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Cider, cider, cider…..

Saturday morning and the only lie in of the whole festival, not working till 4 pm today so I get to stay in bed - or at least that's the theory. By about 9 am it's too hot to be inside the tent so we end up getting up and heading off for breakfast at Nutters.

Nutters is a smashing place ran by a school called Nant-y-Cwm as a fund raising venture for the school. They supply some really nice veggie food and for the past two years have been really popular because they have tables and chairs. It's quite quiet this morning and we get something to eat. When I go back to the table Val is talking to one of the ladies who runs the stall and we hear all about the school and its funding problems. As a school Governor with a budget of £250,000 I feel hard done by but Nant-y-Cwm get no Government funding at all. I went for another cup of tea and ended up talking to a man who ran a stall selling models of the Green man - he spotted my Wolfshead t-shirt and told me he often came to the Rochester Sweeps Festival. (later on we would run into a Rapper side - they always seem to find me!). Eat at Nutters

When I came back Val was talking to someone else, I never found out who they were but they were appearing on one of the stages in the green field.

How can people be so cruel? In an anti-theft operation we had only taken enough clothes to last us until Saturday morning and left the rest in the car so we set off to the staff car park to swap dirty for clean. On the way there we passed a group of Oxfam stewards who were looking at a Land Rover. Some BASTARD had left two dogs in the back of his Land Rover in that sweltering heat. We went to the car, phoned the kids and then on the way back we stopped to ask the stewards if they needed us to call the Police but they said they had already done so. The Police turned up but were unable to get the dogs out so they had to call for a dog handler to be sent over from Shepton Mallet. We left them to it and headed off to find Gate 2 where Val was working on the Monday morning.

We had arranged to meet Jon and Bev by the cider bus before Billy Bragg so we set off to find them. We arrived there just before BB came on and couldn't find them anywhere so we set off to see the big nosed boy from Barking on our own. We got quite close to the front, as the early crowds hadn't built up yet. The first thing I noticed was that there were instruments on the stage and wondered if Wilco were going to be joining him. As it turned out Billy had brought along his band for his 7th appearance at Glastonbury (I think I've seen most of them we certainly both came for the first time in 1984). He did a spiffing set with a lot of stuff from his album of Woodie Guthrie songs and a few originals thrown in for good measure. Billy Bragg....way over yonder

Afterwards we headed back to the cider bus and I spotted Jon going around one side of the tree with 2 pints but by the time I got around there he had vanished and we didn't see them again for the rest of the festival. We did find my brother though and we set off together, to avoid a fight that had just broken out, to go and see Eliza Carthy.

Me and two ice creams named after two of the best bands in the world! After Eliza Carthy we went to get something to eat and get something to eat and ended up at Ben and Jerry's ice cream stand and I got to try Phish food for the first time. Val tried phish food and Chery Garcia even though she doesn't like either band. The girl in front of us asked if Phish food had any fish in it!!! While we were fighting our way back to where my brother and his friends were sitting we passed them leaving. Beth Orton was on by this time and to be honest she wasn't doing too well. The big stage seemed to be too much for her and her performance wasn't too good.
Those really nice Ben and Jerry chaps

It was moving on towards 4 pm by now so I decided that another pint probably wasn't a good idea as I had to be at work soon and we headed over to Pyramid info to start our shift. I was scheduled to work until midnight but Val only had to stay till 8 pm. Next up on the main stage was Joe Strummer and during his set I regretted for the first of only 2 times all weekend that I was working. From what I heard he played a blinder throwing a lot of old Clash stuff in like London Calling, Rock the Casbah and I fought the Law. I had a few air guitar moments behind the counter I can tell you!!

It was pretty quiet for the next few hours and Ash on the main stage just passed us by. The first problem we encountered was just after Val had finished and Texas were on the main stage. A guy rushed up to the counter to say that someone down the front was having a fit. Jon and I donned our yellow jackets and grabbed the radio and off we went. Sure enough a man had collapsed and appeared to be fitting, I left Jon with him and radioed COM's for an ambulance. By the time they had fought their way through the crowd the man had recovered enough to go back to the info point. He turned out to be a diabetic and he needed some sugar. Val remembered that we had a box of sugar cubes and after a few he was back on the road to recovery. I arrived with the paramedics who checked him over. Texas rock out

The rest of the night was concerned with 3 things, lost children, people who had lost their friends and directing people to the dance tent. There were so many incidents that I lost track of time and it was only after I finished at Midnight did I realise I hadn't eaten since coming on shift. There were a couple of incidents that stand out. The first one involved two lost kids aged 8 and 10 who were "handed in" by a security guard. I got the distinct impression that they had been told to get lost. Anyway Jon took them up to Welfare. While he was gone I had two more lost kids (although these were a bit older). The first had seen his name on the screen and was confused because he said that his mum wouldn't be worried about him, she knew where he was and he knew his way back to the tent. In fact he was worried that she might be ill or something. As it turned out she was at another info point going frantic with worry and they were re-united.

Black clouds start to gather Val phones to check on the kids Yes this was part of the site

The last girl was extremely frustrating - she came to us and said that she had come with her sister but lost her and didn't know where the tent was - could we put a message out on the PA. I explained to her that as the Manic Street Preachers were due on any minute it was unlikely that we would be able to get them do it. I suggested that I take her to Welfare so that she could be looked after till her sister found her. She replied "But I'll miss the Manics".

She kept popping in and out, always looking on the verge of tears, throughout the Manics set until at 5 minutes to 12 she came in and I told her we were closing in 5 minutes so this was her last chance to let me take her to welfare. "It's alright" she said, "I think I'll go to the dance tent - where is it?" (!!!!!!!!). I told her where it was, reminded her where Welfare and the 24hr info point was and off she went.

Val, who had been off at the Avalon stage seeing Roy Harper (the second moment during the festival when I had wished I wasn't working), had returned by this point to tell me how good he was. So we then went for a drink, had some chips and fought our way through the crowds up to the tent and sleep - well I had to be up at 6.30 so not that much sleep.

Way over yonder in the minor key

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All Photographs © Kevin Shewan1999 unless credited otherwise