Sunday, 29 June 2014

29th June 2014 - A Green One at Glastonbury ????

Thought for the day:
"I answered the phone today and all I heard was sneezing - I hate cold callers…"

So it is the last day of Glastonbury 2014 - and the furor last night over whether Metallica - a heavy metal band, should be headlining at Glastonbury seems to have shocked part of the nation. I seem to be missing the relevance of this in the same way I seem to have missed the World Cup, by having no realisation that there might have been an issue.

Over the years we have been to many Glastonbury's. Both as a paying guest, steward and on one occasion accidentally by showing my warrant card to prove my identity while waiting outside the gates. I do not recall ever using my warrant card in this fashion ever in my 30 years career as a police officer, not with the intention of saying "Here is my card - let me in!!" However, it was at a time when you could still get tickets at reasonable prices at the gates, and some security people challenged me as to why I was hanging around so I explained who I was and that I was waiting for my daughter and did what I always did - proved my identity with my card.

To which he opened the gate !!!  Of course it meant that we could not go out again as we had not proper official tag - but those were also the days where the official 100,000 visitors were increased by another 120,000 who jumped the fences.. Those were gentler times...

But, back to Metallica. Why shouldn't a heavy metal band be playing ??  I have always spent more time in the Circus and Performing fields that at the music stages, so I will admit that I did not know that heavy metal bands had not previously played as headliners. A few years ago when Jay Zee headlined as a rapper act I raised my eyes as I wasn't sure that the majority of Glastonbury festival goers were "into" rap - but that did not worry me. I simply went to one of the other stages. Apparently he went down well - and the bit I watched of Metallica on TV last night seemed to be fairly good.

I mean, some of my favourite moments in Glastonbury were Johnny Cash; David Bowie; I preferred a small set with John Tamms (40 shillings on the drum) to Neil Diamond; and I note that Dolly Parton plays today!!
I enjoyed listening to Tony Benn , and remember singing Puff the Magic Dragon to a crowd in the Green Fields - only because I heard them mention it as I was passing. An hour later - "we had sung up every song those punters knew.."    A good time...
The logistics of the event are immense. I recall being there on the occasion that there was a shooting incident in one of the main market areas - and thinking to myself "How would you approach that enquiry?" Even closing off the scene would be well nigh impossible and 30,000 people could have trampled over any evidence. "Make a list of possible suspects.....  urr ..yes"  These were the days, as I mentioned, when more visitors came over the fences than through the gates and this was also prior to the days of data bases of ticket holders....

And prices have changed from the early days ..
And of course there is parking as well and the distance that everything has to be carried in. In our case we naturally "Glamp" it taking far too much stuff in with us - but having the luxury of our own toilet facilities for emergency, and hygiene, as well as sufficient space to invite passers by to have a "Gin and Tonic on the Veranda"
We also went in as soon as the gates were open allowing me to get fairly close to the gates and only have 5 trips with a laden wheel barrow !!

Some things do not change though. The Mud!. To be fair it has not always been muddy at a Glastonbury that I have been to - but most of them it was. It is Winbledon Weekend and Mid June - of course it is going to rain. And the earth at Worthy Farm just turns into clay !!! This year is no exception!!

Yes - I recall this !!  I have never one for wading around in the mud and covering over - the thought of what you are going to wear for the rest of the weekend is daunting enough without trying to brush out 6 inches of mud!!   I have always had good water proofs - but it is easier to strip off to the minimum as it is not cold, and it is easier to dry skin .....

But I have had good Glastonbury's. Many a time I have woken to see the dawn while sitting in the Green Fields, on the stone circle or just on the veranda. True there were many years where as we sat around the campfire and some nefarious substance was being passed around - I have found it easier to walk from the firepit and commune withe the stars. I recall one year, while with my daughters who were fairly young at that time, and a young man came stumbling into the camp area asking "Anyone know where I can score some sh*t??" I replied -"Head over to the style between this field and the next - there are some guys down there selling.."

I got a very shocked "Daddie !!!!"    from both my daughters...
I said "What???  I don't want him here !! Better that he goes and bothers someone else !!  "
Seemed reasonable to me - There was no way anyone could arrest every drug taker at the festival. It was clear that no one was trying...

But if I were to go again, I think it would now have to be in the Bothy. I am too old now to try and slum and I think I would kill myself trying to hump Bertha our current tent into the site...  No, I shall just watch on television and enjoy in the comfort of my home .. Unless of course, Vollsanger should be asked to Headline on the Pyramid stage - singing "And A Green One" to a mass crowd of 90,000. Then I would go !!! And enjoy the all -access laminate and visit the Circus and Performance areas again...

That would cause more consternation than Jay-Zee or Metallica!!! 

So - a flash back to 2008 - and happy days in Glastonbury - the year we took the Crimson Moon ...Not for trading but for a base camp...

Here's to a warm bed, good toilets and a glass of Scotch to see you to bed.... Cheers.

Place and Sign of the day 
Beer in Devon
Devon is also well-known for being the home of beer – well, a village called Beer at any rate. There's some division over where the name comes from, but it's probably linked to the Ango-Saxon beauru ("grove").

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