Monday 30 June 2014

Glastonbury 2014 - Review (Part 1)

The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is arguably the world’s greatest festival, with thousands of acts performing over a multitude of stages over the course of five days of incredible madness, joy and the most crazy weather known to man (this year, electrical storms into brilliant sunshine in the space of a few hours). Glastonbury is also an event that is utterly over saturated by media channels. Even if you weren’t there if you have any passing interest in the event by now you’ll have probably watched or heard some of the larger acts perform via the BBC’s coverage either on the TV, via its online stream or its various radio channels, as well as reading about events on site as they happened via professional web publications and social media.

Therefore less than 24 hours after the event a traditional review of Glastonbury seems almost irrelevant and out of date. So instead we’re going to be posting a number of shorter posts with a more personal take on the festival – after all that’s what we believe a DIY blog does best - with at least a few things that maybe the media didn't cover as much. So we won't be covering the whole did Dolly mime debate.

You’ll probably have seen many fantastic photos on line from the professional photographers who shoot Glastonbury. However in this day and age the vast majority of us capture our own personal memories on a small hand held device, be it a digital camera or a phone. Those professional photos may look great, but they don’t necessarily mean anything to the individual.

So here's our first post / review. Professional? Us? No, we're keeping this strictly amateur.

14 Badly Taken iPhone Pics From Glastonbury With No Filters, Zoom Or Photoshop Touch Ups

Some mud. There was quite a lot of this. It varied in colour, texture and wetness. But it was still undeniably mud.

Obligatory men who have rolled in the mud photo.

It wasn't all mud all the time though. It's fair to say the weather was indecisive. Wellies and sunblock were required, sometimes at the same time. 

There are a lot of flags on site at Glastonbury.

A lot of people seemed to decide that despite the many flags on site, they needed to bring their own. This breed of person seemed to spend most of their time standing near the front at either the Pyramid Stage (pictured) or The Other Stage (the 2nd stage), obscuring the view for many of the people behind them.

The Pyramid stage is a very odd place to be. Thousands of people congregate there to see the big names. The majority of them will be so far back that even if their view isn't obscured by the flag wavers they will end up watching it on the big screens either side of the stage. This strikes us as an odd way of going to see a live band or artist - after all you could do this at home by watching the telly and it's a lot easier / quicker to go to the toilet in between acts. We prefer a more immersive-close-up-whites-of-their-eyes experience, being able to really feel something powerful from the performance as much as the music. This is a picture of Dolly Parton (you can just about spot her) performing. You might think we were a long way back. But there were in the region of 55,000 people behind us.

Not every stage pulls such big crowds though.

The Pyramid Stage from behind. A pretty dull place to be. It also looks much smaller from the back than the front.

The press tent. This is what part of the world's media looks like eg: Not very exciting. 

These evil fishermen were pretty scary.

So were these freaky babies.

Block 9. An impressive looking structure that sadly looks less impressive when you see it from behind and see it's just a bunch of scaffolding and cladding.

One of the best things about Glastonbury is the lack of separation between the camping sites and the stages. It means if you arrive early you can camp really close to your favourite area. These campers had a thirty second walk to the John Peel Stage.

Glastonbury is intense. If you come for all five days as we did unless you are very careful and pace yoursself you'll probably come home broken. Expect post-Glastonbury blues. You might even find yourself crying afterwards for no reason. It looks like this man didn't pace himself so well. We hope he's home, safe, washed, dry and warm now. We also hope that whatever broke him was incredible. We expect it was.

Further 'reviews' to follow.

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