Since asking people for their Glastonbury top tips,communications manager Mike has been receiving some useful texts, tweets and emails. Just as the festival kicks off, our talent acquisition advisor, Worthy Farm pro and all round lovely lass Silvia Garguilo shared her thoughts on what to expect:
Let's think about this seriously now for a second...Glastonbury is not all about the Pyramid stage. Or the Other Stage. Or the John Peel stage. Or any of the 80+ stages and areas on the site. If you're going to Glasto with an agenda, do yourself a favour and prepare for the fact that the minute you set foot on Worthy Farm soil, your plans will be blown in to oblivion, like those tokens in the Dome on the Crystal Maze when Richard O'Brien says, “Start the fans please!” That's your plans. Up in the air. You can frantically chase them, maybe catch one here or there if you try desperately. If you have a list of bands you “have to see” that has more than one act per day on it, I'd suggest you have a rethink. (Quite frankly I'm not sure I've ever managed that on more than a handful of occasions, if ever. I managed two in one day once; Arthur Lee and Oasis in 2004, both on the Friday if my memory serves me correctly, and I went home happy (if not astounded) on Monday that I'd achieved such an triumphant feat.
What Glasto, for me at least, is truly about, is everything else. For what it's worth, this is my top ten list of things to do to help you make the most of your Glastonbury experience.
1. Switch your iPhone OFF
You're in a field, you won’t have showered for days, you'll definitely have started drinking at a time that wouldn't usually be acceptable (“But it's 11am? What's wrong with a delicious cider with my breakfast? It's made of apples, duh...”) You know what all of these things mean? They mean you don't need to check Facebook. Basically, no one you know is having a better time than you right now. They're at work, at their desk, probably about to go into an exceptionally boring meeting. You don't need to see their updates about how annoyed they are because there were delays on the tube, or see photos of what they had for lunch. You're at one of the best festivals in the world! This is your chance to escape so get stuck in. And while we're on the subject, don't constantly take photos or film the amazing band you're watching or the bonkers field you've stumbled across, experience it. You don't need to watch it back, you're with a whole bunch of people you came here with, enjoy the moment with them. I guarantee you, watching it in real life with your mates as you pogo around or double over laughing will be better than watching it on an iPhone a month later.
2. Have a wander round the site
Ditch the list of “must see” bands, forget about it. You're going to see loads of great bands, acts, DJ's etc without planning what you need to see and when you need to see it. That's kind of what the Eavis' jobs are, getting loads of good stuff booked in so you can have the weekend of your life. Go and watch something you usually wouldn't, if you're still not keen, walk on, there's plenty of other stuff to see. I can't tell you exactly how big the festival is, but I can tell you this; it's massive. You won’t be bored. If you are bored, you probably shouldn't bother coming again.
3. Talk to strangers
We're brought up not to talk to strangers. This is how, in a bygone era, we used to meet people, that's right, by talking to each other, and listening to what the other person had to say. And if you enjoyed what that person had to say, you'd continue to talk to said person. Remember that? Life before apps that could locate someone you might want to meet within a 50ft radius, who on meeting may or may not look like their profile picture, but more likely have the sum total of naff all to say to you as you have no common ground. I implore you, go, talk to someone, if you're getting a good vibe from them, start up a conversation, you might just make a new friend, or learn something you didn't know, or at the very least, have given your social skills a quick airing.
4. Enjoy the freedom
I remember the overwhelming sense I had when I went to my first festival more than 15 years ago: it was freedom, I felt liberated. As I stepped out of my tent, I didn't have to worry about if I'd left the gas on, or if I had my keys, or if I was going to miss the train. I zipped up the tent behind me and headed off into the unknown and exciting world that was a festival. I was free. No plans, no bind, just me and my mates, embarking on a weekend of dancing, drinking, and laughing. No worries about if I'd make the last bus home or what time I had to get up for work in the morning, just freedom to do what I wanted to do. Now that, is something I treasure, you're released from the confines of the day to day. A festival is a place you go to just have fun. Enjoyment is the only thing you need concern yourself with, and there's plenty of that up for grabs.
5. Don't worry about your appearance
So what if you're hair isn't washed, your outfit doesn't match, or your make up was an after-thought (if you've bothered at all). These things are irrelevant, no one is pristine at a festival, and if they are, they've missed the point or they're staying in a hotel, which means they probably didn't really want to indulge in the whole festival experience anyway. Don't take outfits, just take stuff you're comfortable in, there is no need for a five-inch wedge or a designer belt. No one will be able to tell where you bought it from when you're covered in mud and beer anyway.
6. Embrace the weather
I won’t lie, I've been to Glasto when it resembled the Somme. I cried once when it rained solidly for three days and I lost my camping chair to the quagmire that was Worthy Farm. I hold my hands up, I was a bit – ok, a lot - of a baby about it, but what I'd failed to recognise at the time was that I had no control over it. Getting upset or pissed off wasn't going to make the sun shine, all it was going to do was put me in a shitty mood and ruin the experience. It may piss it down. It may be booming sunshine and you'll be desperately seeking shade after five solid hours of sun, and you'll be sweaty and you'll probably smell less than fresh. My only advice is that of the boy scouts; be prepared. Take waterproofs. And take suncream and a hat. You just don't know what the weather's going to do, so imagine it's going to do everything.
7. Don't worry about the toilets
People poo. Much like birth and death, this is a certainty in life. And it will smell bad. Take bog roll. The air will not be scented with roses. It will smell like turds so get over it.
8. Dance and laugh
If you cannot do these things when you're surrounded by music and your pals, then I'm sorry you've bothered reading this far. Don't worry if your arms are flailing and you look like an uncoordinated moron. The only morons are the people that are too busy trying to look cool to actually enjoy themselves. Go for it. You'll regret it if you don't.
9. Fall in love...
...with everything. Tell your mates you love them. Tell a stranger/new friend (depending on your thoughts regarding my earlier point) you love them. Realise how lucky you are to be at this gathering of amazingness, how lucky you are that you can afford a ticket, how lucky you are to be alive. How lucky you are that you can go to a place where no one will judge you if you don't shower for four days. Seriously, it's marvellous.
10. Watch Dolly Parton
Sunday, Pyramid Stage, 4:20pm. She's the only one for me this year. Just Dolly.
See you there, mine's a cider!