We made it! There and back in an almost 30 year old camper van with its original engine that had been off the road for almost 5 years. All lovingly restored by Rob’s own fair hand.
It was such a luxury going to a festival in a camper van let me tell you! We just drove up to our spot, parked, pitched up the awning (which took about half hour), cracked open a beer and then we were sorted for the weekend!
This was my first time back to Glastonbury since 2005 (8 years WTF! Time flies) and so much has changed since I last went. Glastonbury is very special to me and I don’t want to be negative about it, or on my blog in general, but I don’t think Rob and I are going to hurry back there. I joked that it will probably be another 8 years before we return again!
Me and Glasto go back a long time. I first went to Glasto in 1998, I had just turned 18, I was a student, and it was my second ever festival.* It was one of the notorious muddy years and the whole place was flooded, but something inside me clicked, and it just felt like I was were I belonged. A place with a prominent green message, full of people who chose alterntive lifestyles and people who just wanted to get off their face.
I returned the next year with my pal A (who remembers me keep saying “I miss the mud!”), then again in 2000 with a group of pals, then with Rob (who I had since got together with) and a group of pals in 2003, and then just Rob and I in 2005.
Over those years I witnessed the festival slowly changing and growing. The steel fence was built, the tickets became more sought after and it got a lot harder to get near the stages to watch bands.
This year, returning for the first time in 8 years, Rob and I just could not believe how crowded it was. We thought we knew what was in store for us, from previous experience we knew that it took an hour to walk with the crowds from stage to stage, but this was something else!**
We stopped going to Glastonbury because of the huge crowds, plus buying tickets became a nightmare. Before they introduced the new calling system a few years back, we used to be dialing non stop for about 24 hours until all the tickets sold out or they finally announced they had all sold out. Not fun!
But despite the huge crowds we still had a good time, and it was lovely to camp in Ernie for the first time ever! Beats another thing I hated about Glasto, the huge mission of lugging all your camping gear and beer for about 3 miles from the car park before entering the site and trying to find a teeny tiny spot to pitch your tent in!
Rob and I prefer the smaller boutique festivals. My fave festival is Bestival – hopefully next year we will go back to it. I am grateful that I experienced Glastonbury back in the day, but there are cheaper alternatives out there (not Bestival unfortunately!) and you don’t have to buy the tickets blind. When we bought the tickets back in October 2012 there were rumours of Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk playing (how amazing would that be!) Instead we got Mumford and Sons.
*My first ever festival was V97, which was fun, but the V festivals are the polar opposite of Glastonbury.
**I think they have extended the site and increased the capacity since we last went.