The festival season is upon us. Hurrah – here’s to another summer of scoffing scrofula burgers, getting drunk beyond all reason, and rolling around in our own filth to the distant strains of ‘Daddy’s Gone’.
To mark this serotonin-boosting moment, we’re asking people to vote for the bands they’re most excited about seeing.
It’s also got us discussing our standout festival memories, both good and bad. Like salty sea dogs swapping tall tales of krakens, we’ve all got anecdotes from our years on the festival front line.
Mine involves having a large rock thrown at my head by a silverback gorilla. That was at Zoo Thousand – although, amazingly, this horrifying act of simian violence wasn’t the most painful thing I experienced at that festival. Mark Ronson was headlining, after all.
A quick straw poll of the office threw up the following highlights and lowlights. What are your most cherished/shameful/distressing festival memories?
Hamish Macbain: “The Verve, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, Glastonbury 2008. My life has literally been all downhill from this moment.”
Marc Mclaren: “Being about 5 rows from the front of Pulp’s Saturday night headline slot at Glasto 95, right at the height of Britpop. I was 19, skinny and about as happy as it’s possible to be.”
Jamie Fullerton: “Watching frickin’ Pendulum totally Ledgered last year – a band I’d normally cross a motorway backwards to avoid normally but somehow enjoyed it under the influence.”
Leonie Cooper: “Telling jokes to a couple of anarchists with a food stall in exchange for free pancakes when I had run out of money at Glastonbury, aged 16. I’ve always depended on the kindness of anarchists.”
Paul Stokes: “I will never be able to top ‘singing’ backing vocals for Elbow on the Pyramid Stage Glastonbury 2004 as part of the band’s “cast of thousands choir”. The view of the crowd up to Worthy Farm was stunning, although the field looks much smaller from the stage then it does when you’re in the crowd. My miming even made it onto a B-side.”
James McMahon: “I hate festivals. I think they’re for dicks. This opinion was forged upon attending my second ever festival – Glastonbury 1998 – where my big toe became so infected after wading through shitty, dirty, horrible mud for four days, that I had to have a piece of my toenail removed on returning home. Eleven years on, this has never fully grown back. My other principal memory of the festival is that I took no clothes with me other than a beige suit – which is odd, isn’t it?”