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Glastonbury 2007 - Swampapalooza

Mud, Music and Megaphones |

Where do I start with this one? That's more a request for help than a retorical question. It's all a blur of mud, music, and megaphones. Or alternatively - rain, crowds and hilarity. I'm going to struggle to report on this chronologically. I remember a series of events, all of which were excellent, so perhaps I'll just put some thoughts down and see where I end up.

Earlier in the year the option of taking a campervan to Glastonbury came up. I wasn't that sure. It was going to be pretty expensive, and Roskilde last year was fine in tents. Boy, come the 5 day forecast in mid June was I giving myself a High 5 for taking the campervan plunge. A fact I wasn't aware of at the time was we were hiring the campervan from Sheffield - the arse end of the old industrial north. We then had to make the pilgrimage down to Glasto, crossing most of England in the process.

As the impact of the 5 day forecast hit home on attending patrons the week before, gumboot sales had skyrocketed and Lord Gummington - the gumboot magnate - made his debut on the Forbes rich list. All I could find was an odd sized pair of pink My Little Pony gumboots at Homebase. If only they matched.

Turning up to Glasto I weighed up whether I really needed to go and search out a pair as the weather seemed great. More high 5's for JR the next morning when I woke up and it was tipping down and my gumboots were warming under Jimmy's pillow.

Caravan was top notch, came with awning, table, chairs, and crucially it's own toilet. Roskilde had braced me for how festival folk go about their composting, so the campervan toilet provided us with a poop safety net if conditions on the front line became desperate. I'm not sure if it was deliberate or not but I seemed to have also snaffled my own bed, leaving Jimmy and Rhys to fight for the covers and the inevitable male-roll-together issues. My hands were becoming a little sore from the High 5ing.

I have never seen so much mud in all my life. Until you see it you can't really imagine it. It never really bothered me from the comfort of my warm campervan. Too smug? Sorry. In reality, if that's what it is, I guess the drinking coat I was wearing is also water and mud resistant as well as good in cold conditions. It's a fine line though. The drinking coat can become a burden which can lead to an eventual fall from grace. Damn Grace.

Spent most of the 4 days with Jimmy, Rhys, Scottie and Joss. Fantastic company. Cameo's from Ross, MARK!, T. Nige, Boygrove and Kim Dong Il. Glastonbury is the antithesis of Slovakia - not a single grumpy person to be found.

Music was top-notch in my opinion. There is just too much to see so some tought decisions had to be made. Personal favourites were The Killers (I had no problem with the sound despite a lot of complaints), The Who, Gorgol Bordello, Kaiser Chiefs, Klaxons, Fat Boy Slim, Magic Numbers. In about that order.

The megaphone I bought seemed to be a source of continual humour, to me anyway. As I was heard to say many a time "Everything is funnier through a megaphone". The beauty of a festival is that most people are either so wasted or ridiculously happy (definite connection there) that it is impossible to piss them off, even if you are yelling at them through a megaphone, plus everybody else will laugh at anything. Even the security didn't really care that much when I chased them yelling through the megaphone. I was like a kid in some sort of a store.

Sunday night it bucketed it down. We got up about 8.30am on Monday to try and leave. Drove 10m. Got stuck. Pushed. Got stuck again. Tractors were pulling campervans out, but they took off and never came back. We sat in the campervan for a couple of hours and decided to try again. Got stuck. Eventually managed to get enough momentum and Rhys just took off across the field in the campervan. Beep! Beep! Beep! Flew into the queue on the track. We then didn't move for 45 minutes. Helped a couplem of older ladies get their caravan about 30m closer to the track. This was my endeavour to balance my karma with all the unwanted social commentary I delivered the preceeding 3 days. The queue's trying to get out of the venue were ridiculous. We eventually left the front gate at 4pm. 8 hours later. Then had to drive up to Sheffield. The day of the worst of the Sheffield floods. Nightmare. Got there at 11pm. Drove back to London. Got home 1.30am. Up at 8am for work on Tuesday. I couldn't see properly.

Wow. There was no continuity in this entry at all. Worst effort ever. Sorry.

Locations Visited: London, Sheffield, Glastonbury, Sheffield, London

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