Strictly speaking, this isn’t a gig review, but day 1 is part of the Glastonbury experience and I thought it was easiest to separate it from from the music.
Day 1 did not start well. Not well at all.
Considering Ste and I feel we have glasto down to a fine art; this day didn’t quite go according to plan. We have the packing list honed every year with tiny improvements adding to the comfort and experience. A Spotify playlist is created as soon as the line-up is announced and this is whittled down through scientific analysis according to our tastes. We then shake it down further when the set times are out so that we have a setlist made up entirely of acts we plan to see including several we won’t have heard of before.
I was due to drive. On the Tuesday night I checked my tyre pressures and noted one was a bit low. I checked it again at 8am and it had dropped again. I went to Kwik Fit which opened at 8.30am. Ste was due at 9am for us to set off immediately. I rang Ste and fortunately he was running a little late. Turns out the tyre had a nail in it. No tyres available for the car at Kwik Fit. In fact, no tyres were available in the country to order in. I could go to the Stockton branch to get it fixed as they had some. That was only going to delay us further, so Ste took up the driving duties. We eventually got set off at 10am. The journey down was pretty good. Unfortunately I’d used a postcode offered on the glasto website to help us navigate the final part of the journey. This turned out to be a bit of an error. It took us a different way and we were essentially blocked off from getting to our usual car park and therefore our “usual” camping spot (we’d gone to the same spot for the last two visits to the festival). We’d arrived near the site at about 4.30pm and we’re pretty certain we parked up at about 4.45-5pm.
We parked in the same car park I’d used back in 2004 when I’d travelled by myself. I remembered that, at that time, it had seemed like quite a long way. My memory wasn’t wrong. We loaded up both trolleys (an improvement on the previous one) and set on our way. I knew I was in trouble after 20 minutes when sweat was pouring off me and I was struggling to feel my hands and arms. Every corner we went around led to another massive stretch with no entrance in sight. I felt like a complete weakling as I really didn’t see how I could complete the trek. Ste kindly offered to swap trolleys for a bit and that made things slightly better, but not much! When we eventually got to the entrance, the ticket process was painless, with no queue and no bag search. We then discovered that the nearest campsite wasn’t exactly “near”. It was on the complete opposite side of the festival grounds. There followed a very sweaty and heated journey across the whole site. We finally settled beyond the dairy ground in a recently opened field. The tent was pitched by 7pm and the first cold Dead Pony Club was very welcome.
The rest of the evening was event free. A relaxing stroll up to the famous Glastonbury hills to catch the last hour (or so) of daylight. A few more beers were consumed, a very tasty burrito and a relatively early night was had.