They always say you remember your first time…
The anticipation, will I like it, will it change me forever?
Well, this was no sordid love affair, more the beginning of a beautiful romance that would span two decades and is still going strong, ME & GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL!
It’s 1997, Britpop has been peaking the last few years, I have my Adidas gazelles and bucket hat on plus a few other items essential items crammed into a tiny ruck sack, small tent and sleeping bag. What else would one young, free spirited person need this weekend in Somerset? Turns out in an instant a lot more clothing … yes, descending the hill with excitement from the car park to the beckoning gates of Glastonbury I slipped, fell over in a river of mud, “ but I’ve only brought one other change of clothes “ I announce to my hysterical brother, who points out its Thursday and we have four more days on site. It’s fair to say I unwittingly embraced what was later to be coined “The year of the Mud”
Never mind, that wouldn’t dampen my spirits, “we’re here finally" I thought! Months previous we’d purchased our tickets over the phone by talking to a lovely lady who took payment and said our ticket would be in the post. Seems another world aways now, no stress of applying, uploading photo ids, no crashing of websites! We’d negotiated the huge traffic jams, set up camp, wrist bands on and we were going in. Having arranged to meet our friends, again in a simple manner of "we’ll meet you left of the mixing desk in the pyramid field", how would we possibly manage today without use of a smartphone and a whattsapp group in sight?! Well that walk into the main field and seeing the pyramid stage for the first time was something I will never forget: the beauty, the sounds buzzing, music, people (including all the ones that jumped the fences) the smells of food and fires burning we were free from the outside world; to me the stars had aligned!
The Prodigy headlined Friday night and made headlines by blowing up the pyramid stage sound system, it was complete rock n roll there in the making and then, wait for it, twisted Firestarter cranked out to a crowd of 90,000 people!
We laugh all the time at CW about our Flamers Firelighters being a twisted fire starter and when I go to festivals these days I make sure I got some packed as I’ve upgraded a bit these days. I’ve got my beloved campervan Nancy rather than a tent, I take plenty of clothes ( far too many and more sequins than you’d see in a strictly dressing room) and rather than packet noodles we love to cook with friends and family around the campfire before we head on to the silent disco. Yes, the music is still and will always be important to me, but as I discovered all those years ago, it’s not always about having a plan of who you want to see, it’s hanging out with friends old and new and the best stories always, always come out round the campfire!