Entertainment behind the scenes
As a first-time Glastonbury-goer, I travelled to this year’s event with some trepidation. After all, I had to pitch my own tent, find my way around a massive site with hundreds of bands playing on dozens of stages, get enough food and water to live, and face the infamous portable toilet facilities that have a habit of overflowing as 150,000-plus revellers relieve themselves.
As the event reaches its conclusion tonight, with Stevie Wonder the headline act, I can safely say I would do it all again. Joining 100,000 or so people jumping up and down to the likes of Shakira, Scissor Sisters and Muse at the main Pyramid stage is something to remember, as is the infectious feel-good vibe that seems to fill the air despite the concentration of so many people in relatively small spaces. Of course, the smiling faces may have as much to do with alcohol and illegal substances as good music, but it doesn’t seem to matter as people enter an alternative universe for four days.
I have to own up to the fact that, with a media pass, I have access to quieter areas of the festival and so-called “hospitality” camping. That means slightly more room in the corner of a field, and, more crucially, a greater toilet-to-punter ratio. The second factor that has made 2010 easier than most for a first-timer has been the weather. I’m complaining about the intense heat, particularly in the media tent which is effectively a giant sauna, but everyone I speak to would take hot over wet, because that’s when Glastonbury turns into a giant mudbath, making getting around and staying clean nigh impossible.
I still have a lot to discover, and would like to get to more of the smaller stages to see less established acts strut their stuff. With any luck, I’ll have a chance to try next time around.
Music, beer and wellington boots tend to top Glastonbury revellers’ must-have list. This year they have added another essential commodity — shade. Baking hot temperatures in the high 20s Celsius are reducing many of the 150,000 revellers in the southwest of England to a lethargic crawl as they struggle to cope with the heat, not to mention the hangover.
Walk around the sprawling rural site and you will see unusually large empty spaces and then hundreds of people seemingly randomly crammed in odd places — against walls, around trees in the middle of dusty tracks and under benches. Then it becomes clear why — they have found shade from the sun, which has been beating down on the site virtually uninterrupted for the last two days.
Kylie Minogue’s music may not be to everyone’s taste, but she put on an impressive show late last night at a charity bash in Cannes. Sponsored by Chopard, the party suffered the same fate as other soirees at the film festival this year – the A-list was unusually short. That said, it was fun for the hundreds of mere mortals who did turn up.
In the blissfully uncrowded VIP area the Dom Perignon flowed freely all night, or at least until about 2 a.m. but by then it didn’t matter too much. Colleagues of mine who will remain nameless were quaffing from large tumblers — a crime against champagne if you ask me, but then, they didn’t seem to care what I thought.