This year at Glastonbury was my third; my third time litter picking on the Pyramid Stage for Bhopal Medical Appeal, glimpsing the oddities that Glastonbury has to offer between watching talented artists perform, and sampling the festival’s vegan eateries. This year was a lot quieter on the music front compared to back in 2015 when I had a packed schedule and had to run from stage to stage to catch the likes of Rae Morris, FKA twigs, and Everything Everything. This year left me with some thoughts on the music scene and the chaotic festival itself.
Where’s the rain?
We’re not Brits if we don’t talk about the weather, right? The day we arrived, Wednesday, was an absolute scorcher and although the following five days weren’t as warm, the lack of rain made this year’s experience wholly different. Litter picking around the dusty tracks of Glastonbury as trucks drove past wasn’t pleasant, but at least we didn’t have to trudge through the mud for six hours. Instead, punters were in a much better mood this year dancing under the sun, sitting up on Stone Circle until the stars came out, and watching their favourite artists perform.
Glastonbury was extremely political this year with more and more people heading to the Left Field to catch leftist artists and speakers make some noise for politics that actually make sense in today’s society. Beans on Toast, who played in a tiny tent at Common People back in May, attracted a huge crowd at Left Field as he sang about political puppets. The politics of Left Field moved to the Pyramid Stage on Saturday afternoon as Jeremy Corbyn spoke to thousands of Glastonbury punters. Chanting ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ to ‘Seven Nation Army’ at the Silent Disco was a surreal experience. Corbynmania took Glastonbury by storm.
White white white
Over the last few months I’ve become more aware that the music scene – or at least the music I tend to listen to and enjoy – is saturated by a white population, mainly men or those fitting the criteria of heteronormativity. This year at Glastonbury I found that our little group made of up of friends made on previous years volunteering and family was mainly non-white, leading me to observe that we were one of very few Asian groups amongst the hordes at Glastonbury. Why is it that Glastonbury remains so white even with a fairly diverse line-up bringing different genres, identities and cultures together?
Festival food is great with its diversity in cultures and tastes, and I knew that as a vegan I’d be okay with the variety of options. If ever in doubt at Glastonbury head to the Green Fields area and the Greenpeace Café for a small but tasty selection of vegetarian and vegan food. Somewhere between there and the Healing Field I grabbed a soya Chai and a hearty falafel pitta, sat cross-legged on rugs and taking a breather from the rush of Glastonbury. A stall I was keen on heading to before even stepping on Worthy Farm was Club Mexicana, which opens its stalls in various markets around London. Tofish tacos and BBQ jackfruit burritos were the highlight of my Glastonbury foodie experience. Even my omnivore brother was impressed.
It was great to be at Glastonbury again this year especially having missed it last year due to being on my Year Abroad, and a pleasure to work alongside BMA volunteers clearing up the Pyramid Stage. Love The Farm, Leave No Trace.