Date: 28 June 2005
Cataclysmic showers on Friday dominated the Festival, but on the bright side we were spared plagues of locusts and didn’t have to deal with dead first sons. This being my first Glastonbury I was obsessively checking the BBC weather forecast online, up until Thursday morning, reassured by predictions of a gloriously sunny weekend. Luckily I brought bin bags, just in case. All of Thursday was taken up getting there, this due more to a breakdown on the M4 than queues to get in - the festival traffic organisation was very good when we arrived. Awoken by lightening and showers in the early hours, by 7.30am it looked as if we were in the clear. I volunteered to trek to the car for my boyfriend’s wellies, however, soon found myself roaming around the enormous site in circles due to merry pranksters having twisted all the festival signs the previous night. Then the rain really got going. Four hours of heavy downpour. I saw lightening rip a hole through one of the dance tents. Why, oh Lord, what had we done to deserve this (except sex, drugs and rock n’ roll)? By lunchtime it was over and strong sun appeared allowing some drying out, but more importantly it gave us glorious hope that the weekend would not continue as it had begun. But the damage had been already been done. Although there was no more significant rain the amount that had fallen on Friday meant that our remaining days were spent appreciating the multiple textures and consistencies of mud in its various states. Thankfully our tent didn’t leak and we hadn’t pitched within a river-to-be, nor next to the leaking latrines, we were the lucky ones. Friday’s music was characterised by the Undertones playing ‘Teenage Kicks’, resounding through the site as we reeled from the shock of the weather. A late afternoon encounter with an innocent looking maiden selling truffles from a wicker basket by the Stone Circle, and a cup of organic raspberry wine, left me incoherent for the rest of the day.
Saturday I began really enjoying the mud and such surreal sights as stilt walkers dressed as sequinned flies hobbling past a row of submerged shops still serving customers in canoes – and I was sober. We saw Taj Mahal, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Kaiser Chiefs and Ash at the Pyramid stage, all of whom were great –especially Kaiser Chiefs who were electric. Old Sir Bob got on stage and did his hand holding for poverty publicity stunt, which was mildly irritating, but we complied. Movement was slow and hard work. The mud glued our boots to the ground with every step and much effort and care was needed to go from one stage to the next, so we didn’t move about as much as we would otherwise. Everywhere discarded shoes were scattered, destroyed by the weight of the mud. We did see Art Brut and the Magic Numbers at the island that was the John Peel Stage. It was genuinely touching when the Magic Numbers lead singer said that this was the best moment of his life. The dance was good in the ridiculously sloshy mud of ‘The Glade’ where the scene looked like something out of Blade Runner. People were having a lot of fun. Coldplay in the evening was packed and provided a competent if uninspiring performance. Off site events were impressive. Circus acts, acrobats, crazy hippies, so much effort from so many people. Sunday daytime was spent alternating between Chai and pear cider. The sun came out in full force burning wellie mark tans on our legs as we watched the some good performances. Van Morrison playing Brown Eyed Girl was one of many highs. We dolled ourselves up in the evening for exclusive access to Lost Vagueness’ Ballroom for a scene of decadent dance and casino. Monday’s weary trip back to London was extended by an unfeasible amount of road works along the motorway. We stopped at several service stations en route for coffee and chocolate and saw many dazed revelers with mud tidemarks on their calves, reacclimatising to terra firma.[_shared_elements/comment_on_this_review.htm]