Saturday 19 November 2011

Leeds Day 2, Part the First: The Mud Has Reached Glastonbury Proportions

And it rained.

It rained, it rained, and then it rained some more. It rained during the night, it rained when we woke up, it took a brief pause in the morning, and then it rained the rest of the day.

We filled in the morning hours by seeing Mark Thomas recounting his tale of walking along the Palestinian – Israeli wall, and nearly being shot by the Israeli army. It was told with great vigour and amusement. After that, we turned up our hoods, tucked in our trousers, donned our T-shirts and trekked back to the Main Stage bar to start our noon to six shift.

Rarely have I ever been so glad at a festival to be working. At least for six hours we were inside a sturdy, waterproof tent with ready access to a toilet and some hot drinks. I’ve never served so many people who looked at risk of incipient hypothermia. By the end of the shift at 6pm, I was ready to start handing out blankets and hot water bottles to people instead of pints of Tuborg.

We had the usual cider saga of faulty machines, although given the rain, it’s not surprising. I vividly remembered my first Glastonbury, when the rain knocked out all the MDUs on site. The only drink we had for sale was the real ale, since you pour it from a cask. I’ll bet the real ale suppliers were very happy that year.

I also vividly remembered the other reason I like Glastonbury: big tents and lots of coffee and bar tents. Admittedly Leeds has lots of big tents, but it’s short on bar and coffee tents, which is a problem in this weather – people need somewhere to sit and chill out – or in this case warm up – and hide from the rain.

Still, we did have two big things to look forward to, a) Elbow and b) Muse. Two of my favourite bands of all time. We ate pizza, and then headed to take up our places in front of the stage.

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