|Those of you who read my review of last years festival may remember that I said that we left the festival site not knowing if we would ever return. When the tickets for this years event went on sale we were still not decided how we felt about it so when the chance to work at the festival came around we saw it as a perfect compromise and grabbed it with both hands.
The job was offered in a mailing from the then "Official" Glastonbury website and said that the information points ran by Mid Somerset CND were looking for people with festival experience to work at the festival. With ten Glastonbury Festivals behind us it seemed like we were the sort of people they were looking for so we applied.
|As part of the training for the job I had to make three visits to Glastonbury over the two months before the event. The first two meetings were in a hall in Glastonbury but the final meeting was actually at Worthy Farm and afterwards we had the chance to drive onto the festival site and see the preparations for the festival.|
|As you probably know Jean Eavis died a few weeks before the festival and if you don't mind I'd like to take a little time for a personal tribute to her.|
|By chance I happened to be in Glastonbury the morning that Jean Eavis died. I had climbed to the top of Glastonbury Tor at around 9 am and instead of the huge rush of positive energy that I usually feel, there was confusion and a feeling of disturbed energy. I came down the Tor feeling that something was wrong. It was only later that I heard that Jean had died in the early hours of that Sunday morning.
At first it felt strange that I was so upset about the death of someone I had never met, in fact I can only remember seeing Jean on one occasion - on stage when Robert Plant presented the couple with a plaque to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the festival. I did speak to her on the phone once when she assured me that my wife Val, who was seven months pregnant at the time, would be better off having her baby at the festival than in many hospitals in the area.
It wasn't till Billy Bragg's appearance on the Saturday morning that I realised that although I hadn't met Jean her influence had been everywhere at the festival and in many ways she had been a surrogate mother to us all, looking after us while we partied in her back garden. I know the world has lost a good person and all of us who have ever been to a Glastonbury Festival will miss her dearly.
After our initial worries about going to the festival, we were quite excited by the time our passes and rotas turned up. I nearly blew it at the last moment though when I spent the weekend before the festival in Cannes (it's a tough job but someone has to do it) and managed to get very badly burned on my legs. Luckily I was able to walk properly by the wednesday but I was a walking advert for the sunscreen we were giving away!
|The journey to Glastonbury was quite uneventful except when we stopped to eat at Fleet services. I had an idea to phone my friend Jon (warning there are two different Jons in this review) and it turned out he was outside in the carpark! Once on the site after 7pm we checked in at the info point and checked out the camping space behind it. We decided that although it offered some security it wasn't for us. We ended up camped up in the green field where several others from the info points were camped (although we didn't see any of them till Monday morning). After a second trip to the car in the staff car park we settled down for a nice pint of cider at the cider bus. We had been there for about 30 seconds when I found someones wallet. I wandered off to hand it in at Pyramid info where they were helping people by candlelight due to a lack of power! Thankfully before we headed off to bed we were able to reunite the owner of the wallet with her money, keys, cards etc.|
|Thursday morning started bright and early - 6.30 to be precise. We were both working at 8 am at the pyramid stage information point. Luckily we had enough time to stop for a cup of tea on the way down as there was still no electricity at the info point. Apparently the position of the info point had been moved at the last minute and someone forgot about electric. We set about setting up the info point and getting out the programmes, sunscreen condoms etc. Every one who was working that morning was working through to 4 pm so we didn't have to worry about shift changes or things like that. It soon became clear that the most popular question we were going to get asked that weekend was "Where's the bank?" and we also developed the climbing onto the counter to answer questions style that would dominate all weekend.|
|After work we had arranged to meet up with my brother Garry, his friends and our friends Jon and Bev. We spent a quiet-ish evening by the cider bus which was the only place on the site selling alcohol. Bev and Jon had their kids Sam and Matty with them who did kiddy types of things. My brother annoyed a drug dealer who was wandering around selling MDMA by asking her if she had any MDF. She looked confused so I said to her "Just ignore him, he's a Police officer" and funnily enough we didn't see her again. There was also a spectacular display of projectile vomiting from a girl who walked passed but luckily she missed us. Eventually we set off for our tent giving up on the idea of staying up till 2 to watch "Fear and loathing in Las Vegas" which was probably a good decision as I had to be up early.|
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