Can Glastonbury’s Monks And Rockers Cure Your Brexit Anxiety?

For anyone who didn’t wake up to the result they were expecting in the EU referendum, today has been a funny day to be partying in Pilton. Yes, you’re enjoying the bands and concentrating really, really hard on not skidding in the mud, but there’s also that nagging sense that you’re watching Jess Glynne blithely do her thing while the nation teeters on the brink of apocalypse. So before the ulcer actually burst, I decided to take action and seek inner calm, beginning in Glastonbury’s lushest locale.

Buddhist monks who take your worries away
If you’re having a bad one at Glastonbury, the green fields are an oasis of calm, craft and chai. Wandering about, I stumbled on a tent in which six Buddhist monks sat cross-legged on a low table. The assembled crowd were each given a small ball of dough, which we were invited to manipulate in our hands while thinking about what ails us, so I imagined I was squishing David Cameron’s chubby little face between my fingers. We were told, too, to rub the dough on our faces, so I stopped imagining it was David Cameron. Our troubles thus transferred to the dough, we blew sharply on it and handed it to the man running the show, who put it in a bowl and took it over to the monks, who began a process of meditative chanting to nullify the negativity. The chanting – all 20 minutes of it, with sporadic bell-ringing and hand gesturing – was mesmeric. And wandering off after, I did feel a little better, but it might just be because I’d had a nice sit down.

Inspiration from the don’t-give-a-shit power of rock ‘n’ roll
I then wandered down the hill to the Pyramid Stage, where ZZ Top were on stage doing their thing. And that thing is bluesy-woosy rock ‘n’ roll performed by two bearded men and a man without a beard. One of the former, singer Dusty Hill, has an assistant who lights his cigar for him while he’s playing a particularly long guitar solo. This is clearly a man who knows how to live. And you think, as they’re singing yet another song extolling the virtues of bottoms (‘Tush’, in particular), that these three guys wouldn’t worry about Brexit. They probably haven’t even heard of Brexit, and they wouldn’t like it if they had because it hasn’t got a bottom. So you wonder about connecting with your inner ZZ Topper and just not giving a damn about the whole political shitshow, but then you realise ZZ Top have had five decades to attain this level of Texan chill. A quicker fix is needed.

A timely primal release from a rising grime artist
Grime artist Novelist may have had the idea all along. Early in the afternoon, he led the crowd in a rousing chant of “Fuck David Cameron”. It’s nice to say, it’s even nicer to shout. Try it now.

Did Glastonbury cure my Brexit anxiety? Not really. But there are worse places to be cocooned while strangeness abounds in the real world. And there is always the cider bus.

Glastonbury-goers react to Brexit news