Top 20 Glastonbury Festival Tips – Get the Most out of your Glastonbury Festival Experience

Top 20 Glastonbury Festival Tips – Get the Most out of your Glastonbury Festival Experience

I have been to Glastonbury 3 times, 2013, 2015 and 2016 and I even played 2 of the official stages in 2015. The Glastonbury Festival is an amazing experience and lack of pre-planning can affect your enjoyment. These are my Glastonbury Tips for before, during and after the Glastonbury Festival. There were 18 but I have extended them with 2 great additional tips.

1) Bring the Right Stuff

The gates to the Glastonbury Festival open early on the Wednesday morning of the festival. Before you get to the gates you should have a think and plan your packing.

These are a few items you should think of bringing to Glastofest;

  • Good fitting wellies  : If it rains the areas become very muddy quickly. Invest in a good pair of wellies which fit correctly. However, based on the current weather forecast I cannot see any rain issues affecting the Glastonbury Festival this year. (unlike last year)
  • Bring Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes also :  If it is sunny you don’t want to be dragging your feet around in warm wellies.
  • Phone PowerBar : You will need to charge your phone, 3 or 4 fully charged power bars might get you through a few days.
  • Torch : When it gets dark, certain areas of the site are unlit and a torch will help you find your way
  • Sunfactor and after-sun : You are standing outdoors most of the day waiting for your favourite band, don’t get burnt! You will need sun factor this year! Last year I brought it and never used it, as the weather was so wet.
  • Wet Wipes : You may not have a chance for a shower but at least you can be fresh-ish!
  • Sandwich Bags : These can help keep your phone and other items dry (should it rain)
  • Black Bin Liners : Can make for a quick and cheap poncho
  • Transistor Radio : Get one for a few quid so you can enjoy WorthyFM the Glastonbury Festival radio station.
  • Batteries : Bring some batteries for your radio and torch.
  • Toilet Rolls : If you are camping, this is a vital accessory … bring 3 or 4 each in a small plastic bag to keep them dry.
  • Hand Sanitiser : A useful and cheap alternative to soap which is not something you find in the drop toilets here.
  • Bring Layers : The temperature could be 27C and sunny or 12C and windy in the evening, so be prepared.
  • Tickets : Don’t forget your tickets as you won’t get in without them … no matter what the excuse.
  • Don’t bring anything you value … it will probably be ok but don’t risk it!

Also, this year with the extended security searches everything will be searched. So if you can buy it, (e.g. beer, snacks) don’t bring it with you. There will be extra long queues on day one as a result so be prepared for this.

 

2) Download the Glastonbury Festival Smartphone App to schedule your week in advance

There are over 100 areas where you can catch a band, everything from a small stage in the corner of the site to the impressive Pyramid stage. The official Glastonbury EE smartphone app has the full listing for all the main stages. You can also plan your trip by marking the bands or events you want to see. This way, you can identify clashes. If you do have a clash I would recommend going to the band which either are harder to get a live concert of or the one which is more unusual. In the past I have seen the Moody Blues when there was a clash – I felt it was a once in a lifetime chance to see them live. I have used the smartphone app every year and it certainly helps – there is even a Glastonbury site map to help you get around.

To download the Official Glastonbury App powered by EE visit http://ee.co.uk/why-ee/tickets-events/glastonbury

 

3) Expect Delays

If you are driving to Glastonbury for day one you will encounter delays. Last year some people were in the cars for up to 24 hours coming from London. Ensure you have enough petrol, water, snacks and patience when you are getting there. Don’t worry it will be worth it.
Every year we go, we always stay at a nearby town called Nunney the night before, in a lovely pub/hotel called the George at Nunney, this is only 30 minutes from the Glastonbury Festival entrance. Its a handy tip to get a bit closer to the event in advance.

Also, don’t forget the extra security which will be in place this year as mentioned in point 1 above which might cause further delays!

 

4) What to expect when you arrive at the Glastonbury Festival

Once you park your car or disembark your bus you will need too queue for entry.  There will be a long queue and last year it took us 45 minutes to get through around 11:20am but it might be a bit longer this year. Present your ticket and you will get an wristband which must remain untouched on your wrist for the duration. You will also get the Glastonbury magazine and a lanyard with information about the acts etc.

Now if you are camping, quickly go find a good spot.

 

5) Pitching your tent

Obviously you have to select an area to pitch your tent. Ensure to try get an area which is uphill, so any rain won’t accumulate in your area, also not too near the path, so you don’t get trampled on in high footfall areas. If you have a pole or flag, this can help identify your tent amongst the thousands in the area. If you don’t have one, just identify some other landmarks or flags to help you.

We decided not to pitch a tent but to have one pitched for us – the Pop-Up Hotel is the ideal way to do Glastonbury if you prefer not to go down that route. The facilities include a really comfy pre-erected tent or yurt, security, electricity WiFi, dining options, hot showers, nice toilets, music and a great crew of friendly staff to help you at all times.

Glastonbury Festival - Top Glastonbury Tips

6) Arriving on the Glastonbury Site on Day 1

I would recommend on day 1 getting to the Stone Circle as soon as possible. There’s lots of song and laughter in this area, we enjoyed a very “earth-song” like rendition around midday with lots of people holding hands, and a real throwback to the Glastonbury of the 70s.Very enjoyable just to sit and relax … you’re here !

After that, I recommend walking the site as much as possible to understand the areas like the Park, The Glade, Green Futures, the Healing fields and how to navigate between them. If you know where each route leads, should you need to get from the Pyramid Stage to the Park Stage in a hurry, you will know the route without looking it up on the map or reference the Glastonbury App.

 

7) Understanding the Limits of Glastonbury

There are a few things which you will find about the Glastonbury Festival and some home comforts which you won’t have. These are a few which the first time visitor may encounter.

  • You probably won’t have a phone signal all the time – you will be off the grid sometimes (or at least I was)
  • Toilets are a luxury and you can forget any thoughts of having a pine scented bathroom to enjoy (Try the long drop toilets)
  • Showers are a real luxury (unless you’re lucky enough to be glamping), get your wet wipes for that or queue for a shower in the early morning.
  • There will be a lot of walking, ensure your footwear is good.
  • If it rains – it gets muddy very fast. Check the forecast for each day ahead if you can so you are prepared!
  • There are a lot of people so just remember to be patient and just go with the flow.

 

8) Grab a spot for a wonderful Sunset

At the end of day 1, climb one of the hills, such as the one with the Glastonbury sign on it – This is a good spot to watch the sunset.
As long as it is not raining! You really could sit here all night.

Glastonbury Festival - Glastonbury Sunset

9) Don’t just limit yourself to one stage

The music at the Glastonbury Festival starts on the Friday and it is worth getting to the first act on the first music day. You will always remember the thrill of saying, it has started – Glastonbury Festival is on!!

You now have 3 packed days of music and around 100 stages or areas to try visit. I would recommend trying to visit all the major stages from Pyramid to West Holts and the Other Stage to the Park. You will enjoy a great variety of genres and even a few bands which you may fall in love with. I recall seeing bands like Haim, First Aid Kit and Rudimental for the first time – all great acts.

 

10) Expand your tastebuds

There are some spectacular food options at Glastonbury. Yes, you can get burgers, chips and hot dogs but there is a lot more to enjoy. I recommend going to places like Greenfields for a veggie option or over near the Double Decker which serves tea there is a wonderful seafood kitchen where I got the most amazing crab dish. I also remember overdosing on Tom’s Pies somewhere near the Pyramid stage. The final recommendation is Pachamama, go there and try the Tibetan soup and other delicious options.

 

11) The Circus Fields … not just for children

You really should spend some time in the Circus fields. Many people overlook this area of the Glastonbury Festival. Last year I saw some of the most amazing acrobatics – one of the acts included a drummer playing with a band who was on a bungee cord. You will get exactly what you though, circus acts but you will also see many walk-about acts, comedians and a few musicians just to keep the Glastonbury feeling alive in that area.

 

12) Push your Limits, Open Your Mind

There are some amazing venues which may (or may not) push your limits. These include areas such as the Unfairground, Block9 and Shangri-La. I really enjoyed areas like the Cave, Glasto Latino, The Common, and Copperdollar (my favourite). These areas at night become like a scene from a post-apocalyptic world like Mad Max. After 11pm these areas are very popular and you probably will see very big queues.

 

13) Watch the Arcadia Spectacular Spider awaken from its slumber

On Thursday evening at 10pm the Arcadia Spider dress rehearsal takes place. This is your chance to see the whole show before the official start of Arcadia proceedings on the Friday night. If you miss the Thursday rehearsal then just make sure you get there early on Friday to get a good spot. The arcadia spectacular is amazing.

The Arcadia Spider at Glastonbury Festival

14) Chill Out

If you want to chill out there are a number of areas you can do so. I like visiting the healing fields and the craft fields. Last year in the healing fields I got a gong bath which is 2 gongs being banged for 30 minutes – sounds terrible, but I fell asleep and felt great after it. You can also do yoga, meditation, reflexology and much more in the healing fields area.

The Craft fields are great for trying something new, everything from axe wielding and ring making to wood work and silversmiths. I made a ring for £20 – a very enjoyable 3 hours silversmithing. Try visit the craft fields on the Thursday as the music has not yet started.

The Peace tent near the stone circle is also another amazing spot to visit. The flame in the centre was (apparently) lit from the embers of the flames of the bombed Nagasaki. Very moving area to come and meditate.

15) Find a random piano

There are a few pianos dotted around the site and as a piano player I get to one each day for a few minutes. A good crowd will draw and my favourite moment in 2016 was how 2 or 3 people turned into about 50 or 60 as I played Bohemian Rhapsody (I will edit the post in the at some point to share this)

16) Get a view of the Glastonbury Tor

The Glastonbury Tor can be seen from some locations but the iconic ancient building a few miles away is often captured by the BBC in their coverage. Find it and grab a photo of it for yourself.

17) Climb the Ribbon Tower

There will be a queue for this iconic tower but the views are worth it. You have probably seen this on BBC coverage or Glastonbury images. The ribbon tower gives great panoramic views of the whole Glastonbury Festival site.

18) Board the Double Decker Bus for Tea

Yes, there is a red double decker bus serving tea and crumpets (and a lot more). Located not too far from the pyramid stage this bus is always busy. With comfy seating it’s a great place to go after you have been standing for 4 hours watching your favourite headliner. The simple things in life often bring the greatest joy, and you can relax onboard the double decker and take in some well deserved treats. There are cakes here too and they are great.

19) Listen to the Glastonbury Festival Local Radio Station

Tune into WorthyFM for the very latest news about the festival plus some secret gigs. In 2015 we were listening to WorthyFM and heard that the Dali Lama was going to be at the stone circle. Only for that we would not have been at an audience with this great man. Tune in to Worthy FM at 87.5MHz.

View from the Ribbon Tower at Glastonbury Festival

20) End as you started – at the Stone Circle

End your visit to Glastonbury as you started it, at the stone circle. This spot at around 3am early on Monday morning after all the music has ended is a very fitting place to be. Song, laughter and a very relaxed feeling over the site.
It’s over for another year – but you were there.

Enjoy Glastonbury!
Don’t Pee on the Land and Leave no Trace !

 

My Glastonbury Festival Photo Gallery

Premiership Match Predictions & Result for last day of the Premiership Season

Premiership Match Predictions & Result for last day of the Premiership Season

During the 2010 World Cup is did a few predictions on those fixtures. For the last day of the English Premiership season I decided to put my Premiership match predictions out there before the games. See how accurate my predictions were below. I put a €1 on an accumulator for the interest but a few of the 10 games let me down.

My Premiership Match Predictions

Arsenal V Everton

Arsenal have unusual form, they beat teams in the top 6 but seems to struggle at certain times when they need a result. They have a good home record while Everton’s away form is average with 18 points from 18 games. As they chase Liverpool, they know they can’t slip up as they need a win as a draw is no use to them with Liverpooks superior goal difference.
I would love to see Everton win, I would love it (Keegan style), to help Liverpool stay above them but I Arsenal should win here.
Verdict : Score result, I think 2-0 possibly 2-1 at a stretch.

Result : Win = Correct, Score incorrect but margin was by 2 goals

Burnley V West Ham United

This is a typcial end of season middle of the table clash. I could be a bore or both teams might want to go out with a bang. Burnleys home form is good and likewise West Ham is not bad either. I’m sure other Premiership match predictions are giving this as a win for Burnley but I can’t split them.
Verdict : I think it will be close, so I am going to tip a 2-2 draw.

Result : Incorrect

Chelsea V Sunderland

Chelsea the Premiership champions and Sunderland are unfortunately relegated. I cannot see this going any other way than a Chelsea win.
Verdict : I also think it could be Chelsea going out with a bang with a 4-0 win.

Result : Correct, score incorrect but winning margin was correct

Hull City V Tottenham Hotspur

2nd placed Spurs are away to Hull who are relegated. Spurs have secured 2nd spot so they can relax but Hull are down and may want one last fight to retain the pride.
Verdict : All I can see here is a Spurs win, unless Hull pull something amazing out of the bag. I’m tipping Spurs to win by 4.

Result : Correct, but margin was off as Spurs scored 7 !

Leicester City V Bournemouth

Another middle of the table clash with Leicester being my favourites in this one. They have a better home record and a slightly better goal difference. I also think they will want to give the home fans a good last game before the summer break.
Verdict : I think 2-0 to Leicester on this one.

Result : Incorrect, it was a 1-1 draw.

Liverpool V Middlesbrough

Liverpool will need to win this one in order to stay in 4th spot with a decent chance of Champions league football next year.
Middlesbrough are already down, so this should be Liverpools game to lose. Liverpool put 4 past West Ham last week so they could do the same here, or more. If they win and Man City lose they go 3rd, if Liverpool draw and Arsenal win, Liverpool go 5th and outside the Champions League spots.
Verdict : I am going with Liverpool to score 4-0 again, maybe 5 if they are on form.

Result : Correct, but score was off by 1 (tense first half by all accounts)

Manchester United V Crystal Palace

Man Utd had a dodgy start but have done well recently. They would be favourites in this game but Crystal Palace have a decent away form. Manchester United will need to be on their best game here.
Verdict : It will be close, maybe 2-1 or 3-1 (possible late goal) to United.

Result : Correct, Score incorrect but margin was correct at the 3-1 guess, no late goals !

Southampton V Stoke City

Yet another mid-table clash with Southampton being a few places ahead of Stoke. Stoke have had the worse run of the 2 teams in the last 10 games. However Southampton’s home form is the 4th worst in the league, so this could be a decent game with a few goals.
Verdict : Stoke to win 2-1.

Result : Correct

Swansea City V West Bromwich Albion

Swansea barely avoided relegation thatks to very good recent form. West Brom have had a bad spell last winning on 18th March. Verdict : This may be close also so I am going with a draw, wither 0-0 or 1-1.

Result : It was 1-1 until Llorente came and scored a winner for Swansea

Watford V Manchester City

Manchester City will want to secure 3rd spot so I cannot see them putting out anything other than a full strength team. Both teams on the opposite ends of the table and Man City have the 2nd best away form in the league.
Verdict : A win for City, possibly 3-0.

Result : Correct

So those were my Premiership match predictions – I got 7/10 results correct but not so good on the scores. 

if you want to leave your own comments or Premiership predictions for 2017/2018 please do so in the comments below…

Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?)

Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?)

Everyone knows the pre-flight airline safety announcements…. What you should and should not do on the flight, as well as what to do in an emergency. But would it not be better if the truth was thrown in also for a more realistic airline safety announcements.

As a little bit of fun, it just might go a little like this….

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome abroad your flight today, on board this (insert aircraft type here) series aircraft.

To fasten your seatbelt …. In fact if anybody by now does not know how to fasten their seatbelt please leave the plane now, as you don’t deserve to be on a plane.

This aircraft has 8 emergency exits – 2 at the front , one left , one right , 2 at the rear , one left , one right and 4 over wing exits 2 left , 2 right. It should be fun watching all 300 of ye scrambling for a gap barely able to fit one person , especially if the wings are on fire and you have to find an alternate exit.

In the sudden loss of cabin pressure, at about 39,000 feet, your lungs may puncture and blood vessels on your skin will burst almost immediately being exposed to a huge pressure difference no to mention temperatures as cold as -50 C. Oxygen masks will drop from the panel above your heads.  If you are still conscious , pull on the mask to start the flow of oxygen.  Stop screaming, place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally.  Oxygen will continue to flow even if the bag is not fully inflated. Oh by the way, there’s only about 12 minutes of oxygen in those passenger tanks, sorry!

In the unlikely event of us landing on water (very unlikely as our journey today is 90% over land today and in all probability we will be landing sideways in a field going at 670kph) … your life jacket is under your seat.  Plunging at speed towards the ground, the G Forces of 8 G mean the in all reality you will not even be able to reach for your lifejackets as your body will weigh 8 times its normal weight.  If you do manage to get them place it over your head, tie the straps at the front.  Do not inflate the lifejacket inside the aircraft as this will jam you into your seat and you will just have to watch all the sensible people leave the aircraft from your seat.

The lifejackets has a light and a whistle to attract attention …. as if 3 miles of burning wreckage won’t get you enough attention.

Please read the safety card in your seat pocket for further reassurance.

We hope you enjoy your flight.”

I don’t think this new style airline safety announcement will take-off (excuse the pun).

In truth, the airline safety record these days is very good and millions of people travel on aircraft without incident. I love flying and I never fear going on a flight, quite the opposite. The above actually came to me on a flight so it is actually dark humour on my part.

 

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 live action remake of the 1991 animated classic of the same name. Directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the egotistical and quite funny Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou this is a very entertaining movie for all the family.

Set in 18th century France, the movie starts with Belle in the local village as we are introduced to the key characters in the village. The setting and production would remind you somewhat of other classic Disney movies from the 50s/60s while being modern and stunning to watch. This production of a live Beauty and the Beast rendering really wraps the film and music we know from the 90s and brings the whole thing to life.

Emma Watson is perfectly cast as Belle, the beauty of the village and the one girl who has the intellect to go far in life, much to the annoyance of the local learned and scholars (a bit like the know-it-all Hermoine from Happy Potter). Emma Watson also sings 3 songs in the movie, but I thought in the first number there was a slight amount of auto-tune going on (either that or the production on the audio was a bit off)

Beauty and the Beast would be nothing without the beast. We are indeed introduced to the Prince who is turned into the beast after dismissing and insulting an enchantress. He has until the last petal from a rose falls to find true love. We also see Belles father, played by Kevin Kline, and we find out how he ended up at the beasts castle. There are some changes to the original storyline in the film, one being that Belles father was a bit slow but in the live action version the father, Maurice, is quite skilled at making clocks and automated devices.

Gaston is forever after Belle, thinking of her as his future wife. He is accompanied by Le Fou who some people say is Disneys first openly gay character. Gaston hears that Belle is in trouble and goes to find her, thus encountering the Beast which is vows to kill.

I’m not going to spoil anything, there is a lot of story to go from here, but the films CGI is very entertaining and combined with the musical numbers its something to behold. Beauty and the Beast may not be everyones cup of tea (excuse the pun chip) but overall it is worth the admission fee – if you have kids, it’s a no brainer, they will love it.

If you enjoyed the original Beauty and the Beast, you will love this one too. If you have not seen it, then you will be enthralled by the story, the characters and a few twists in the story.

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