Glasto is world renowned for being the biggest and best music festival in the world. I know I’m too young to have a bucket list but ever since about 2010, thanks to “Muse” it’s been on my youth bucket list and I’ve finally made it here.
The sheer size of this festival is absolutely crazy. Cram 200,000 people into what is actually quite a large farm, yes it’s legitimately a farm. So here is a quick summary of the things we saw and enjoyed and a few facts about the festival. I could talk for days about this 5 day euphoria we experienced but I’ll try and keep it short.
One aspect of the festival we enjoyed was that all the patrons respected the various environmental policies like no glass, don’t pee on the land be respectful with your rubbish. It’s not often you see men lining up for a urinal- usually if the lines to long they’d find your nearest tree to water. 🌳
After a long 7 hour drive we picked up our mates Carson and Nic from a nearby town and checked into our campsite. We paid extra for pre-erected tents with charging ports, power showers and actual toilets. After our 5 days we were grateful we paid the extra for such luxuries.
We arrived fairly late on the Wednesday so headed into the festival about 8pm. The music doesn’t start until Friday officially but there’s plenty going on for the first two days. We used Wednesday night to get our bearings- find our way around this festival city. We walked to the top of the hill and could see all over Worthy Farm. As the sun set we sat on the hill and had a few drinks while we waiting for the opening night fireworks. The fireworks were awesome and on completion a giant bonfire was lit to burn through the first night of the festival.
As it’s more than just a music festival there was plenty to see and explore. Various sculptures and amazing backdrops for bars and sets. It being Wednesday night some of the stages were still being setup.
Thursday we woke at a reasonable hour to enjoy our warm power showers and get ready for our first day of the pre-festival. Carson knew a group of Kiwis through work/friends etc so we met up with them and exchanged numbers so we can hang out during the festival. It’s good to have a big group of people at music festivals because sometimes people don’t want to see the same music as you and with a big group usually there’s someone to go with. We spent the day wandering aimlessly finding random bands and singers across the farm. We didn’t really see a bad act. We saw bands from acoustic solo acts to jazz bands to rap/hip hop groups. The weather was warm and sunny so we had a great day making memories.
There was lots of random things going on around the festival. We passed a full clan of people playing the Kazoo and some theatre groups doing method acting. Above is a picture of these strange creatures wandering about the festival. Think Mad Max meets Aliens Vs Predator! Definitely scared a few children that’s for sure.
A lot of silent statements were being made about environmentalism and such things. This “plastic draped tree” was a fine example.
Friday was officially the first day of the festival so after the usual morning routine we were headed for Mø who is a female Danish artist playing on “The Other Stage” which was the second biggest of them all. She started around lunchtime and we managed to make it front row. Before we knew it she was right up at the crowd about 3m from us singing her opening song.
Later on in her set she came right to us and grabbed Katy’s hand and started singing to her. We are yet to watch the televised part of this performance but guaranteed we are on it. She even hopped the fence at one point and started dancing with us in the crowd. Mø was a fantastic start to the official music festivities, we had to keep asking if anyone could top that.
We stayed where we were (front row) for the next band which was The Wombats. They have been playing festivals for a while so have lots of songs we knew and were also amazing.
After The Wombats we rushed to see the second half of Sheryl Crow on the Pyramid Stage (main stage). She was great fun and we sat a lot further back to enjoy the show with some more room. Katy and I then headed back to our tent area for a quick 60m rest and toilet stop. This meant we missed Bastille and The Lumineers but it was our only opportunity for the 3 days so we had to take it.
When we came back we headed for Ms Lauryn Hill on the Pyramid.
Slight backstory with Lauryn Hill is that she only has 1 album out and has been touring it ever since. People say she changed the female rap and soul business for good with her album and really introduced that genre to the world. She has a reputation for being a bit of a problem child and being hard to deal with. She has been to jail for tax fraud and did come across as a bit grumpy even during her music set. Also she was 20min late to start.
Ms Lauryn Hill kicked off with some songs we didn’t know so we initially wondered if she was the right choice. But the second half of her show was great, she played a couple songs we knew and really got into the swing of it. We very much enjoyed her.
Did I mention that Nic bought matching shirts for us all over from Australia. It’s become a bit of a Fad for these shirts to be worn in Australia at festivals so we decided to get them. Turns out it was a great idea because you can spot your mates in a sea of people easily.
There was an hour gap after Lauryn Hill before George Ezra was to play but once again we stayed put to hold our position. George Ezra has been a fav of mine since I saw him at Falls Music Festival in Australia in 2014. He has such fun music to bounce around to and always puts on a brilliant set with lots of chat and stories between songs.
As the moon replaced the sun we headed to grab some food and a rest before we tried to get the best spot we could for Fridays headliner “Stormzy”. He’s the first black British rapper to headline at Glastonbury and you can really see how humbled and grateful he was to be there. I don’t know how it came across on television but you could clearly see he was almost in disbelief in how the crowd turned out to see him. Over 100,000 people. His show was off the charts, huge budget for fireworks and confetti cannons and flames, lasers, lights everything you could throw into the show. Looking back on this week Stormzys show was definitely up in my top 3. He bought out “Dave” a British rapper to sing their song he featured on and even used Chris Martin who is Coldplay’s frontman as a pianist for one of his more sombre songs. All in all Friday was a great start to the music festival and Stormzy topped it off with a 10/10 performance. A lot of articles had been doubting Stormzy had enough material for fill a 1hr45min set but he definitely silence his critics that night.
Saturday started with The Proclaimers. It was another scorching day and they were a great early start. Katy being Scottish couldn’t miss them but I must admit despite their age, they were very entertaining and did a great show to kick off of day.
The good part about Saturday was that all the bands we wanted to see were on the Pyramid Stage which meant we could stay and get a good spot for them all. Next up was Carrie Underwood. Katy loves country music and Carrie was a lot more rock’n’roll than I expected and I very much had a great time. Katy’s sister Kirsten later informed us that we’d made it onto the tv with Katy on my shoulders singing one of her songs.
After Carrie we were front and center for Anne-Marie. We had seen a few of her songs when she supported Ed Sheeran last year so thought we’d check out her full set as she has lots of very popular pop songs.
My main event of the day was Hozier. I’ve been properly excited to see this man ever since the lineup came out. Of all the big names and headliners that were there I was most excited for this poetic long haired Irish fella. It turned out that Hozier clashed with Lewis Capaldi but Katy knew how much I wanted to see him so we watched Lewis Capaldi on the tele when we got home. I just think he is so very talented with everything that he does. As usual we were front and center and I think I sang every word of every song. All the gang we were with enjoyed it but I had the absolute time of my life. Would recommend to anyone and everyone!
Oh and also if you look for a split second you can see me absolutely zoned into the music 😂😂
Next up on the Pyramid was Janet Jackson. Katy and I both agreed we thought she’d be rubbish and didn’t know her songs so went to see a lady called Lizzo instead. We later learned this was the right decision as our Kiwi friends who went to Janet said she was terrible, she lip synced, danced poorly and dressed terribly. Lizzo was a bundle of fun. She’s a sassy American woman who promotes body positivity etc and she was excellent with the crowd we had an absolute ball.
We then trundled to the back to the Other Stage where we had a rest and had some food and drinks whilst we met back up with the rest of our mates. Sigrid was playing and we wanted to see her so it was a bonus to be watching and eating at the same time. After Sigrid there was a small gap where everyone wanted to go see some random DJ and we didn’t so Katy and I found ourselves stumbling upon James Morrison whose music I actually really enjoy. It was a bit of an accident that he was playing during a gap in our lineups but he was great to see. An absolutely phenomenal voice from that man!
After meeting back up with most of our friends we headed back to the Pyramid for The Killers (some headed for Wu Tang Clan, who again we learned were rubbish so we made the right decision). The Killers put on a great high energy show. They played for 2 hours which is crazy. I think they were always going to be great, they have so many hits and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like them. I don’t believe their headline was as great as Stormzy but they are two very different acts so it’s difficult to compare the two.
Our final day at Glastonbury Music Festival 2019 was just as big as the preceding days. We had a later start as the bands we wanted to see weren’t on until about 2pm. We woke and got ready so decided to have a drinks at our campsite. There was a great setup there with a big tent and a bar/music. They had ping pong and at nighttime a fire and live music too.
During our time chilling out we spoke to a few people who told us that “years and years” the first band we were to see, are rubbish live with terrible auto tune so we revamped our plan and decided to go straight to “Jeff Goldblum and the Scnitzer Orchestra”. Yes you heard it right, Jeff Goldblum the American actor plays in a brilliant Jazz/Blues funky band. They were actually very decent with the usual wandering baseline with 12 bar blues and various improvised solos over the top. A great start. He was also great with the crowd, being an actor he had lots to say and was very entertaining.
We had to race off just before he finished to get a good spot on the stage for the Kylie + Miley double up. As we arrived David Attenborough came out on stage for a surprise speech. He spoke about the planet and the environment and praised the festival for completely stopping selling plastic bottles. All water and beer etc was sold in paper cups or aluminium cans which I must admit wasn’t any inconvenience at all. He then spoke about his new show coming out and played a few scenes from it. While everyone was mesmerised by Sir David Attenborough my mates and I weaved our way forwards in front of the front barrier. We got to a real decent spot and made friends with this group of Scottish people beside us while we waiting for Kylie Minogue’s show to start.
Kylie was very emotional as she was due to headline Glastonbury in 2005 but had to cancel at the last minute due to her breast cancer diagnosis. Now, 14 years later she’s playing the “legends” slot which is affectionately known as the 4th headline slot. You could see how much she was enjoying herself and there was a few times where she had to hold some tears back. She played all the hits and what impressed us most was her dancing. She did all the usual crazy costume changes too but her dancing was still pretty great for a 50 something year old. As I’m sure you could imagine she was loads of fun to dance around and sing all the hits.
Here’s a video Katy took while on my shoulders 🤘🏼
Lots of people cleared out between Kylies set and Miley so we managed to push forward to about 5/6 rows from the front. Miley Cyrus came out in her usual outrageous fashion. She was looking very rockstar and played a lot of her new music. Katy was disappointed she didn’t play all of her old hits but I thought it was a good mix of old and new. She also played a couple of covers including Amy Winehouse, Led Zepplin, Metallica and she brought out Billy Ray her dad to sing his latest song “Old Town Road”. She even sang the song she released for Black Mirror the TV show.
Miley was the last of our solid plans for the Sunday. We had a few bands we wouldn’t mind seeing but were happy to be persuaded anywhere with our friends. We ended up at “Dave” who is a London rapper with 2 or 3 songs we knew. Our whole crew were there and as he sung the first few songs we were all really impressed. I shouldn’t say we were surprised but he was surprisingly great. Listening to his lyrics too we could hear what he was rapping about and he was really hitting some serious points about mental health and racism. He very much impressed all of us. The best part was when he picked a 15 year old called Alex out of the front and asked “brother, only come up here if you know every word to this song”. Security lifted him over the barriers and he got miked up to sing this song with his idol. Alex was the whitest skinny 15 year old you’ve ever seen- wearing a bucket hat and hideous shorts but he was an obvious Dave fan as the song was about a footballer called Thiago Silva and Alex was wearing the Thiago Silva jersey. Can honestly say the whole crowd was not expecting much from this young man but he knew every single world and ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED IT. He was great, so entertaining and see how surprised we all were as Dave stopped singing and Alex continued to belt out this entire rap verse!
Our last act for the festival we went to see was Janelle Monae. We decided to skip “The Cure” as we really weren’t fans and only knew 1 song. Janelle Monae was the full show. She has Michael Jackson like dance moves, Alicia Keys like voice and Lizzo like sass. She was really hype and got us all mesmerised with her entire performance. A great one to finish our last day.
By this point it was night time and we met with all our friends and partied a bit further into the night. There are numerous open air night clubs playing deep- house music for an all night rave. A lot of the clubs were again that mad max-post apocalyptic feel with creepy sculptures and fire cannons.
Eventually we tired out and returned to our tents for a much needed rest as we had the long 7 hour drive home the next day.
There’s really nothing I can say about the festival that will do it justice. As I’m sure you can imagine we all had the absolute time of our lives at the worlds biggest festival. Everybody should experience this festival whether your 10 years old or 100 years old. It caters for all ages and there really was a wide diversity of people there, it’s not just the usual young druggy crowd you would think.
Tried to keep it as short as possible thanks for reading.
Stay tuned for our next adventure -GREECE!!