Stretched out over acres, and often difficult to navigate your way across, the Media Coverage of Glastonbury is one of a handful of man-made objects that can be seen from space, alongside The Great Wall of China and the mass graves of Mariah Carey’s former personal assistants.*
It’s great that we can share the experience of The World’s Biggest Music Festival, as Glastonbury is pushed into our homes like an unwanted U2 album on an iPhone, but the downside is that all this coverage serves as a constant reminder that We’re Not There, Dammit.
Having had a lovely time at Glastonbury last year, I have discovered that if there’s one thing worse than being One of Those People Going to Glastonbury, it is being One of Those People Not Going.
To be honest, there has been a pretty strong feeling of gloom in the ERTAS household in the last day or so. Wistful sighs have been frequently heard. There’s a sense of lethargy. Not even a few looseners in the garden on Friday evening could quite take the edge off. Glum, is the word. Restless. Peeved, even, especially when the BBC coverage is trailered. I’m having to stop myself frowning and throwing things at the telly. At least, more than I do normally.
After failing last October to secure the tickets, life carried on as before, and there was little thought of The Forthcoming Void In June.
But then as the stories started in the papers, the photos came through of the gates opening, there came a sudden realisation I’m Not There. And what’s more, everyone who is there is Having Lots Of Fun Without Me.
If you have ever discovered that the pretty girl you fancy at a party is snogging your best mate, then you’ll have a good idea how it feels.
So what to do?
Why not invite a couple of friends over and recreate the whole Glasto experience as closely as possible, without actually going?
1. Sit in your car outside your house for three hours without moving. This will accurately resemble the experience of passing the two mile stretch of the A303 that goes past Stonehenge on your way to Glastonbury.
2. Climb out of your car, walk three miles carrying a heavy rucksack and set up a couple of pop up tents in your garden. For a more authentic experience, set a series of traps around the tent, such as rogue guy-ropes, trip hazards and pot holes to give the 4am journey to bed a precarious, edgy feeling. If you can, set up seven identical tents around it that don’t belong to you, to make your drunken tent selection test more difficult and confusing in the dark. For ultimate authenticity, realise you forgot to pack the tent pegs, and just weigh your tent down with the sleeping bag inside hoping that those forecast high winds don’t materialise and you wake up at night in a scene resembling The Wizard of Oz. Professionals may choose to get one of the cats to vomit around the entrance to the tent, and then forget it has done so.
3. Drink several pints of beer and cider whilst watching the BBC’s coverage. Invite some drunk / stoned teenagers into your home to stand in front of the TV, obscuring your view whilst taking selfies in an overly showy way and laughing loudly at their own jokes.
4. If it rains, instead of staying in, go outside in whatever clothes you happen to be wearing. Stand there, whilst you are waiting for the next band to begin.
5. It is now muddy and you need the toilet. We’ll not go into too much detail here, but to truly replicate the sheer awfulness of festival toilets, why not walk in the rain to your nearest Yates’ Wine Bar?**
6. You need cheering up by now. Watch some more TV coverage, but to make sure you get that special “Festival Feeling” always ensure there’s a loud and irritating voice just behind you talking rubbish in an authoritative way. If you don’t know anyone who can do this, seek out a Nicky Campbell podcast or Katy Hopkins interview on Five Live and leave it playing in the background whilst you watch the band.
7. Time for something different. Put on iPod headphones, and either go into your garage (if you have one) and put the car’s hazard lights on, or ask one of your friends to turn the lights on and off in your lounge whilst dancing to the music in your own Silent Disco.
8. Hungry? Given the choice on offer at Glastonbury, pretty much anything will do, but make sure you a) eat standing up, b) use plastic cutlery and c) ensure whoever gives you the food shouts “NEXT!” very loudly in your ear just as they give you the grub.
9. I should have mentioned earlier, but you should do all the above wearing a mankini. Or at least a silly hat.
10. It’s 4am. It is bed time. Stagger back to the tent for a well deserved three hour kip. See if you can get a neighbour to walk loudly past your tent once a hour, preferably carrying saucepans for no discernible reason, or ask them to shout out randomly and loudly every hour, and then giggle.
You should then wake at seven am and repeat.
No. It’s no use. Who am I kidding? Glastonbury was wonderful. I still want to go back next year. Maybe I’ll use the weekend to upgrade my broadband speed in preparation for October’s ticket frenzy…
** For legal reasons I should probably say that I’m only joking. I’m sure the toilets at these establishments are lovely really.