Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Through rain or shine, it's Glastonbury time!

Well Glastonbury, despite battling the elements in tremendous mud, you never fail to disappoint. What a whirlwind, we packed up the van that fateful morning bright eyed and bushy tailed and loaded what was quite frankly an obscene amount of cargo in, ready to arm the festivals goers with their vibrant and vivacious armour. Among the calamity we had to squeeze our brand new 14ft sign into our poor little bull nosed beauty that was already bursting at the seams.  But wow was this sign a sight to behold; we are talking all the bells and whistles, neon paint, rainbows and custom fittings!

If we were naive enough to believe that this was just a chaotic start to our adventure at Glastonbury, boy were we wrong... When we arrived at the grand time of 7.30pm on Monday evening it was a sea of frantic festival goers trying desperately to push their mud riddled vehicles through the soggy terrain, while the roads were being blocked left right and centre. I become solemn, why oh why had I let myself bury my wellies in the depths of the vans underbelly.

When we finally rolled onto the pitch we managed to get the van stranded right in the middle of it, with lots of generous support from other civilians we managed to move off of the pitch, only to have another car drive straight on and claim it was there spot!  We couldn’t coax them out of our pitch until a market trader officer came and allocated her our neighbouring spot. Then, just to take the biscuit, we had to push her out of our stall position and couldn’t start unloading the van till 9pm!

Unfortunately only one member of the fabulous team was available to come and set up with me, so it was lucky she was devoted to the crooked cause because it appeared we’d need all the help we could get! We needed to protect our beautiful garments and our beautiful customers from the sodden, waterlogged ground; I spoke sweetly to a tractor passing with bark chipping and moved a mound with my bare hands, all in an effort to soak up the water on our pitch and give us solid ground to work on. By the time we got started on hoisting up the enormous steel framework, the daylight hours had descended and we were left in the dark. Luckily for Sarah and I we had help from some lovely neighbours in launching the canvas over the top, by this point our limbs were achy, our buns were tighter and we were ready to get some well needed beauty sleep. 

When we had risen from our tents the next morning we were on a mission to get everything looking dapper in time for the arrival of the first festival goers. We spent the day juggling activities; we needed to dress the stand with displays and lights as well as varnishing the new hefty new sign.  Although this sounds simple we worked again till the late twilight hours, the tasks had become complicated as we had to varnish the sign in stages to allow for drying, re-coating and avoiding the rain (Mother Nature did not seem to be on our side).  However, when we finished at 5pm the next day an overwhelming flurry of pride surged through me, my efforts had not been in vain and I was ready to embrace Glasto with open arms.
I wasn’t sure whether this new found feeling of elation was because we had finished (with great success) the strenuous task of the set up, because I was pumped to see all the great acts or because I could finally sport my favourite festival attire. Despite the troubling weather conditions this year would be no exception, I gave it my all and dressed up in printed jumpsuits, insane headdresses and feathers galore.
 Is a festival without glitter a festival at all

But ultimately there is one reason people of all kinds flock to Glastonbury every year, and it’s for the music, that’s what it’s all about. People of all walks of life coming together to share an experience, that’s pretty beautiful. My musical highlights were Elle King, Christine and the Queens and Beck; Adele was of course pitch perfect and even Coldplay surprised me. Despite not being a huge Coldplay fan (apologies for the unpopular opinion), they’d handed out LED wristbands to the masses prior to their performance and the result was spectacular. They had manage to create a sensational light show in the great outdoors, with flashing lights pumping to the music as far as the eye could see.

My stand was in the circus field right next to the big top, this was marvellous as I could spend my time off watching the trapeze acts and popping in to see the sequins at Rosa Bloom. In true festival tradition I would meander in and set up camp with a fold up chair and a cider. Despite my efforts to absorb all the incredible acts, the weeks of hard work and preparation had finally caught up with me and I would often find myself dozing, enjoying the time off my feet after sitting down for the first time in well over eight hours! Everything had started to take its toll on me and my days were being spent on spot cleaning garments due to it being the wettest Glastonbury on record!  Any-time a garment fell off it'd hanger, was dropped or stepped on when trying on, it needed to be cleaned, which was boring and tedious at times, but I had fully committed myself to offering fabulous, spunky festival wear to the masses, and if this is what it took then so be it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment