After a break of three years, we returned to the Glastonbury Festival and it was one of the best ones yet – the weather for the main days was lovely, the sheer quality and variety of entertainment on offer was mind-boggling, and of course many of our fellow revellers made for a great atmosphere throughout.
Musical highlights included Chic (staggeringly good), the Rolling Stones (epic singalongs), First Aid Kit, Goat, Tame Impala, Jagwar Ma, Ondatropica, Molotov Jukebox, Evan Dando, John Fairhurst and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Other assorted moments of happiness:
- Seeing the One Minute Disco in the Theatre Field. Basically a completely innocuous white van pulls up in the middle of a bunch of people, the back shutter rolls up and two men in boiler suits scream out ONE MINUTE DISCO! At which point dance music starts blaring out of the van and people run up to have a boogie. Sure enough, more or less one minute later, the music stops, the back shutter rolls back down again and it’s back o to being just a van, leaving a group of very bemused people.
- The view from Flagtopia / the top of the Park field either at day or night was simply staggering.
- Getting into Heaven at Shangri-la and finding not only posh, clean, flush toilets, but also the Snake Pit club, where our eyes were opened by a bondage / dominatrix / pyrotechnic act involving flaming whips and not a lot of clothing.
- Sunny afternoons getting into the spirit of things. Ondatropica at the West Holts stage, with its Colombian salsa, was just the ticket. And the sun coming out on Sunday just as First Aid Kit sang “Emmylou” got me a tad emotional.
- Great food from Goan Fish Curry, MeatLiquor (Dead Hippie burger), Anna Mae’s pesto & bacon mac & cheese, Buddha Bowl veggie curry, Grillstock pulled pork bun. Yum.
- Finding out that my “poo” photo which had been made one of the Amnesty International postcards turned out to be the best-selling one of the festival.
Only “lowlight” was occasional overcrowding and a bit of lairy behaviour in the Pyramid field – but on the whole not much to complain about!
The photos below are just a sample. Many more can be found within my Glastonbury 2013 Flickr Set.
This is my final instalment of photos from the Glastonbury Festival 2010. The Sunday started as another blazing-hot day, but it gradually eased off and by the late afternoon a few welcome clouds brought some relief from the relentless sun. I got back to my gig-going on the main stages and saw a bit of Slash on the Pyramid, Holy F*ck in the John Peel tent, Ray Davies, Faithless and Stevie Wonder on the Pyramid Stage. Oh, and England got bundled out of the World Cup mercilessly. But all in all it was the best weather the festival had seen in years, and Stevie Wonder finishing off the festival made for a fantastic celebration of Glastonbury’s 40th anniversary.
In advance of my last, decidedly amateur set of photos being blogged here, I want to point towards some photos taken by actual jobbing photogs, some of which are just stunning.
Saturday was rumoured to be the hottest day of the festival, and I had had enough of massive crowds in stifling heat on the Friday. This combined with the fact that there weren't all that many acts on the main stages that I had a burning desire to see, meant that I took a punt on the Saturday and decided just to avoid the main stages entirely and keep to the smaller, out-of-the-way parts of the festival (including some quite bizarre late-night areas) and just follow my nose. Some of the time I was with friends, some of the time alone, and in fact I ended up going off on a little photo journey around the site post-midnight (for the first time ever with a tripod) and manage to snag some shots I had never gotten close to achieving before. I managed to see some pretty cool stuff along the way, and was very thrilled to be able to catch Imelda May's rockabilly act at the Acoustic Stage. It hit just the right note for me. And I saw a lot that made me laugh, including the "Hug a Troll" guys below.
My second installment of Glasto 2010 pictures is rather smaller, as I think the heat got to me on the Friday (and the fact it was as bright as blazes and impossible to get good light) and so I didn’t take heaps of pictures. I also elected not to have my SLR with me at night so I relied on the little Canon S90 compact, which I love as a daytime point-and-shoot but hate as a night-time camera. It’s built to take low-light pictures, with a high-sensitivity sensor and a fast F/2.0 lens, but its night-time autofocus is atrociously bad and nearly renders it unusable. But, I digress. I did manage to capture the images below, as well as some more which may be found in the Flickr set here.
Here’s my first set of Glastonbury 2010 pictures. These are from the Thursday before the start of the main festival. This is usually the time that some of the smaller stages start putting on lesser-known bands, and it’s a good time to have a general wander around the massive site to try and get your bearings before the chaos of the music schedule starts to take over your life. On Thursday, after 2 separate trips right across the site to first set up tents and then collect rucksacks, we then had a wander from our campsite in an overflow field near John Peel to the Dance Village, the Other Stage and thence through to the West Holts (formerly Jazzworld) stage where we enjoyed our traditional first pints of Brothers Pear Cider, which at 7% ABV sets one up nicely for a further exploration. We carried on through to the Avalon field, and then onto Arcadia (which was already spitting fire) and thence to Shangri-La, the late-night area / small town where all manner of bizarre side streets and alleyways are honeycombed with bizarre miniature bars and clubs, with subversive street art littered throughout. We finally ended up with a stroll up to the Stone Circle and onto the Park for some tea and cookies (yes, really).