A love letter to Glastonbury 2013

The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury 2013

I am showered, clean and our traditional post-festival Nando’s feast has been devoured. The sun has set on yet another Glastonbury and I think I can safely say that this has been my most enjoyable one out of the three I’ve been to (the other two were 2010 and 2011). There were plenty of great sets and to recap them all now would take more time than I have but, as a snapshot:

  • Long after the Rolling Stones had finished, you could hear the “woo woo” refrain of Sympathy For The Devil repeated on a near constant loop. There’s also the giant bloody mechanical creature at the top of the Pyrmaid Stage, now known as the world’s most famous Angry Bird.
  • The xx played a magical show-stealing set that suggests that they should have been the stars on the Pyramid Stage as opposed to Mumford & Sons. Hearing the tender Angels at the very end was a thing of heart-stopping beauty.
  • 65daysofstatic brought their customary heavy beats and wiry guitars with them and Nick Cave tried to hypnotise a girl in the crowd (which is well worth watching on the iPlayer at around fifty-three minutes in since there are no words to describe how staggering a moment this was).
  • The Hives blasted their way through as many songs as possible in their lunch time slot at the Other Stage with some velocity.
  • Portishead left me spellbound by the intensity of their performance.

All that said, music only forms a small part of the whole picture. It’s very hard not to feel happy when you see hundreds of people – some with face paint, some with humorous flags, some with panda hats keeping their heads warm – clearly having the time of their life. When a band plays a song that everyone knows, it’s as if everyone has been given an electric shock given how berserk they go. Even in the Leftfield tent, often a place where the politically aware are motivated enough to the point where they could launch an uprising at the click of a finger, there’s an overwhelming wave of optimism.

Oh, and did I mention that it was gloriously sunny for a lot of it? (I’m choosing to sweep the rain of Thursday underneath the mud-stained carpet.)

Every morning I found myself waking up early and, once I shrugged off all the hayfever, looked out towards the distant fields. It is truly a sight to behold and when I had one last wander through Worthy Farm late on Sunday evening I became overwhelmed by the enormity, majesty and downright brilliance of this amazing event. In fact, I stayed up the whole night and it was worth it just to watch the skies get brighter as I sipped on a much-needed coffee. Whilst it was immensely sad to pack up and hit the road, I am thankful for a tonne of memories that I’ll keep with me for a while.

It’s not the perfect festival but it comes very close and problems from past years seem to have been eradicated or at the very least minimised. Michael Eavis, who organises this nearly every year, should be justifiably happy with the way it went and I hope that the next two years go just as well. The likelihood is that, due to wedding planning, we won’t be able to try and make it back for a while but we look forward to the day that we do. I don’t think I can recommend it enough. If you’re lucky you might even get a tan!

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