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The Phoenix atop the Pyramid Stage
photo by Marc Jones

Just finished my 5th stint of working at Glastonbury Festival.  On site for 8 days at probably THE best festival I have attended in the last few years.

Best moments:

Finally getting one of my oldest and best friends on the team and spending 8 days in a muddy field reconnecting, and a group of us ageing hippies standing in the middle of Plumleys Paddock in a group hug singing (badly) “All you need is love!”

Meeting friends old and new – after a 2 year gap it was great to re-connect with all the old team on site.  I rarely venture out into the main festival these days, at least once the punters have arrived, but we do have the best backstage bar ever in our area and my top bands there this year included Guns of Navarone, Mad Dog Macrea, Pronghorn, Zen Hussies and Hobo Jones and the Junk Yard dogs.

Great circus acts  – my fave was the drag queen circus act by Incandescence and Titan the terminator-esque robot who sang My Way by Sinatra and squirted tears out of his eyes

Gate security – very efficient, quickly moving queues, friendly people.  A distinct improvement on the bunch of little Hitlers they had on there in 2011.  Seemed to be able to use common sense to keep the traffic moving.

New Compost Loos in the crew area – I am a convert, so much better than the old chemical style loos.  We were trialing 3 this year and I am so hopeful that ALL the old chemical versions will be replaced next time.  Apart from the fact that they are eco-friendly, they were a lot cleaner, and they did not smell.

The BaD bit

Worse moment:  having to leave the drag show in the first night when they sang Big Spender and it reminded me of Nikki, to go and have a bawl in my tent for 15 minutes (rectified shortly after by copious amounts of wine and dancing)

The Just Plain Ugly BIT

The site stewards were fantastic as usual, but a small minority of  the new guys in blue – the security team – who were out in the festy dealing with the public were not that great: very full of themselves and puffed up with a false sense of  importance.  We did stop and challenge one who was yelling down a megaphone directly into a young woman’s ear.  The result was abuse, threatening behaviour and his assertion that he could do “whatever the hell he wanted” which included forceably taking our tickets for the crime of questioning him.  (He did not attempt it by the way.)   In the end I complained to the supervisor who either thought I was a lawyer or was just a bit more on the ball and the bully had his toy taken away.  He actually pouted….not tremendously attractive on someone built like a brick outhouse, although rather hilarious to witness.

I hope for next year that they start using locally based on site security teams again, they behave more appropriately than this.

All in all

This year’s festival was so amazing I actually have nothing significant to enter in my “bad category”.  And due to our wonderous new loos I can’t even complain about those.  There was no real rain to speak of, the weather was amazing and everyone was in a brilliant mood.   Roll on 2014.  Thank you Michael Eavis for hosting and everyone in Theatre and Circus for being as amazing as ever.

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