Even the word alone is enough to elicit all manner of responses.
Full disclosure - I’ve never been. Sometimes I play that down: “I bet it’s ace, I’m sure there’s loads to do there”. Sometimes I play that up: “Load of pricks in straw hats having the sort of small f fun that usually only riles me once a year on New Year’s Eve”. Pff.
I genuinely don’t want to slide over into the Clarkson circle of the venn diagram so what is my actual beef with “the biggest blah blah blah in the world?"
It could be that I’d rather paint my house than watch Florence & Her Machine (she really should have called the band ‘Alistair’) but then I’ve also paid a ridiculous amount of money to watch two of the Pyramid stage acts in Hyde Park tomorrow. I’ll no doubt be enjoying a similar swim in cunt soup alongside much more corporate bullshit and with an almost certainly far inferior sound experience. I will however be able to drink a proper beer in a real pub just before and hop on the tube home after, with or without rain.
Ah the rain. The tiresome weather reports mentioning what the sun is or isn’t doing somewhere a hundred miles away replacing the equally idiotic snow and ski reports.
Why is Glastonbury such a polarising event? I think it’s simple. The B B fucking C.
A quick search online reveals that a Freedom of Information Act requesting BBC Glastonbury staff and cost details was turned down on the grounds that “The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion.“
Wow. Surely they’d be as laid back as Nigel from accounts on day two: ”Sure mate, here’s the skinny…" I then spotted a Daily Heil link which made me then feel uneasy about even caring but close by the cuddly Grauniad also pondered, so it is a 1st world issue after all. Onto, the numbers:
“More staff to attend than were sent to cover the World Cup." 300 to be precise. So, 300 people will be heading down, all expenses paid no doubt to bring us Jo Whiley in shorts and welly boots sat on a hay bale telling us how act A blew the non-existent roof off (she’ll probably say “rocked the pyramid” at least three times). We are assured every member of staff has a clear and accountable role with long hours. So in essence what they’re saying is ”yeah, looks like a jolly up, we’ll make sure we rinse them in return." The closest my curmudgeonly inquest over the cornflakes could rustle up was £1.737m in costs revealed by the National Audit Office in 2008. Nestled in the same review was ”£4.217m for Wimbledon." And there’s the rub, another event that despite being literally up the road from me I have no appetite to attend. Both similar in their ”I bet you wish you were here" mass populace assumption with a side order of ‘boo-ya we are you ain’t.' Henman Hill or the Healing Fields holding similar status for millions. Yeah, heard about it loads, still not bothered.
So, if you’re on your way enjoy whatever it is about “the experience” that flicks your switch. Happily, yet gently, tell me over a beer how ace it was when you attended - if I ask you. But please BBC, don’t try and make out I’m poorer for not being there because I really don’t agree. I’d rather you spent the money on resurrecting Play For Today if I’m honest. Now there’s something we could gloat about others missing. You could even take some of that dough and remake Nuts In May set at Glasto. If you’re looking for a Keith I’m happy to come along and be a good citizen and wave my indignant stick at the revellers.