Glastonbury 2019

A one-word summary of Glastonbury 2019: hot!

We set off for Pilton as soon as the kids were out of school. There was an accident the other side of the QE2 bridge so we had to go anti-clockwise around the M25 and deal with the rush-hour traffic. Once we hit the M3 things were much easier and the long drive down the A303 wasn't too bad. The Avensis seemed to deal with the Somerset hills much better than the Galaxy did in previous years. We were onsite around 9pm and all pitched up around 11ish.

I had been anxious in the lead-up to Glastonbury about two things: the weather and the queue to get in. The weather forecast had changed from thunderstorms to scorchio which was one less thing to worry about (heat isn't pleasant but it beats mud), but I had been dreading the queue to get in on Wednesday morning. In 2017 the queues were ridiculously long and we only avoided them because the staff didn't want the kids to get heatstroke. The Wednesday this year wasn't quite as warm so we wouldn't have been able to skip the queue, but miraculously we were almost able to walk straight up to the gate at 10.30am. A few minutes later and we were in! This was my twelfth Glastonbury and there's still very little else to compare with the feeling of getting that wristband on and having the entire festival awaiting you.

We followed the now-traditional Wednesday plan: Pyramid Stage to get t-shirts, West Holts for pear cider and La Grande Bouffe, then the dragon and the Greenpeace Kids field.

Kitty did some climbing at the Greenpeace field and Nicky and Rory wanted to go on the drop slide - Rory didn't want to at the last minute and I don't blame him in the slightest! I had my heart in my mouth a little when Nicky did it:

The festival started properly with Mik Artistik's Ego-Trip on the Croissant Neuf Bandstand. Rory was very excited and waving his small plastic fox in the air, even after they'd actually done Plastic Fox! I got a couple of autographs afterwards, one on a CD and one on my t-shirt which I'd made especially!

Thursday was the first really hot day. I put on SPF 50 cream and didn't burn, but did get a nasty heat rash on my inner arms which stayed for the rest of the festival. I have got a decent tan now though! We started at the Circus and Theatre field where we watched some trapeze and Nicky had a go at the bubble football:

The Kidz Field opened shortly after so we headed there for a while, it was very, very busy. The kids had a blast though, trying out the rides, the mobile cave and the recording studio. Afterwards we headed up to Glastonbury-on-Sea, although by this stage I just wanted to sit down so I looked after the bike trailer whilst everyone else checked it out. I did get a stick of rock though:

Friday was another swelteringly hot day, and I moved around far less than I would have done normally (apparently I walked over 70km all week, over 100,000 steps). First up were Bjorn Again on the Pyramid Stage which was a nice fun way to start proceedings. I hadn't expected them to do Jump by Van Halen!

There wasn't really that much I wanted to see on Friday and the heat meant we spent a lot of time in the shade. We spent more time in the Kidz Field before returning to the Pyramid Stage for Bastille. I only knew one song, I wasn't that excited about them. I stayed with the younger two and Anna's mum to see George Ezra whilst Anna and Nicky went to see Idles. George Ezra was entertaining and pleasant enough, I would rather have been elsewhere though (this was the worst clash for me, Ezra/Idles/Let's Eat Grandma/Nish Kumar). Afterwards we took the younger two back to the caravan with Anna's mum so that we could take Nicky to see Frank Turner play the Avalon Stage. We turned up with around 30 minutes to go but the tent was already rammed and we were right on the edge:

The set was really good but I took Nicky out near the end as he was getting tired. It's a shame Frank Turner was in such a small venue, he could easily have played one of the bigger venues such as the Acoustic or John Peel stages.

Saturday was yet another hot day which started at the Pyramid Stage for the Proclaimers. The crowd was a bit smaller than for Bjorn Again, I guess the heat and the previous night's activities might have left more than a few people sleeping it off! It was good fun though.

We headed to the Circus field again as the children were signed up to try the trapeze, although Rory wasn't allowed to in the end as they didn't have a small enough harness for him. The other two gave it their best shot though:

The next act I wanted to see was Johnny Marr on the Other Stage, whilst Anna took Kitty to see Lizzo. Johnny Marr was really good, it was nice to hear Smiths songs without feeling embarrassed about the singer (and I think he sounded better than Morrissey anyway) and his guitar playing was obviously brilliant.

Next up was Liam Gallagher on the Pyramid Stage. I ventured further forward with Nicky and my friend Adrian, and ended up next to the lighting desk:

One of the security guards was great and allowed Nicky to stand on a step on the other side of the barrier (although I did get a slight ticking off when he jumped down to throw an inflatable ball back), it meant he could see and was safe. It wasn't too packed really but it made me less anxious. Liam's set was predictable: the Oasis songs were very well received whilst the solo stuff left everyone talking to each other.

We headed right to the back for The Killers. I obviously known a few Killers songs but hadn't been expecting much - I think I might have seen them in 2007 when the sound was terrible but I can't remember. In the end they turned out to be great, I knew pretty much every song and Brandon Flowers was clearly enjoying it. They also had some great special guests with the Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr joining them!

Sunday started with me packing up the awning and helping Anna's mum load up her car - it was miles away which was slightly annoying as she was one of the first ones on site, you'd think they'd let the early arrivals park closer! Never mind. First band of the day was Slaves on the Other Stage:

I thought they were a bit disappointing - their set was quite short and they didn't do "Cheer Up London", much to Rory's disappointment!

Next up were Babymetal. I'd listened to them beforehand and found that I loved them, and had been hoping they'd be as good live. I wasn't disappointed! The crowd was a little sparse as everyone had headed to the Pyramid Stage early for Kylie, so I could go reasonably far forward with the boys.

I thought they were brilliant, and am seriously considering taking Nicky to see them when they tour next year. Rory enjoyed it too.

At the end we dashed off to the Pyramid Stage for Kylie - Anna had gone ahead to stake out some space and we luckily had a small space on the edge of the path at the back. I don't think I've ever seen the Pyramid Stage so busy, not even for the Stones, Dolly Parton or Lionel Richie. I was ready with my homemade Kylie t-shirt :-)

Kylie was great, although it was a little disappointing that we didn't get Jason for Especially For You (I had been singing it all weekend, much to everyone's chagrin!) Afterwards it was absolutely packed getting out, it took me about twenty minutes to get down the hill even after I waited fifteen minutes.

We had one last visit to the Greenpeace Kids field before heading back to the Pyramid for Vampire Weekend and The Cure.

Both bands sounded great but neither are really my thing, so it was difficult to get excited (it didn't help that I stopped drinking after Kylie in preparation for the next day's drive). It was great when The Cure played the songs I knew, but it was a little disappointing that they didn't do Love Cats.

The journey home the next day was predictable (why does it always jam up at Stonehenge? They should build a bypass somewhere) and very frustrating. An Eddie Stobart lorry decided to reverse into the front of my car at Fleet services, luckily only doing cosmetic damage - their driver was less than helpful and I'm hoping their insurance team will do what's right.

I'm far fitter than I was in 2017 and I could notice the difference - rather than taking a week to recover, I was back at the gym the next morning and not suffering too much. The extra strength helped when pushing the trailer around all week!

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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