Crikey intern Larissa Nicholson writes: For thousands of Brits and tourists camped out in the UK countryside, last weekend was Glastonbury music festival, a Beyonce-dancing, odd-death festival weekend that has iconic status amongst festival fans.
While it may no longer have the cutting edge appeal of the Burning Man Festival or Secret Garden Party, Glastonbury has Kate Moss, dammit, and always manages to field an unparalleled line up of big name acts. Plus, it’s a classic destination for young Aussies spending summer in Europe.
So without further ado, your (far from definitive) guide to the most famous music festival in the world.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
What to take
- A tolerance for national stereotypes. British people are unable to cope with mildly uncomfortable weather conditions of all kinds. Ditto queuing for showers, being sun-burnt, camping, walking too much — and they’ll tell you about it. These are facts.
- Pounds Sterling. Like most big events, Glastonbury is expensive. It’s not just your kebabs and cider, there’s countless trinkets for sale which only seem to become more hilarious and/or vital as the weekend wears on. ATMs are rare, and not all of them accept foreign cards, so take plenty of cash.
- Really, anything you want (within reason). What does set Glastonbury apart from home grown festivals is a healthy tolerance for minor misdemeanours. Campers bring couches and inflatable swimming pools, and Saturday night sees revellers setting off flares, lighting fires and generally making merry. It may not be within the rules, but it happens, and no one gets kicked out, which is kind of refreshing.
- Your cynicism. Yes, Glastonbury’s come a long way since 1970. Back then a group of hippies gathered on Worthy farm to get crazy and bask in their collective free spirit. These days it’s a multimillion dollar event attended by more than 100,000 people, complete with corporate sponsorship and an astronomical ticket price. Sure, you’ll be surrounded by middle-class white kids whose parents pay their rent, but that’s not your concern. You’re probably one of them. Grab your free copy of The Guardian, recharge your smart phone in the Orange tent, and relax. This is Glastonbury.
- Food. Ahh, the best laid plans. Part of the fun of any festival is the anticipation, but don’t bother loading up your backpack with supplies. Spending an hour and a half looking for your tent, only to feast on sun warmed tuna and stale crispbread is a fool’s way to save money, as a close certain friend of mine learned one fateful afternoon. Accept that you’re going to end the weekend poor (see above), and just buy a burger. *Note the same does not apply with alcohol. While the trek back to your tent is no less painful, beer — unlike tuna — never disappoints.
- An Australian flag to drape around your shoulders or raise above your tent. This one should be self explanatory. Don’t shame the rest of us with your boganism.
When all else fails
At some point on the long weekend, all but the hardiest among us will become a bit tired and emotional. Head to the outer reaches of the farm, find some shelter/shade and pass a few hours with the gentle barefooted folk at the Greenpeace stage. Their non-threatening tribal drumming is just what the doctor ordered.