This Glastonbury virgin has plenty to learn. We’re just launching into day three, and the past two days have been a fairly band-free and easy entry into festival vibes. We’re still discovering where our wristbands get us, where the best food is, and which of the many stages fit our family aura best. The people watching has been the greatest entertainment thus far, so sharing my six favourite personalities…
He’s fumbling in his fanny pack for his printed booking form, because he hasn’t figured out that technology lets you tell people who you are with a smart phone. His wife looks surprisingly normal, lines of frustration or deep tolerance worn into the sides of her mouth and between her brows. He, however, besides the unsightly waist-height man-bag, is something quite special. Black leggings under cargo shorts protect against the wind. He’s got a new set of walking boots, and a faded black T-shirt. His wispy white hair floats out like dissolving fairy floss from under his dusty top hat, which is crowned with a ring of ancient silk roses. He’s in the VIP area. He can afford it now, but you can see the self-reproach haunting his eyes. He wants it. But can you still rock-out when you’re travelling in 5-star comfort?
Everyone is trying to display the piece of flesh that is most attractive. Some wear bikini halters and maxi skirts, or the opposite – one-piece swimsuits over fishnets. Then there’s the multitudes of shorts that have squeezes themselves so far up that anal cleft that there are two pillowy moons bobbing along with every single step. It’s evident by the amount of dimpled skin that there are no rear-view mirrors at Glastonbury. And then, there’s Nip girl. You pass her, and you think, “Is that…?”, “ No…!”, and then you look, not out of the corner of your eye, but fully, at her lace-covered, pert bosom. Her boyfriend catches you, but he’s obviously used to it. Yes, she’s totally walking around with her 22-year-old nipples visible through a micrometer of fabric. Dorothy, you’re not in Dubai anymore.
They cracked open a cold one before they passed Twickenham, even though they only arrived at the camp at midday. Since then, the car has pounded with all of the new songs from all the old bands they know are playing at Glastonbury. They have had to hit repeat a bit, because they only know the pre-millenium tunes and need to brush up on their lyrics so they don’t look like a couple of old tools. They’re wearing hipster beards, tattoo sleeves and corpulent bellies. They have no hats, and a suntan that impossibly materialized in the car on the way down. They bring laughter and noise, and despite being generally harmless, will probably be the first thrown out of an arena because they either jumped around too raucously or just couldn’t hold their mouth together in a mark of respect. They will definitely look too long at Nip girl.
Old age crocker
I’m of the firm belief that crocs only belong on chefs and humans under 4 years old. An unseasonably warm festival (It’s England, so sun is always unseasonable), however, has possibly made some reconsider their footwear. Crocs, otherwise known as sunshine wellies, complete with air holes, seem to have found their way onto the feet of many a man over the age of 65, especially those who like to wear tie-dye flares, Grateful Dead T-shirts, Mick Jagger waves and rainbow bucket-hats. After walking these stony paths for 36 hours, we’re almost coming around to a closed-toe shoe, but are unconvinced by the common colour choice of tangerine.
Glastonbury is a classic English event that requires as much planning and aforethought as Ascot. But instead of hats and feathers, everyone plans their boots. Wellington boots are bloody ugly. They’re made of rubber (like Crocs), and are moulded to get your heel through the neck of the boot because there’s no zip, so they’re particularly unflattering and decidedly non-streamlined. Pretty ones cost a pretty penny, and so sun-be-damned (We’ve mentioned the unseasonably delicious weather in 2017), anyone with a good set is still wearing them with pride. Despite the sticky heat and dust, conducive only to dirty sweaty tootsies, there are an unconscionable number of attractive middle-aged women here, wearing spray tans, mini shifts and a tapered set of Hunters.
We’d hate to admit it, but these guys are actually leading our pack. They follow and then they don’t – we might have introduced them to the headliners, but they somehow to know more about them than we do. They wear artificial hair colours, temporary face tattoos and vintage clothes without looking crusty and dried out. They can stay up until 2 am and out-dance the Duracell bunny. They can go for three days without a shower and still look fresh. They can eat food-truck meals for five days without having a coronary. They are constantly asking for a sip of cider, but are eternally sober and asking intelligent questions when everyone else is too strung-out to answer. They might only be 5% of the Glastonbury population, but they got here without paying a dime, and will leave with the future of all the new artists in the palm of their hand.