ago when Kate Moss stood out simply by wearing a waistcoat and hotpants. This year when she swanned through the camping field in full view of the public, she looked rather normal. Of course the skinny legs and ugly boyfriend gave her away, but she is no longer the lone style queen on the festival circuit. Well done girls for finding another event worthy of a preliminary shopping trip. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the boys who, for the most part, looked like rejects from a Noasis open casting call.

  • 2. Cocaine. As you may well know, I don't partake in any of this narcotics funny business, I stick to classier pursuits like Gin and cigarettes. However, even as an innocent bystander, one couldn't help but notice the prevalence of The White Stuff at Glastonbury. In previous years, herb was king and the place was rammed full of crusty hippies toking on their doobies with wild abandon. As a result, you were constantly bombarded with a wave of that muddy, slightly sweet aroma of ole mary jane througout the day. But, if these hot young things are to remain skinny binnies, munchies ain't gonna help. So this year, it was all about schnauser powder. Every time I walked past a tent, someone was leaning over a hand mirror and while watching bands I was struck by the amount of people around me seemingly sniffing their keys...

  • 3. Clean (ish) toilets. I remember in the olden days of Glasters (so much better than "Glasto"), the biggest plus point of Thursday was that this was the only day on which one could even consider sitting down to urinate. By Saturday night, most women had thighs of steel from the constant crouching. However, I'll have you know that this year I managed to sit down in the toilet on SUNDAY. Imagine that. And it wasn't cos I just gave up caring. It was because unbelievably they actually had cleaners there this year. The toilets were emptied and cleaned and (aside from those near the main stage which were perennially vomit-inducing) actually usable. Impressive. But still, celebs take their backstage toilets for granted. Spoiled children...

On to the photo fest!
I did a fairly average job of taking pictures to be honest. I missed out on so many photo op's it's hardly laughable. But it still is.

The train journey there was pure traveling pleasure. I can't recall the last trip I embarked upon with as much anticipation. Plus - we had first class seats! Somehow these were cheaper than standard tickets (it pay dividends to order tickets early kids) though in future, I would pay more for them in any case as the difference was abundant. Standard class was rammed with festival goers, all endless backpacks and carrier bags and tents and sleeping bags and so on, all crammed sardine-style into compact carriages with nothing to offer but tray tables the size of postage stamps, a complete lack of storage space and leg room clearly constructed with the body of a 5 year-old in mind.

First class however, we were rolling in style. Stretch-out space, copious storage room, complimentary drinks, huge wooden table, our own power point etc. Of course we didn't really let the class go to our heads as is evident by our choice of meal:

I don't think the other passengers were too pleased, they were probs just trying to get home after a day at the stuffy office:

First meal of the festival was deelish - mainly because it came from one of many stands which serve to make up "My Favorite Addition to Glastonbury" - Mexican food! It was EVERYWHERE. It was astonishing. Elsewhere in this quaint little country, Mexican food is a kind of exotic cuisine which can only be found on backstreets of London if you know where to look. But for some reason, in the micro-city of Glastonbury, it's one of the most well-represented foreign foodstuffs. Here's a slice of refried beans/salsa/cheese heaven:

Of course we brought our own savory snacks, money saving and all. The following day, the Christmas Eve of the festival, Thursday, we went to a little cafe which was called Tea Time or something, though the owners should really consider changing it's name to, "Guardian Readers ONLY!" as this is what it was. I've never seen so many Guardian peeps coralled together in one place, a herd of liberal and green-loving cattle sipping their organic chai. And us.

By the way, I think this is my favorite picture from the festival. Everything that I feel about the the world is encapsulated in Tudds' face.

The Great Fire of Glastonbury '08

Not sure I'll ever really "get" the teepee village. The price is unavoidably extortionate considering what you're paying for. I'd rather have one of those wooden pod things that they offered this year. The contradiction of the "getting back to earth"-ness of the teepee and the fee involved seems wrong somehow. But I do like the idea of having a fire inside your tent.

This hill never used to be open to festival goers til this year. It offers great views of the whole site, and it's defs the highest point. Higher, for instance, than this, the viewing tower:

which everyone is just dying to get into. Check out this fancy photo of yours truly - the line you see behind me is for this stupid tower:

One place no-one was in line for was this gorgeous Japanese restaurant. An actual restaurant serving what looked like increds sushi and teriyaki, unfortunately all at typics Japanese prices. But it was so authentic, all low tables and and floor cushions to sit on. I SO wanted to eat here. However, as with most desires of mine, it never came to fruition.

Mud came on Friday. Wowser.

But I did make new friends and watch my dear old friend Dev play his little heart out. Twice!

As well as raping the backstage booze, I also took advantage of the stellar restroom facilities. And stole high-end toilet paper. I'm so gracious with affluence...

Then Dev joined We Are Scientists on The Other Stage.

Dev was also really proud to be wearing a No Bra shirt. Really proud.

Also, thanks to him, I had the best steak sandwich of my entire life at some backstage food establishment.

Friday night was probably my favorite night of the weekend. This is obvious as I have the fewest pictures from it.

Saturday - sunshine and circus.

The amount of seagulls overhead was startling. While it did give an odd sea-side resort feel to the event, it also filled me with slight trepidation that if we smelled so bad on Saturday that birds were circling above, I was unprepared for the likely stench come Monday...

All the world cuisine you could ask for on offer here, but why bother the risk? Stick with what you know. Good ole fried battery chicken:

See, the thing about a festival like Glastonbury is you can do whatever you want, maaan. You can dress up like a peacock, spend an entire day pretending to be an envelope - whatever you want. Everything's A-okay down glaster's way. And if you find yourself feeling a tad drowsy in the afternoon sun - no problem! Just take a nap between some cesspit-like port-a-potties and overflowing roasting-in-the-sun trash cans! GREAT IDEA.

Of course the best part of a sunshine-filled day is the warm and balmy evening that follows, right? Totally! English countryside's are famous for their sticky-hot nights, right?! Outta the way Miami, Glastonbury is here!

This night also yielded perhaps my favorite contrasting minute-apart photos.

Made all the better when one considers that Ed (on the right) is actually wearing a bucket hat a la The New Radicals. And it's beige. And it's corduroy.

Finger-cum + portable stool = 4am

OMFG maaaan, fucking **sToNe cIrCLe** at 6:30am maaaan...

I believe you're meant to find your true self here. I found a lot of people doing balloons.

And as the sun set on Sunday, so did my body into a sleeping bag, at a reasonable 2am to ensure a fresh start and peaceful journey home. Not everyone followed this train of thought believing instead that there was no reason to end the party, thus leading to a rather palid dispositon the following morning when it came time to pack up our tent at 8am:

I have no meaningful concluding phrase here. Sorry.

See you next year!

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