The Ultimate Guide to the 5 Festival Types. Which one are you?
Before you think this is just another blog about a festival, actually I have a little more insight than most. For I lived and grew up in Glastonbury, so I have watched the ins and outs of the Boho mecca grow and grow over the years from friendly gathering to international event. You might also be shocked to know the actual location of the festival is not in Glastonbury at all, but a small village called Pilton! In fact Glastonbury is so much a part of my childhood that I was even Emily Eavis’s dinner monitor with the chief responsibility of pouring her water, squash and (on occasion) pink milkshake. And as she expertly plucked at her violin strings in the orchestra, I’d be tooting away next to her on my recorder! Hmm… I really should have secured me some free tickets.
Yes, the Eavis family were a regular crew ebbing and flowing from my primary school. And a wonderful family they were too. For they brought to the world that most wonderful of things: The Summer Music Festival. And not just any old musical festival either but Glasto!
So here is my list of the (probably) stereotypical Glastonbury Guys and Gals you will find lurking in the queues for every pothole that is a toilet, and raving with boxes of noodles topped with magic mushrooms (and the rest) outside their wigwams:
Just for the Weekenders
You know you aren’t Bohemian, unconventional or even remotely interested in lay lines and crystals. You know because we know. And you know that we know. And we know that you know that we know. It’s all one big ridiculous scam. Which kind of contradicts what Glastonbury is all about – being yourself! I once worked with a Just for the Weekender. How he loved to boast that he had got through to the ticket line after just 3 attempts as he sat there in the office in his sensible checked blue and white shirt (and trousers). Me? It took me an entire day… only slightly annoying when you were at school with the people who invented the world’s music megalith! And utterly hilarious when you spot said Just for the Weekender Guy bopping along to Coldplay in a purple tie-dye T-shirt that he’d clearly never wear elsewhere, woolly hat and ‘raver’ hands doing some kind of zigzag medley into the stratosphere, eyes befuddled on something other than alcopops. I want to bottle the Just for the Weekenders ‘fraud’ and send it in the post to their mums.
Stay at home, guys! Leave your annoyingly pointless (because nobody is going to happen to see you on TV) banners on poles in another county… or preferably country, and leave the real festing to the pros!
They are the festival anchors. They are solid and reliable. They’ve been there since Glasts was just a glint in its creators’ eyes. Oh, they’ll still attempt to jump over the fences. They’re not too impressed that entry is based on cold hard cash nowadays. But they will always find a way to get there. And if not, well, they’ll happily litter St John’s church and its benches in Glastonbury High Street… for around about 2 months. But that would be pigeonholing, and I’m not really into that. The True Hippies are the wonderful folk who have made the festival what it is. They keep it abreast of the utterly mainstream. No, you will never find One Direction making an appearance at Glastonbury as long as the True Hippies are around. The True Hippies run the circus field. They braid hair in the meadows. They give free massages and hugs in their tents. They read tarot cards. They set up impromptu gigs in a circle in the middle of their tent rings in the deep of the night. And of course they smoke dope… and everything else besides. But I think we can overlook the D word and it all that goes with it for the tradition and freedom and merriment and joy this amazing group of people bring to Somerset but once a year. True Hippes, we love you!
These are the Dear Ones who cunningly publicity hunt because they know that Okay’s papparazzi will be hiding behind the CND stage. They think we don’t notice, but Miss Pollyanna’s blown your cover. You’re Just for the Weekenders too. #sorrynotsorry if you go to a festival you camp. In a tent. Not a caravan. That is not what a festival is about. I will kind of make an exception if you are the in a band or a necessary part of its entourage. But Kate Moss, put up your tent. And as for Jo Whiley and the rest of the BBC’s ‘we are so trendy and festivally, look how naturally we do it and know every new song from every up-and-coming indie band’ crew: Prove it then. Spend a night under the canvas under the Glastonbury stars. And as for the Z Listers straight out of this year’s Big Brother Series 99. Don’t even bother. Go home. People of the world want pictures of people who have done something worthwhile in their celebrity ‘news’ magazines… not you having a romp with a Usually Disgruntled Local (see below), who you mistook to be Justin Bieber in the mud.
Usually Disgruntled Locals
But since they’ve got free tickets they’ll let their hair down. Just this year, mind… (as we say in Somerset). Yes, we’re usually all too happy to let the festival ‘cheese us right off’! We have to put up with extra traffic on the roads, not to mention the True Hippies who didn’t get in to the festival turning back and taking up all the car parking spaces in Morrisons with their mammoth contraptions so we can’t do our weekly shops. Then there are the bottles and cans thrown out the window by the Just for the Weekenders as they begin their four day bender on the A361. Those get onto our land and our farms and the drinking troughs of our animals. You all take up valuable drinking space at our cluster of High Street pubs. And you smell. Badly! Four days of not washing lingers into our surrounding villages and towns and makes it ‘right pong.’
But give us a free ticket and we’ll be there keen as Somerset mustard. Do we even produce that in Somerset? Ah, well. And get us tanked up enough – not necessarily on cider – to be in the mood for it and we will find a way to get in even without the free ticket. Oh yeah. If there’s a party going on on our doorstep and the world and its media are invited, just you watch out when a Usually Disgruntled Local is about! We’ll be gettin’ ourselves a slice.
You see this is what having Somerset roots does to a Glastonbury Girl. Even if we no longer live there, once a year it becomes our moral duty to get territorial!
Fringe Band Groupies
Actually, I have to confess to having been an involuntary Fringe Band Groupie on at least one occasion. It’s par for the course at a festival, especially when you’re in a big group. You try to stick together, someone takes charge and rather than watching the Muse set that you have set your heart on for the past few months since you heard they were headlining, you end up feigning devotion to some 4 piece didgeridoo band from a village in Devon who nobody has ever heard of. And with good reason. So the lesson here is sort your music tastes out before the grand event! There’s little worse than being at a festival and not being able to watch the music you are there for… The Fringe Band Groupies are okay. From a distance. Without them the festival definitely wouldn’t be so diverse. Just make sure you know which category your own personal groupies fall into before you sign up for a 4 night camping holiday with them!
Have I missed anyone out? Maybe if you’re festing it this year (in which case you had so better not be a Just for the Weekender) you’ll be able to enlighten me!