Toilet camping, onsite drugs, hand-fasting and unwelcome camp-mates - here are ten Glastonbury pitfalls to avoid this weekend.
You know those people in the bus queue out of Glastonbury, slumped with their head between their knees, Spiderman costume in tatters, a juggling ball lodged permanently into the fresh attempt to tattoo Ed Sheeran’s face over their own, broken by Avalon? They lost at Glastonbury. Don’t be that guy – avoid these ten weekend-ruining pitfalls.
Don’t camp near a toilet
Page one, line one of tent plot selection – never camp within slashing distance of anything that even remotely resembles a lavatory. This includes shaded ditches, out-of-the-way trees, large piles of refuse and anywhere selling Bastille t-shirts. It’s not just the intolerable stench which will at its way into your brain and alter your olfactory system so that everything you smell for the coming year will prompt a Proustian memory-rush of the hellish odour of peaked mounds of stranger’s shite. And, when those toilets get too foul and overflown to venture into, guess what, to the bowel-clutching victim of Botulism Bob’s Sting-Yo-Ring fajita van, starts looking like a viable alternative? That’s right, your tent. Quite possibly with you in it.
Don’t camp near a dance tent
You might be going in all gung-ho right now, waving your modest bag of stimulants in the air and declaring you’ll sleep at your desk on Monday, but at some point those stimulants will run out, your body will shut down or The xx will come on and you’ll be forced to get some rest. At that point, you do not want to be camped within tent-rattling distance of any 24-hour dance tents or areas, unless you find the ground trembling to subaqueous beats strangely soothing, the sound of whistles are like skylark song to your ears and you can easily sleep through a stilt-walking fire-juggler landing on you.
Don’t try to save a ‘communal central camping chill-zone’
Oh it’s all so idyllic on Thursday afternoon when you’ve set up your camp of five or six tents with your 2017 Glastonbury squad with a brilliant open area in the middle for campfire sing-alongs, barbeques and general lounging. But come Friday morning there will be a new tent planted in that area – a tiny, filthy one-man monstrosities occupied by someone called Desperation Dave and Merlin The Manky who has snuck in on the axle of a milk van and has no friends at the festival, apart from you. He will spend the weekend scabbing dope and fivers off of you and your friends and ruining your sing-alongs by playing The Levellers and Mumford & Sons songs on his panpipes made of medical tubing, then trashing your entire camp doing an ancient pagan peace dance in his pants. Four hours after you try to go to sleep, he’ll still be shouting at clouds he thinks are shaped like Nigel Farage.
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Don’t buy drugs onsite
Apart from the fact that you’re probably spunking your last sixty quid on a baggie of Nesquick, you simply never know what you’re taking when you neck narcotics you’ve bought from some tent-to-tent chancer, and there’s no faster way to find yourself spending 72 hours wishing the medical tent a) had a view of the Pyramid Stage and b) would stop whispering those bad things to you.
Don’t watch all of the headliners to the end
How many times do we have to tell you, Glastonbury is not about the music. The instant the headliners end, approximately 160,000 people make a beeline for the ‘naughty corner’ of Shangri-La and Block 9, and if you’re to make the most of the coming seven or eight hours of solid shots and shenanigans, you need to beat them to it. So on at least one of the nights, duck away from the headliners an hour early and get yourself ensconced in NYC Downlow, Shangri-La or the Back Of Beyond before you have to wait two hours to get in.
Don’t charge your phone
Unless you’re astute enough to have brought a mobile charger with you, don’t waste your weekend queuing up to keep your phone alive at a public charge point. Those things are like waiting for cubicles in which every person is having an hour-long dump and, in case you haven’t noticed, Glastonbury is happening, like, everywhere. There’s no good reason to miss out on a couple of hours in this city of dreams just so you can read about Brexit and terrorism, fuel the hatred of your non-Glasto friends with smug Facebook posts and add to the 130,000 videos of Radiohead doing ‘Karma Police’ on Youtube. Did the pagans have iPhones? They did not. So neither should you. If you lose your friends as a result, they weren’t worth having in the first place, make some new ones.
Why not try this method of phone power maintenance instead:
Don’t get hand-fasted to a one night stand
No-one with any sense of decency and personal hygiene would cop off with a Glasto random after Friday night, which means that Saturday is awash with dizzy new couples flapping around the site looking for ways to mark their blossoming Avalonian love. The most Glastonbury solution is to have a hand-fasting ceremony, in which a gong-botherer who usually lives in some woods wraps ribbons around the hands of you and your new amore, binding you together in ribbony matrimony. Okay, it doesn’t legally entitle them to half of your estate but it does mean you are honour-bound not to shake them off for the rest of the weekend, thereby pissing off your friends and limiting your gig choices as you have to drag an increasingly hungover, irritated and repentant stranger around with you for the rest of the weekend. Plus, if you’ve followed our advice from Number Six, you won’t have your phone handy to read all of the demanding, abusive and stalkery messages they’ve been bombarding their previous hand-fasting victims with.
Don’t take a remarkable flag
The logic is good – you’ll never lose your friends if you’re carrying around a flag or stick-hoisted object that is instantly recognisable in a vast sea of Corbyn banners and Radiohead requests. The problem is, you become a mobile meeting point for everyone at the festival. “I’m by the stick with the severed Orville The Duck head on top,” you’ll hear people yell into mobiles and suddenly everywhere you go you’re locked in the middle of a tight crowd of people trying to meet their own lost friends at you.
Don’t load up on exotic food
Glastonbury is all about dabbling in the culinary world of the ostrich, the mung bean and the Venezuelan mountain stoat – all curried, stewed or fried in guru dung. By all means dip in, but don’t make it your mission to gorge on the most unusual dishes you can find for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night munchies. For Glastonbury dining is something of Russian Roulette of bowel-grenades, and you vastly increase your chances of being the shame-faced shitter from note one, apologetically squatting over a surprised-sounding sleeping bag. Remember, foodies, Glastonbury is the last place you want the squits – fill up on pizza.
Don’t box yourself in
It’s easy to find a ‘safe space’ at Glastonbury – immersing yourself in the Healing Field all weekend, never leaving the Dance Village or just sitting in front of the West Holts Stage for 72 hours, stoned out of your tiny mind. But nowhere is it more important to dive out of your comfort zone and roam free. So go raving with five strangers in the Miniscule Of Sound, try tightrope walking, have a gong bath, get into jazz polka for ten minutes – try to do everything. There’s a whole world of fomo out there, don’t regret not grabbing it.