Glastonbury the mother of all festivals

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glastonbury 2010
Glastonbury Festival, the mother of the British festival, there really is nothing else like it! From the moment you top one of the hills overlooking the staggeringly huge site you will be hooked. There is just something in the air and its not only the bass of a hundred sound systems.  No matter the weather everyone is there to be at Glastonbury and they all get on with it together whether trudging through mud or sauntering across a sunny field Pimms in hand, the vibe is unmistakable it has to be Glastonbury. Really it has to be seen to believed, a town of enormous coloured tents surrounded by thousands of smaller ones sprawling in all  directions. You will loose yourself if not careful so get your bearings first work out where the stages are, then the green fields and make sure to remember where you left your tent, you will be glad of it later!
It is worth remembering amid the press furore of big bands and big names that Glastonbury is a festival of performing arts and all performing arts are well represented in fact the music is just a part of what goes on. You can spend all day in the circus and theatre fields to say nothing of the childrens field. You could be entertained all weekend and never get to either of the big stages. Of course it is the big names and big bands that draw so many of us in and every year despite not knowing the line up tickets sell in their tens of thousands because we know that the line up whatever it is will be amazing.  In fact it will be hard to choose who you do want to see the most and don’t underestimate how long it takes to get between stages, thousands of people will be having the same thought as you and will be making their way at the same time. If there has been any rain it will take even longer than you think.
Everything really is going on at Glastonbury, you could be having tea and cake in the green fields contemplating an aromatherapy massage while listening to ambient trance - the next hour you could be at the jazz stage downing cocktails before heading off to the dance tent stopping on the way to see a magic show/stand up comedian/fire eater/belly dancer/ tightrope walker/ you name it! If you are lucky you will find your tent and a clean toilet along the way although the toilet situation is much better since the numbers have been more tightly controlled. Still, some of the toilets are not for the faint hearted but its all part of the Glastonbury experience and toilets will probably not be your overriding memory of the weekend.
It starts almost quietly on a Thursday, building up to the headliners on a Friday when everyone is on a mission to see who they want to see. All the weekenders arrive on the Saturday still on a mission but by Sunday everyone is pretty mellow, happy to be wherever they are and you are sure to see a legend performing on a Sunday afternoon usually the sun appears at this time and this is Glastonbury at its best. If you can manage it you will find all night cafes pumping out techno but come on, get some sleep, save some steam for some actual performances don’t waste your nights away at Glastonbury the best bits happen during the day.
Glastonbury is big in every sense, big crowds, big site, big distances. But what lacks in small and cute it makes up for with more big, big names, big bands, big shows, big sounds, big vibe and big love – love of Glastonbury. Once you have been you will have to go back.

Published on 29 January 2010 by Cathi Moore

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