Down on the farm: Glasto 2019

It’s a bit late but it took a bit of time to get back into the real world after a boiling but brilliant weekend in a field at Worthy Farm in Glastonbury.

I wouldn’t say I’m an old hat at Glasto but this was my fourth trip down on the farm so I did know what to expect. What I hadn’t really banked on was the intense heat; we’re far more used to wading through mud whilst trying to retain one’s personal glamour. But the weather gods served us sunshine this year and gave us double helpings, the plus being that you could sit down without resembling a hippo at the waterhole, the negative, you couldn’t find shade anywhere.

However I didn’t let this stop me because the line-up was fantastic this year. Acts who played a blinder this year were The Killers, their Saturday headline set was what fan dreams are made of with hits, pyrotechnics and guest spots from Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr all working up to Mr Brightside which saw thousands of people jumping as one. That must have looked belting from the stage.

Kylie proved she was worth the hallowed legend spot on Sunday. Her set didn’t necessarily push any boundaries but she pulled the biggest crowd of the weekend all willing her on 14 years after she had to cancel her last slot due to a breast cancer diagnosis.

My other notable mention is Janelle Monae who closed the West Holts Stage on Sunday. I’ve seen Monae before and am always blown away by her bad ass performances expertly mixed with a vulnerability that is hard to replicate.

As well as seeing favourite acts, I like to use Glastonbury as a way of seeing artists that I wouldn’t necessarily make the effort to see. The king of the heap this year was most definitely Stormzy, I realise I am not his target audience but he absolutely blew me away. His set was flawless. Years and Years have also got themselves a new fan after a wonderful show which picked up a flagging crowd on Sunday perfectly.

That being said, some acts don’t always live up to expectations. I loved watching Janet Jackson, my 13 year old self loved seeing her perform tracks from the 80s but Ms Jackson didn’t really understand that it wasn’t her crowd and demands to sing along to lesser known tracks fell on deaf ears. Her lack of audience interaction suggested she hadn’t done her homework on Glastonbury expectations. Many people enjoyed Miley Cyrus but coming after the princess of pop Kylie, she just came across as a bit desperate for attention to me although Wrecking Ball was great.

It’s not all singing though, there is theatre, comedy, debate and cabaret, you could feasibly spend a perfectly happy weekend without seeing anyone play a single guitar. Glastonbury remains the creme de la creme of UK festivals and was ahead of the game again this year by banning single use plastic, instead providing endless free water. We were treated to Sir David Attenborough coming onto the Pyramid stage on Sunday to tell us we had saved around 1 million plastic bottles from going to landfill. That’s one festival over one weekend in one country. It’s inspiring and scary enough to make us bring that thought home and change our ways permanently.

Glastonbury is an endurance test, the highs are huge and the lows are really bloody hard, you either love it or you loathe it. I’m most certainly in the love camp and after four years I was so glad to be back there. I would recommend anyone, no matter how many horror stories you’ve heard about the toilets (they’re really not that bad), to have that experience at least once. It’s the 50th anniversary next year since The Kinks were the first ever headliner so it will surely be one to remember.

Remember to take your wellies though, it will surely rain.

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