And so we arrived, one by one.
Rhiannon, understandably, migrated to the camping space near Healing Field and the Sacred Space, with its Stonehenge-like circle of boulders. Tyler headed straight for the area near the Dance Tent, with its close proximity to the main Pyramid Stage and the rather pragmatically named Other Stage. Emma, ever the sensible practical one, after much scrutinizing of the site map, put down stakes high on the hill near the farmhouse, which was also near the police, fire, first aid station and cashpoint.
For my part, I had surveyed the map from the Fine Guide (the instructional leaflet that came with the entrance ticket) and something told me that, for maximum sleep, time to reflect and I suppose “chill out” as they say, I should be as far away from the louder stages as possible. But not too far. And so I, like Rhiannon, set up my kit near Green Futures.
And the others came. Thousands and thousands of them. Creating, in essence, a complete tent city with an estimated population of 120,000, just outside of Pilton. As I got there early on Wednesday, I was able to watch the population grow. At first, it was rather rustic and peaceful as the first few thousand pitched their tents over Worthy Farm’s 900 acres.
I woke up Thursday morning, feeling rather well rested despite early morning repeated cries of “Bullocks!” from my neighbours. Crawling outside into the morning sun, I noticed a sharp increase in the number of guy ropes and tent pegs around which I had to manoeuver. By nightfall, things had become decidedly more crowded in the markets, as they were the only thing open until Friday.
* * * * *
As Rhiannon wove her way back to her tent on Thursday evening, she reviewed her day. “Well, this is great, isn’t it? My first day at the Glastonbury Festival and already I’ve been hit on by a 19-year-old English lager lout. Things aren’t off to that great a start, are they? Oh well, maybe I’ll meet some better people tomorrow. Because there is something about this place, isn’t there? I mean, look at this. 100,000 people and yes, a lot of them are here just to party and take in the bands. But there’s also loads of people who are into spirituality, alternative forms of healing and energy. And I thought only Aussies were big on solar and wind power. Anyway, the weather’s great, if a bit chilly by Kalgoorlie’s standards. No worries, it’s all going to be fine. Because, here I am in England, and away from Oz.”
* * * * *
Tyler couldn’t believe he was actually at the world famous Glastonbury Festival. “Wow man, this is so cool! 100% party! I can hardly wait until the real show begins tomorrow. And those ‘shrooms I bought from that guy on the hill are wicked. The beer’s okay, but it’s more expensive than Canadian booze. Lessee. £3…that’s almost $8! Ah, I guess sometimes ya gotta pay the piper. Rock on tomorrow!”
* * * * *
Emma walked past the Pyramid stage site and took in the masses of people roaming around. “Okay, I gotta admit. This place is amazing. God, the English know how to drink their faces off. They start at 9 o’clock in the fucking morning. They remind me of those guys back at The Cactus. Hmm. I wonder how they’re doing back in the States without me? Geez Emma, who are you kidding? They don’t give a fuck about you, why should you give a damn about them? I’m here to forget about them.”
“As for Glastonbury, well it’s definitely a scene. Great bunches of English people drinking and carrying on. Some good acts on the stages though. I’m looking forward to seeing some of that good old U.S. of A. talent knock the socks off these Brits. Tomorrow it starts.”