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:: Saturday, June 28, 2008 ::

Junky Blood

Glastonbury 1997 - After the incident 5
Originally uploaded by gusset.

Not that I'm bitter about missing Glastonbury this year or anything. I was supposed to be working there but just couldn't afford to take the time away for it so had to drop out. To make myself feel better, I've dug out the 1997 photos.

Anyway, it was thoroughly miserable. We had seen Aphex Twin had play a great set that morning and seen Beck present a moving target in a white cowboy suit. The mud was everywhere. It was sticky. It took infeasible amounts of energy to get anywhere, and on top of that you had to walk ridiculously long routes everywhere due to flooding. By the Saturday afternoon we were pretty fed up with it.

We retired to the tent to cook some beans. We sat watching people trudging by as our food gentle simmered, a light drizzle replacing the steam coming off of it. (We had tried in-tent cooking the previous day but I'd set fire to my jumper.) There was some shouting coming from a large tent of crusties just across the "road" from us but that had been going on must of the weekend. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a syringe full of blood and scag lands in the mud between us and our lunch. Both our heads swing in the direction it came from to see two junkies running for it, pushing as they went, like rugby players after a stray ball.

One of them grabs it and they start to wrestle for it. Our gas is quickly extinguished and we retreat into the apparent safety of the tent and listen to the fighting just outside. They fall into the side of our tent, causing a partial collapse, which removes the last illusion of a safe hideaway. As we escape they tear through it, stabbing at each other with the syringe and spraying blood over all our stuff and our neighbours tent.

We go and find a security guard in the corner of the field. He claims he can't see anything and won't get involved. When we return everything has been flattened. A few items are salvaged and returned to the car, everything else is left to fester, to be trodden over and buried in the mud like the blood on a battle field.

At the farm house we are offered space in the barn along with several hundred other people (this was the year of the tent thefts). We decline and decide we will head home at the end of the day. We catch the end of Reprazent's two-hour set and then a great Chemical Brothers performance. When we head for the car we have to pass the front of the pyramid stage, in the middle of what later came to be regarded as Radiohead's greatest performance. I just cussed "fucking Radiohead" to myself and I fought my way through their fans. We have a surreal experience when we stop to watch some opera for a couple of minutes and chat to Stephen Frost, who seems just as bamboozled as we are. The drive home to Bristol was unusually quiet.

I swore I'd never go again after this. That lasted until the fence went up. I think I've been four more times since. It was my brother's first festival and I think he's only been to one other since.

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:: Dan 28.6.08 [Arc] [1 comments] [links to this post] ::
That has to be the suckiest festival experience ever. I've had bloody rah-rah drunks (you know the kind - they rock up with Pimms and a gazebo) snap a tent pole in the pouring rain at 3am and then refuse to even help fix it, but that's nothing compared to your apparent misery.
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