Glastonbury with a 3 year old – Day 5

Glastonbury with a 3 year old – Day 5

Post-Glasto blues is a very real thing.  Of course people who didn’t get tickets or don’t see the appeal will say “diddums, at least you got to go” or “at least you’ll get a proper bed and bath” and of course logically they are right, but like many things at Glastonbury it’s very hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it.  I’d say 99% of the people I know who go, experience it to some extent.

For me it often starts on the Sunday morning, a combination of 4 days of sensory overload, physical and mental tiredness, and knowing it’s the last day.

Since we wanted to leave on the Sunday night to beat the crowds on Monday morning, we had to  pack up the tent and everything in the morning.  Having started around 8am, it was well after 1pm before the car was finally packed.

Sods law, first trip to the car without my raincoat and there was a short but heavy downpour.  Next trip I take my raincoat and the sun comes out!

My biggest concern was the trolley.  It’s a proper garden trolley with pneumatic tyres, which a lot of people swear by, and there were certainly loads on site.  But on the way in it kept tipping over before I realised I needed to hold on to the tent bag handles to steady it.  The axels were already bent and I saw lots of people trying to move theirs with 3 or less wheels.

Our tent is 21KG – gone are the days of going on my own with a 2 man pop-up Quechua on my back!  The thought of carrying it for the 45 minute or so trip to the car was horrifying.

Thankfully, the trolley survived.  Whether it will see another festival is another question!

It got me thinking seriously about a Camper Van.

It’s easy to forget what it’s like wakening up in the morning, bursting for the toilet, getting cramp as you try to get your wellies on, walk to the toilet (you don’t want to be camped too close to the toilets, trust me!) only to see a long queue which you have to wait in.  Then you’ve got the queue for your coffee.

Wakening up in the morning with a little toilet, kettle, fridge and so on would be heavenly!  Not to mention it would give us more time on the Wednesday and Sunday to enjoy ourselves rather than struggling with tents and stuff!

Who says socialists aren’t aspirational 😉

The only little fly in the ointment is that they are damned expensive!  Prices rise sharply in Glasto week, costing about £2K to hire.

It would be nice to own one for weekends away, but realistically with work and everything, we probably wouldn’t use it often enough to justify it, even if we could afford one which we can’t!

We’re not particularly mechanical, so buying a banger to do up isn’t really an option.

I’m thinking perhaps if we can get the finance, we could buy one in spring, use it a few weekends including Glasto and sell it on again.  Or hook up with people who go to other festivals to club together, or try to finance one to rent out – though of course these things don’t always run smooth when there are problems.

Barring a lottery win though (which is unlikely since we don’t even do it), I suspect I’ll be humping the tent around next time!

Having got everything packed, we sat outside the BBC Introducing tent for a while to see who the special guests were.  It turned out to be a band who’d just played on the other stage (can’t quite remember their name now) so wasn’t that special really!

We decided to take a leisurely stroll around to catch Barry Gibb.  Though the Bee Gee’s always sounded like their underwear was 2 sizes too small, they have a very consistent back catalogue, and it was the perfect unchallenging soundtrack to a Sunday afternoon with the sun out!

It was nevertheless quite emotional.  Googling to see how old Barry Gibb is now (71) I saw articles where he spoke of finding it difficult to sing without his brothers.  Then he started talking about how Robin had written one of the songs.  Can’t be easy for him.

The wee one was feeling particularly energetic and kept pushing me to the ground and jumping up and down on me.  A little girl who looked about 2 was a picture, flipping through the Guardian Guide and looking over as if in disbelief at him being so wild!

Towards the end of his set we decided it was probably time to head towards the Kidz Field for one last play.

The Magic Numbers however sounded particularly good in the Acoustic Tent on the way past, so we paused there for a bit, then I left the missus there and took the wee one to the Kidz Field where he was desperate to play in the sand pit, and from there I could here Chic from the Pyramid stage, so everyone was happy!

When the Kidz Field closed we quite fancied the Cinematic Orchestra on West Holts, but didn’t fancy rushing about so got something to eat before a final wander around the Theatre and Circus field.

The Summerhouse is a particularly nice little stage with deck chairs outside, particularly as it was so sunny, so we stopped to see who it was. I quickly realised it was Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip.

I first caught Mik at Glastonbury 2007 in a venue called The Banyan Tree.  I thought his set was hilarious but hadn’t quite caught his name, and with 2,000 performers at Glastonbury I feared I’d never figure out who he was.

But I remembered him taking straws out of his pocket saying “have a pocketful of straws” so when I posted this on a forum lots of people knew who he was.

Every year he plays lots of times on various small stages and it’s amazing how often just randomly wandering around I’ve encountered him.

His act doesn’t change much, but if it ain’t broke and all that!

A quick into the Astroglobe to watch a bizarre act, then we headed towards the car.

As we approached the Pyramid, Biffo Clyro had just finished and Tilda Swinton walked past us.  She looks very distinctive and was trying to place her initially, so I didn’t look at the 2 guys she was with.

But the singer from She Drew the Gun posted up a selfie with Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt.  Apparently they were there together to introduce a new movie they are in which was showing at one of the on-site cinemas.

So perhaps we walked past Brad Pitt and didn’t even notice!  Which would be a shame, because we could have said “So you think you’re Brad Pitt, that don’t impress me much…” or “How’s your brother Cess?”.  I think he’d have found that really funny and nobody ever does that to him 😉

It took us the best part of an hour to get to the car.  Funny thing is, someone wrote on one of my posts that the festival should be cancelled because neighbours suffered noise day and night.  Yet, standing outside Pedestrian Gate A beyond the fence I couldn’t hear a sound, despite it only being around 10pm and all the stages still active.

So I am a little skeptical that people miles away experience windows shaking and all the rest.  Admittedly Arcadia can be really loud and heard across the site, which seems strange because there are strict curfews on live music, yet even though the Pyramid sound travels a long way, nothing near as much as Arcadia which is on in the wee small hours.

So that’s it for another year, it’s funny looking at friends photos realising how little of the site we actually covered this year.  We never made it to The Park, Shangri La, Cinemageddon, Field of Avalon, Greenpeace etc etc etc. We did quite fancy the new metal stage, fashioned on a tube carriage, and would have been good to see the Dead Kennedys.

But then with a 3 year old we never really expected to, and I can’t really see how it could have been any better than it already was!

Some of my friends even made it to the legendary underground piano bar this year!

Every year there are areas you don’t make it to, and the key is to focus on the stuff you did do and enjoy rather than wasting time worrying about the stuff you didn’t do!

Next time I think we’ll do more of the Green Field stuff, there is loads for kids around there.

Having experienced a sunny, mud-free Glastonbury hopefully it hasn’t spoiled us for next time!


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John King