Friday, 15 June 2007

BLTP Glastonbury Fever part 1

It’s Glastonbury next week hurrah!
I am looking forward to it a so much, so to channel my excitement I’m going to post some stuff. This will include pictures and memories, a series of Glasto media myths/clichéd will be debunked oh and I’ll post some of my best performances from the festival.
If you couldn’t get a ticket I’m very sorry, but what can do? You are probably lucky in the rest of your life.

First things first Glastonbury is the biggest, oldest and best festival in the world. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or probably looking forward to an alternative event where Blondie are the headliners, I mean god love ‘em but I mean Blondie. I’ve been to lots of festivals both here and abroad and had some very good times but I’d swap a day in the rain in Somerset for a weekend with all the sixth formers and lightweights at Reading, V or T in the park etc.

Glastonbury Myth Buster Vol 1
The Rain and Mud.

Glastonbury has become associated with rain and mud. For years I thought this was just bad luck. However a little local knowledge and research shows compared to several other festivals Glastonbury is in a unique situation to have bad weather.

The clues are there to seen, to the west of the site around Glastonbury town starts the Somerset levels a large area of boggy wetland. This area of land only recently drained is below sea level and has been used by man for millennia. It’s where King Alfred the Great is meant to have hid and burnt his cakes during his fight with the Danes.
Part of the reason for the bog is there, is the higher than average rainfall around 1130 mm a year. Which higher than average for Somerset (not high as the impressive 2,000 mm average for the Lake District)

The warm prevailing west winds come across the sea and hits the hills that surround the levels. Pilton farm where the festival is held, is set in the valley of these hills. Compare Pilton with the sensible Cambridge folk festival which is in the drier East of England that only gets a year on average.
So Glastonbury is at the end of wet valley in a wet bit of the world, so no surprise that it gets sodden for the festival. In fact Mr Eavis wouldn’t have it any other way, as for the rest of the time the rain grows nice grass for his cows.

In fact the festival organisers are being disingenuous when they say they are improving the drainage because as farmers they want the rain to stay in the soil and grow grass not speed off and get lost to the local rivers.
One last fag packet theory. I’m not sure but I think the tents may aid the flooding. If you imagine that several hundred acres of soil are covered up by tents when it rains the water runs off the nylon tents onto the ground but there is less soil for it to drain into so it runs off as flood water. This is added to by the fact that all the main stages etc are in the base of the valley straddling various streams, hence the mud and floods. To be honest the mud is annoying and tiring to wade through but it’s never ruined my times at Glasto. That being said let’s hope for 4 days of sunshine.

Glasto Tips for beginners.
1. Don’t roll around in the mud on Friday afternoon you muppets. Yes, you’ll get in the papers (especially if you are attractive young women). But you’ll never be clean again.Ever.


Roo said...

"hope for the best and prepare for the worst" it's got to be my motto for the festival especially with the weather looking increasingly unsettled at the moment!

BLTP said...

Roo glad to have you on board.
re: Rain ,Yes, it seems sadly inevitable. But if you follow my handy guide you should stay dry and warm! Hope you have a good time.

Coventry Blogger said...

Have a great time at Glasters BLTP! Several of my colleagues are running something or other in the Greenpeace tent/area (not just me being vague, it does seem to change daily) and a recent ex-colleague is one of the facilities bods. If you see a tall bloke wearing a pink dress, you could say 'Hi Andy' and see if it is he. Mind you, could be a few others like that.
Talking of vagueness, I'd like to hear about what Lost Vagueness are doing this year - they didn't exist when I went, back in the old days of the original and best festival (of course).