Saturday 14 September 2013

Glastonbury 2013, Day One, Part the Second: Keeping Up the Proud Traditions of Arriving at Glastonbury

The coach limped into the service station and wheezed to a stop. We got off, got and settled onto the grassy verge to await the arrival of a coach with a non-broken battery. Fortunately it was quite a nice day.

One hour and several frantic messages to the people waiting in the Clowne Tesco’s car park later, the coach arrived, we loaded ourselves and our gear onto it, and set off to retrieve the Clowne people. I retrieved the Magic Piece of Paper (in whose powers I was rapidly losing face), and waited to tick people onto the coach.

One stop in Clowne and several apologies to the people who’d been forced to wait in the Tesco’s car park later, we were on our way! The coach rolled past the familiar landmarks, I explained some of the history of Glastonbury to the new guys on the team, and we tried to take photos of the Glastonbury signs out of the windows.

Soon, we were stuck in another Glastonbury landmark; the queue to get onsite. The coach drivers looked increasingly annoyed, as their hours of work were running out and they needed to get back to Leeds. Alas, things were not to get better, as the stewards at the festival had no idea where to send us. Despite my best explanations, and several frantic phone calls to the WBC staff, it took another hour before we were in the right place and had been given our wristbands by the management staff. I handed over the Magic Piece of Paper, and my work was done.

Now all I had to do was lead my team to the campsite, get our ID badges, and get the tents put up in the dark. Fortunately, I’m not unfamiliar with this, having had to do it a few times at Glastonbury, including one memorable occasion in 2009 when we arrived at the site at 2.30am. This time around things were better, because a) having learned from bitter experience, I’d insisted we eat something at the service station on the way down, and b) the bar was still open. Half an hour later, the tents were up and the beer was poured. We toasted our safe arrival, toasted the festival, and awaited our first day on site.

First, though, we had to get through the night…

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