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It's got to be….perfect

Lots of things had changed since we were last at Glastonbury, we now lived in Walthamstow, I had a new job and we had a car, a little red Nova GTE, in which we set off on the Thursday morning heading for the site. We also had a new tent, a silver dome thing, which had replaced the leaky one we had had at the 1985 festival. The tickets by now were £28 each

Flyer from 89

The site had changed too; it had grown a lot to both the east and west. The main site was supposed to be car free and areas outside the main festival were designated camping and car parking. As soon as we reached our parking space people were literally throwing themselves out of their cars to claim a bit of ground. We ignored this free for all and loaded up with our bags and tent and headed onto the main site.

Another major change was that the Police were allowed on site for the first time this year. On the whole it didn't make much difference except that drug dealing moved off the main roads and into the fields. We camped in what was becoming our usual spot in Big Ground with a view overlooking the Pyramid stage. Photocopy of my ticket

It was very hot all weekend and we spent a lot of time in the Green fields, which were probably at their peak around this time. There were lots of things happening that you could either watch or join in with such as circle dancing or drum workshops. In the very top field, The Kings Meadow there were a group of Native Americans camped out and we heard rumours that they would be giving a performance over the weekend.

On the Friday we saw All about Eve on the main stage and then fought our way to near the front for the Friday headliner Suzanne Vega. When she was due to arrive on stage she walked up to the microphone and announced that she would be playing soon but introduced another artist in her place. Disappointed we headed back to our tent and when Suzanne Vega finally did appear we watched her from there. She only played for an hour before going off. It turned out later that she had received death threats before her arrival on site and it had been decided that it was safer to reduce the length of time she was on stage.

nude circle dancing! teepee circle healing circle

One night we headed off to our tent and had only been in bed for a few minutes when we heard someone outside opening our zip. We shouted out and they apologised and went off. Several minutes later we heard them out side and the zip started to go, again we shouted, got an apology and off they went. Ten minutes later we heard them outside again saying, "This is it…." And we shouted "Oh no it isn't" and off they went. This time they didn't come back so I can only assume they finally found their tent.

On the Saturday we caught Van Morrison, Hothouse flowers and Fairground Attraction. It was during the latter's set that one of the worst incidents I've ever seen at the festival took place.
We were sitting watching the band from our tent when we saw a big Rasta walking through the crowd near our tent. Suddenly he was surrounded by Police who were obviously out to arrest him. A struggle ensued and suddenly 3 Landrovers full of Police appeared followed by a Police helicopter, which circled the area drowning the band out completely. We were left wondering what was happening to our festival. 20 Police struggle with a drug dealer

Our faith was restored that evening when we saw one of the best performances we have ever seen at the festival. The group of Native Americans were called Ondinoc and they were from Quebec. The show started at around midnight and it meant missing Elvis Costello on the main stage but that was all right. We sat and waited and watched the drummers warming their drums over a fire in the centre of the circle. The show was a fantastic blend of ritual music and dancing along with technical effects. At one point a girl made a protest from the edge of the circle about what she saw as a waste of food when children were starving in the world. The performance still remains in our minds as one of the best things we ever saw at the festival.

Donovan The Sunday started off with a performance billed as Donovan and friends, the first half of the set started off with just Donovan and his guitar playing the old hits and then he introduced his friends who were a bunch of travellers he said he met at the festival. Later that afternoon we saw reggae band Black Uhuru, who had replaced Womack & Womack and the Waterboys.

To top off the festival we sat outside our tent and watched Youssou N'Dour. He had a hit at that time called "Shaking the tree" on which he duet-ed with Peter Gabriel and every one was wondering if he would turn up. Naturally he did and after the song we could see huge areas of the crowd leaving! The Sunday night at this time was always World Music night on the Pyramid stage and lots of people used to skip the Sunday night to get home.

The view from our tent Crowd scene A view of the site

We had really enjoyed the festival and had come to an important decision about the next year's festival. As we had enjoyed the Green Field so much we decided that the following year we would camp in the Kings Meadow and escape the main festival area, which was beginning to be known as Babylon.

On the Monday morning we went for a shower before taking down the tent. Once off the site we drove down to Glastonbury Village for Breakfast. At this time the Government was extremely paranoid about travellers, a paranoia that would soon affect the festival itself, and a lot of the roads around the Tor were closed by Police. So we ended up walking from the village up to the top of the Tor where we sat in the sunshine before we drove home. None shall pass

Little did we know but our lives were to change again before our next visit the following year in 1990.

Val takes in the festival from outside our tent Me with fledgling ponytail

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All Photographs © Kevin Shewan