It’s hard to put into words quite how excited I am for Glastonbury. I’ve been to a lot of music festivals, seen a lot of shows and had a lot of rewarding experiences. But Glastonbury…it’s just different. It’s bigger. More intense. More challenging. This has been a goal of mine for over ten years, and I’m still in awe that in less than two days I’ll be on Worthy Farm, cider in hand and ready for adventure (and Radiohead!).
I first learned about Glastonbury when I was 15 or 16. I can’t even remember what the context was - I think I might have seen an article about a favorite celebrity who had attended and all the outfits they wore - but it sent me on a trip down the rabbit hole of learning about the festival. It turns out many of my favorite bands had, at some point, graced Glasto’s massive stages. Keep in mind I was in high school - I went to a lot of concerts, but my love for music festivals (and my understanding of all the highs and lows associated with attending) wouldn’t develop for another 6 or 7 years. Still, knowing Glastonbury existed - a real life Woodstock with British accents - was a mind-blowing realization for me. It became a pipe dream and it never faded away. As I got older and my music taste evolved, Glastonbury was always there in the back of my head.
Fast-forward to last summer. Alex and I have each been attending music festivals for several years now and consider ourselves seasoned veterans. Plus, as I found out very early on in our relationship, Alex had a similar obsession with Glastonbury. So when we started planning our round-the-world trip, it only made sense to make Glastonbury a part of that. We were able to secure tickets (along with our close friends Mitch and Bruna and a few other pals from the States) and began researching obsessively: best campsite, best time to arrive, how to prepare for the weather. Still, it didn’t feel real until we arrived in the UK. But now that we’re here, our hype level is through the roof. It’s really happening.
Even so, I still don’t think I’m mentally prepared. Sure, I’ve got my wellies (rainboots) and a couple pairs of denim shorts, but neither Alex nor myself really feel like we’re fully ready for the next five days despite all our American festival experience. For one thing, the weather at a British festival is totally different than what we’re used to. At Bonnaroo I’m used to wearing yoga shorts and Chacos and dutifully chugging water to avoid dying of dehydration under the blistering Tennessee sun. But at Glastonbury the weather is notoriously fickle - it typically rains a lot, causing the ground underfoot to turn into a vast mud pit and flooding tents in low-lying parts of the farm. Even in dry years there are issues: the dust is apparently monstrous to contend with. Beyond the weather, there are other differences that make this a totally new experience: the festival has twice as many people as Lollapalooza, and occupies a space significantly larger than the sprawling fields of Bonnaroo. Also, there are literally over 100 stages. Walking is going to be a doozy, and it’s going to be impossible to see everything I want. Still, no matter what happens I know something fantastic lies around every corner.
I know that despite my best efforts I’m sure I’ll miss something awesome or get lost or feel stressed at times. It’s all part of the festival experience. But I know that no matter what happens, it’s going to be unbelievably rad. I have no idea what to expect and that brings me so much joy. Glastonbury, we’re coming for ya.