Sunday banner

Players only love you when they're playing

Sunday morning bright and early, well not bright exactly, in fact it's raining! I'm up at 6.30 because I have to be at Gate 1 by eight and Gate 1 is on the opposite side of the festival to where we are camped. I arrange to meet Val at 2.30 by Pyramid Info if it's sunny or at 3 in the tent if it's raining and then set off in the drizzle. As the weather has been fantastic for the last 3 days, my coat is in the car and I don't have the time to go and get it.

On the way across the site I stop and sample the flush loos for the first time and then grab a tea. After climbing a hill which I think takes me to the "Pilton Bypass" I find it doesn't and have to climb down the hill and re-climb it again on the right road. Eventually I get to Gate 1 at 7.30 - half an hour early. Can I find anyone? Can I bollocks! I stand in the rain near the motorcycle compound till 8 o'clock, still no one. Get yer review - only 1.50

I have a brainwave! I borrow a radio from the man on the gate, change it to the Info frequency and call for help. I'm told to hang on and someone will be with me soon. I wait for another half an hour outside the motorcycle compound. At 8.30 Stephen turned up and told me we were using the portacabin next to the motorcycle compound that I had been standing in the rain outside of for the last hour - Arrrrgggggghhhhh!

Anyway we spend the next 5 hours trying desperately to sell festival reviews to the non-existent punters leaving by Gate 1. Gates 3 & 6 have people going to their cars, Gate 2 has people get the National Express coaches and those going to Castle Cary railway station, all we have are people getting the coach to Bristol or Bath and that's not very many. The morning passes slowly, a bacon and egg roll helps, and the only excitement happens when a man turns up in a car to pick up a friend from Welfare. No one would let him on site and COM's said Welfare didn't have his friend. This went on for an hour before he had to get out of his car and walk onto the site to sort it out. I never saw him again so I don't know what happened.

BT get their revenge on Orange
Just as I was about to leave a young lad of about 15 popped his head around the door and told us that he had ran away from his children's home to come to the festival because he thought it was free on Sunday.
I wish I hadn't eaten that hash cake No there really is a giant pink crocodile over there
When he found out it wasn't he wondered if we could get in touch with a man from his home who was working at the festival. I left him with Martin and went to welfare to get some help.

After about an hour the only thing I had found out was that he was telling the truth. I felt someone should have come and taken him back but the attitude of the home was "Well he managed to get there so he can jolly well get himself back"! At one point I was almost in tears because no one would help and after doing all I could I went off to find Val.

Trouble was as my shift had overran by nearly 2 hours I'd missed her and I ended up having to leave her a note at our own Info point and go back to the tent to see if I could find her. Luckily she was there and finally re-united we decided to go and see the Corrs, not because they are any good, more so we could say we've seen them!! By this point the weather couldn't make up it's mind what it wanted to do so we threw some warmer clothes into a bag just in case. Pyramid info decorated by the audience

The Corrs were all right I suppose and towards the end it started to spit with rain so we went back to the car to get some coats. Halfway across the field they started to play dreams so we stopped and listened before continuing back to the car. Naturally by the time we got to the car the sun had come back out so Val stuffed a raincoat into the bag, grabbed the umbrella and we headed off back to the site. We decided to give Lenny Kravitz a skip and go and have a wander around the Green field. We looked at the various stalls and eventually ended up in the sacred space at the top of the site. We then had the idea to go and change into warmer clothing as it was now getting on and it was starting to get cold. Just as we got back to the tent some of the heaviest rain of the festival started to fall. We amused ourselves until it stopped!!

I was desperate to see the Fun Lovin' Criminals so we legged it down to the main stage and got there just as they came on. I really enjoyed the set but it really needed to be LOUDER. We decided to miss the end of the set and go over to the acoustic tent to catch Suzanne Vega but when we got there the tent was so full and there was a huge queue to get in and a crowd about 30 feet deep around the tent. We listened for a while as she played "Small Blue Thing" but she kept making mistakes and we couldn't work out what was going on so we left.

Danger unexploded bomb.... ....told you!

Stuck for something to do until Skunk Anansie came on we wandered off into the theatre field. We were walking along when we came upon a group of people pushing an unexploded bomb around on a trolley (they were on the road just before the walking telephone boxes). This is of course one of the great things about Glastonbury, catching something unexpected. We decided to watch the unfolding drama, which consisted of the men in white coats cordoning off a safe area in which they could carry out a safe explosion. First they had to carry out a test explosion which meant one of them standing on a oil drum while the melon on his head was blown up. Finally when they were sure it was safe they widened the safe area and proceeded to detonate the bomb.

We found a stall that was selling garlic baguettes and grabbed one before heading off to the main stage and Skunk Anansie. Once again got there just as they came on and watched them for a while. I don't know why it is but if there is a band I want to see they always play the ones I know after I've left (usually just as we go out of earshot of the stage). However if it's a band Val wants to see they play her favourite while we are there. So once they had played "Weak" I had no difficulty in persuading her to leave the main stage and head on up to the Jazz World stage to catch the headliners The Afro-Celtic Sound System. (That's twice this weekend we've seen the headliners on the Jazz Stage our musical tastes must be changing).

I do love this band their music is just fantastic even when in the middle of a song a strange white galleon sailed through the audience (you had to be there!). After about 40 minutes we headed off back towards the tent. Val somehow managed to fall into the only muddy puddle on the site - even though she knew it was there! Passing the Avalon stage we caught a bit of System 7 but like Suzanne Vega there was a very big crowd and you couldn't hear Steve Hillage very well due to the other sound systems in the field. Anyway we had to get off to bed because we had to get up at 5 You had to be there
Photo by Laura Chapman - read her Glastonbury 1999 review
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Monday

Yes 5 in the morning, we had to be at Gates 1 and 2 respectively to sell festival reviews to unsuspecting festival-goers as they left the site. Val was a bit nervous as she had only worked with me up to now and she wasn't too sure about selling the review. In addition to this we didn't like the idea of leaving our tent unattended on the Monday morning. Anyway after yesterday I wasn't going to bust a gut getting down to Gate 1 so I walked Val up to gate 2. We couldn't see anyone so I left her with the instructions to go to the main info point if no one turned up by 6.30.

I got down to gate 1 just in time to stop the ticket workers wandering off and we waited for the reviews to arrive. True to form they were late and selling eventually got underway at about 7. As with yesterday no one was leaving through gate 1 so it was a slow old morning until we were eventually relieved by Crysse (buy her new book Frozen Summer - it's brilliant) at noon after selling about 150 reviews.

Back at the tent a smiling Val waited for me with every thing packed up and said

"Guess how many reviews I sold"
"20" I replied
"No more than that"
"300"
"No"
"Between 20 and 300"
"Over 400" she said with a huge smile "and they wrote terrific job on my sheet"

Lunch - al fresco The tent came down and off we went to the car, we foolishly believed that it would be easy to get off site as we were in the staff car par - WRONG! There was a massive queue, so we put the stuff back in the car and went for a wander. We looked around the stalls that were still open and bought a few things, we scavenged a few things from the debris, and had something to eat. Typically as soon as we got the food it started to rain and we ate our lunch under our umbrella. Eventually at about 5.30 when we were getting on for being the only people on site we went back to the car and set off through Pilton Village only to get stuck behind a broken down van. Eventually though we were back on the road and heading for home.

Would we be back, you bet! Despite the commercialism and the hype it's still the best festival anywhere. Would we work again - oh yes!

Bring on Glastonbury 2000.

We came down from the Hill of Dreams, Bernadette, Mother Earth and you and me

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All Photographs Kevin Shewan1999 unless credited otherwise