Glastonbury Festival is often (so I’ve heard anyway) been named the heart chakra of the world. It’s certainly easy to see why! Considering the festival is so huge (approx 175,000 people), there’s a loving connecting energy everywhere you go. This year will be my third Glastonbury, and each time I’m blown away by the place. In no particular order, here are my top 10 Glastonbury highlights. If I’d seen Dolly Parton, I’m sure she would have been be on there too!
At the front! Lana Del Rey & Kelis
I went to see Kelis on a whim, only to find myself pretty much at the front really close to the Pyramid Stage — amazing soulful performance. Then straight afterwards Lana Del Rey came on — beautiful voice, stunning performance but shame about lighting up a cigarette half way through. What was that all about?
The four elements opening ceremony
Late afternoon on Wednesday I found myself in the Healing Fields which had been divided up into magical outside sections representing earth, fire, air and water. After doing a bit of weaving and wandering, I joined the elements opening ceremony at the fire circle.
For one hour, we sang, chanted, danced and meditated around the Healing Fields site blessing each of the four areas. The whole experience felt really magical. Any feelings of ‘This is a bit stereotypically hippyish’ soon went away and everyone got really into it.
Considering I’m not a Metallica fan at all and I only went to see them because I couldn’t get to where MGMT were playing and a text message from my Dad saying, ‘Are you at Metallica?’ they gave an absolutely mesmerising performance that blew me away. The energy over at the Pyramid stage was incredible both from Metallica and the crowd. Plus I got to sit on someone’s shoulders (Thanks James) and see everything from above.
Stone Circle and the hill
There’s no music on the first night, so most people head up to the stone circle and the big hill overlooking the whole of the festival to watch the sunset, fireworks and soak up the atmosphere from above whilst sitting around fires. I loved just coming up here at random points throughout the festival with or without people.
You can see pretty much the whole of the site from above lit up with lights like a city in the distance — which is pretty much what Glastonbury is — a collection of lots of small magical villages and tribes — each one vastly different but all of them living in harmony.
My friends’ band — Tell Tale Tusk
My talented friends from the gypsy/panto/folk band, Tell Tale Tusk played four gigs this Glastonbury. Let me say no more, check out their sound cloud for beautiful harmonies, songs about pirates and tunes to make you want to get up and start dancing.
Arcadia aerial performers
After seeing a car getting smashed up by a huge robotically controlled hand (which was pretty mesmerising in itself), the Arcadia show began. Aerial acrobatics, big bursts of fire, projected light and music you could feel throughout your whole body — once again Arcadia, you blew my mind.
Naked sauna at Lost Horizon
Equipped with a sauna, freezing cold plunge pool, wooden log swing, stage and garden with campfires, Lost Horizon is like a tranquil escape from all the noise and mayhem of other parts of Glastonbury.
Everyone sits around here naked and no one feels weird about it, which is the way things should be. A few of us ventured into the sauna in the evening when it was dark and all the surrounding tipis were lit up against the sky. Whilst in the sauna, this guy started playing the didgeridoo for about 10 minutes.
Closing my eyes, I meditated on the sound and felt the music so powerfully in my heart chakra. At that moment, I could have been far away in a forest somewhere, part of an ancient tribe. I didn’t want it to stop.
I went to a Shakti dancing class accidentally after thinking I was going to a yoga class because the classes were held in the same tent. I’d never heard of Shakti dancing, but it’s supposed to be the dance of yoga. After a few stretching exercises to music, we were all told to stand up and just move to the music playing which felt incredibly meditative and freeing.
This wasn’t dancing to look good (eventhough I like to think we all did!), it just felt amazing to move however I felt liked, plus I’m not 100% sure what the music was, but it seemed to resonate perfectly with everyone who was dancing. I felt so free!
After seeing so much music on Saturday and not getting back to my tent until gone 6am, my body was crying out for a massage. I’d never tried Shiatsu before, which is a Japanese form of massage which involves activating pressure points within the body. I lay face down in a small yurt in the healing fields surrounded by cushions and blankets.
As the massage began (I can’t remember who the woman was but whoever you are, thank you once again), I felt my body just melt into the floor and the tension from sleeping on hard ground, disappeared. If you’ve never tried a Shiatsu massage before, I highly recommend it.
One of the brilliant things about Glastonbury is the feel of the place. Everyone talks to one another like old friends, people are happy sun or rain and on the whole everyone gets on whichever part of the festival you’re in. I also got to camp with a brilliant bunch of people in the circus and theatre field, thanks to coming with my friends who were playing and also Andrew Kerr — one of Glastonbury’s original founders — who gave us a place to crash at his house before the festival and for getting us tickets — very much appreciated.
You can buy Andrew’s book Intolerably Hip here
Glastonbury Festival 2014 Final note
Thank you to everyone who was at Glastonbury for a fantastic festival. x