Late on Thursday night at Glastonbury I was wandering around fairly aimlessly thinking it was time to call it a night and head back to the tent when something drew me toward an opening into a field, I could hear music and continued to wander and found modest sized tent full of people with a foot stomping band playing and buzzing atmosphere. This was Small World hidden away in the Green Fields which little did I know at that point would become my favourite place to be in the whole festival and the starting point of a crazy and random Saturday night.
I arrived on Wednesday by myself. Different friends had missed out on tickets or had tickets and cancelled them but I decided I wasn't going to give up my ticket and was happy enough to go off on my own personal adventure. Pitched up my tent somewhere between the stone circle and the park which was just as I'd planned. It was hot and sunny and I wandered around a bit before setting off to get myself a drink, I ended up buying 2 ciders from a girl who said she'd bought too many and this saved me waiting in the mass of people crowded around the bar. It was I discovered the 8% 'festival strengh' cider which I drank a bit too fast and after one or two more I felt quite drunk. My drunkeness encouraged me to buy some herbal stimulants from a stall which made me feel weird and later I was sick outside my tent.
Thursday I stayed off the booze, the main festival doesn't start until tomorrow but there's still plenty to see. After a sunny morning the rain started in the afternoon, I got a bit fed up being by myself and wondered how I'd get on the rest of the weekend. Even though I was sick last night I for no good reason tried some more of the herbal highs I bought yesterday, can't be that strong if there legal right? A little while later I was spaced out in my tent and slept through a few hours of rain. The rain had stopped later at night and I pulled myself together to go wandering again and later found the Small World tent where the Scallywags were playing to a small but excited packed crowd.
Friday morning everywhere was muddy, it had rained through the night and all the paths were churned up but the sun was out already though and I had plenty of bands to see today. Not what you normally expect to do while at a festival but confirmed booking for holiday to Costa Rica and Panama for later in the year which gave me a lift and a big smiley face for the rest of the day. Watched Beady Eye and The Hives at The Other Stage who were both great and then trekked down to The Gully stage and watched a reggae band called Laid Blak. Was going to watch Miles Kane in the John Peel tent but decided to skip that and get down to The Park in good time to see Palma Violets. This turned out to be the best band I saw all weekend, youthful reckless attitude and great music. Decided to have a few ciders while waiting for Django Django, the band I'd wanted to see most out of the whole line up and In real geek style I'd got right to the front against the barrier. they were good but don't quite seem to cut it live, more exciting to listen to on your mp3 player cycling to work than to watch live, a bit harsh as maybe they weren't that bad but the comparison against the onstage energy of Palma Violets didn't help. After Django Django finished I grabbed another cider and thought maybe I could get to the Pyramid Stage in time for Arctic Monkeys, which I could have done if I hadn't got distracted by the silent disco tent, dancing with strangers all wearing headphones was a bit surreal but good enough fun for quite a while. At gone midnight I went to Arcadia, which is hard to describe but I'll try 20 metre high mechanical flame throwing spider light show with DJ booth and trapeze artists. You can stand right under it while it's all going on and the huge balls of fire exploding from the spider's head burn your face. erm yeh just look it up.
Saturday I ventured down to the circus and cabaret fields, I hadn't realised there was so much stuff down there. I watched two bands at the Williams Green tent and then went back over to the cabaret tent where it seemed professor Brian Cox had become the highlight of the festival, you couldn't get inside and masses of people crowded outside even though they couldn't see or hear anything, bit pointless so I went and watched some children's comedy/cabaret/circus act nearby sat in the sun and Katherine Ryan in the comedy tent. All sorts of bands and strangely dressed people walking around as well as trolls sprinting around in groups shouting and giving 'free hugs'. Wasn't really interested in any music today until Major Lazer and Public Enemy on West Holts stage at night. The Rolling stones and Chase and Status are also on but all clash and I've said all along I'm gonna see Public Enemy so that's were I'll be later..... maybe. Afternoon I got a free meal from the Hari Krishnas (as I did the day before) then and wandered back up to the Green Fields, I was getting a bit bored again but small random events were about to change things. I spotted a band playing in the Small World marque and realised that was the place I found on Thursday night and so went and sat just outside in the sun and listened to the band. A girl nearby asked me was I staying for a while? If so could I watch her things while she went to the toilets? I said yes and when she returned we talked for a while until her friends came over. They suggested I joined them and from there one long party started. I drank beer, lots of rum, smoked weed and whatever was passed to me. One of the girls Alesha was the most spontaneous person I've ever met, if we walked past something that caught her attention that was it, lets go there, I'm buying this, lets drink more rum. She ended up with 2 soft toys (a squirrel and an owl), a new tshirt, a hat stolen from a man's head, a fake fur coat, sunglasses and a drink at every bar we passed. All the stuff she bought she had lost by the end of the night. So we reached the Pyramid stage about half an hour before the Rollings Stones were due to come on..... yes that's right I had a change of heart when people kept saying to me "you're not watching them? but it's the Rolling fucking Stones!!!", the crowd was the biggest I've ever seen, it was packed right back to the food stalls way back at the sides and way back to the campsites at the back as far as I could see. In the middle it was a crammed mass of people and flags, the atmosphere was buzzing. When I was told "Cmon we're getting to the front" I said "we've got no chance!" but 30 minutes later I had been dragged pretty much there! As we were pushing through some people laugh and let us past others seem to think there's some kind of queuing system and go out of their way to not let us past. I was going to miss this but I'm glad I didn't, thoroughly enjoyed the massive occasion, the music, the fuzzyness of my head and the random chance of events that had led me here. After the Stones via a few bars we went to Arcadia (the giant fire breathing spider) and caught Fat Boy Slim's DJ set and then after a bit of wandering and refuelling of intoxicating substances we ended back at Small World, danced a bit to the amazing Carnival Collective in the early hours and then chilled out until... well, sunrise. Went up to the stone circle after sunrise to find that last nights party was still in full swing to the sound of crazy bongo playing. Parted company and by the time I got back to my tent it was about 0830am. I tried to get some sleep but after lying in my tent for two hours with the noise of Sunday starting and the sun coming out again I decided to get up and get on with it.
Sunday was spent mostly by myself again, I hadn't really arranged to meet up, didn't know where they were and didn't want to seem like I was clinging on to anyone for company so set off to wander the festival for one last day. It was blazing hot again and I was burning myself quite a decent suntan, I lounged outside Small world listening to the bands for a bit before heading off to Williams Green to catch what should have been a great few hours with The View, Palma Violets and The Vaccines all one after the other but unfortunately The View had cancelled and so I set off wandering watching circus acts and random bands. By the time I returned to see Palma Violets for the second time of the weekend the smallish tent was packed full and huge crowds surrounded the tent, I could hear well enough and see a tiny bit so stayed for the whole set. It was going to get a bit silly for The Vaccines playing a smaller stage mid afternoon and so still feeling dazed from the night before I wandered off. There wasn't really much else I wanted to see today and so later on I briefly saw a bit of Smashing Pumpkins and then decided I'd go watch Bobby Womack which I got bored off after a few songs and thought I'd go back to my second home, Small World, sat next to the fire watching the bands with a peppermint tea. Later on the girls I met yesterday showed up, chatted for a bit and got an 'early night' at about 3am as I had to be up early to get the coach home.
Monday morning I'd packed everything up and set off to the coach park by 0630, the site was still rocking, you could hear bongos echoing over from the stone circle, little tents still pumping music out and cheery people staggering back to their tents. It took a good 40 minutes to trek across the site, the festival is massive. Despite arriving alone I've loved it, the times when I got fed up was not because I was bored but because I was thinking how brilliant it would have been if a few of my friends had made it. Next year I'll be back, with friends hopefully but if not I'll still be back.....