Glastonbury Festival is my favourite place on earth. To me, nothing even compares to the feeling I get when I arrive at this festival. I feel like I am home. After the festival took a break in 2012, I am even more excited than usual to get back to Worthy Farm. Glastonbury 2013 will be my 5th Glastonbury, and with the Rolling Stones headlining the Pyramid Stage and the weather looking up, I have a feeling it could be one of the best.
Writing a preview for Glastonbury is near impossible. I don’t want to tell you what to do, or who to see, because essentially, Glastonbury is about self-discovery. Each of the 175,000 ticket holders will have a different experience, see different bands, and end up down a different rabbit hole (often quite literally). I think Glastonbury is best approached with no expectations, no plan, no list of bands to see. Come with an open mind and I guarantee you will never want to leave.
I beg you to use this preview as a mere guide to the festival. There is no rule book, no must sees, just explore.
My favourite area of the festival, The Park is a festival within a festival. Host to one of the smaller main stages, this year The Park hosts the likes of Solange, HAIM, Devendra Banhart and Cat Power. The area is also host to a number of other stages, bars, a silent disco and numerous art installations.
If you walk up the hill behind The Park, you get one of the best views of the whole festival. And if you keep on walking, yep, keep on going, up and up, you will eventually reach a tiny little tent entitled The Crow’s Nest. This stage hosts a secret line-up, and often from bands playing larger stages around the festival. Head up early in the weekend to get a copy of the line-up, it’ll be worth the walk.
The Green Fields
The Green Fields describe themselves as ‘A joyous celebration of life’, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Celebrating everything from yoga and meditation (The Healing Field), arts and creativity (GreenCrafts Village), and creating a greener planet (Green Futures), the area is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of the festival. The Tipi Field is one of the best places to get delicious homemade vegetarian food and The Stone Circle is the best place on site to watch the sunrise with thousands of others.
The best way to experience the Green Fields is to wander round on Wednesday or Thursday with plenty of time to take it all in, it’s rather huge.
My favourite nighttime area is the infamous Shangri-La. A broken down city created within the festival, Shangri-La features many indoor tunnels which are home to some to tattoo parlours, underground rave bars, and some stuff which has to be experienced to be believed. It’s a bit of a mind-fuck but in the best possible way. The field often gets full so head over there straight after the headliners finished to have the best chance of getting in.
Block9 (pictured above), located next to Shangri-La is also worth a nighttime’s exploration.
The Pyramid Stage
For all you Glastonbury virgins, the Pyramid is the main stage. It’s literally shaped like a pyramid, and is the stage that The Rolling Stones, The Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons will headline this year. At a festival like Glastonbury, many people will write off the pyramid in favour for the smaller stages like The Park or Williams Green. What is often forgotten about the Pyramid, is that the atmosphere is often incomparable to anywhere else on site. There is something so special about being surrounded by a hundred thousand people, all singing the words to the same song. It’s completely euphoric.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have never headlined Glastonbury before, and they’ll probably never do it again. It’s gonna be special.