Saturday, 28 June 2008

10 reasons why Glastonbury is actually not any good, from someone who, of course, has never actually been

Rumours abound that this year’s Glastonbury may be the last. About time too. I am sure “Glasto” (as its attendees insist on calling it) was an amazing experience back in the 70s when it cost a quid to get in and the line-up largely comprised of dodgy bands picked up in local pubs, but now it’s a festival that has lost its way. Before you comment that I can’t possibly dismiss the festival because I have never actually gone to it – I inform you that I have not tried eating faeces either, but I am more than confident that the experience would not be an enjoyable one. To put it simply, if Glastonbury was any good I would have gone to it already. So until the organisers rectify all the genuine flaws I have identified below I shan’t be going, and I will be forced to criticise it in the unflinchingly honest and journalistically sound way that this post embodies. Try and untangle that logic.

1. The highlights show on the BBC is presented by a gaggle of complete morons: Zane Lowe, Edith Bowman and Jo Whiley. Edith Bowman is a woman with a face that always begs the question: what on Earth happened there? It looks like a normal face that has melted slightly. Jo Whiley is a woman that should perhaps be applauded for managing to be the most vacuous, empty-headed and downright irritating DJ on Radio 1, an achievement in itself given the competition from her colleagues. Zane Lowe, the Antipodean arse who manages to praise every single band he talks about, without actually ever saying anything of any substance (every comment falls along the lines of, “they’ve really upped the ante on their new album, great stuff!” or “you know I love the album but I wasn’t sure it would work on the main stage, but you know...they really blew me away know”). Any event that gets this triumvirate of human failure out of the house, never mind on national television, should not be continued.

2. The festival is organised by some bearded old posh tit called Michael Eavis, and his weird looking lispy progeny Emily. I don’t really have a criticism of any substance for those two, they just rub me the wrong way.

3. Glastonbury is reportedly full of hippies. I can’t emphasise enough how very tedious hippies are. You simply can’t get through to them can you? No it’s not the 60s anymore. No personal hygiene isn’t a bad thing. Yes, you can get clothes made out of materials other than hemp. I fear there might also be white people with dreadlocks in attendance. They are only slightly below hippies on the list of people that deserve crippling venereal diseases.

4. The supposedly alternative ethos of the festival is completely and indefensibly at odds with just how commercialised Glastonbury has become. The entire thing is a fraud.

5. The line-up this year is jaw-droppingly dull. Really, it’s so poor it’s almost great. Certainly if you like your sub-Strokes, sub-Libertines jangly NME endorsed indie (The Fratellis, The Enemy, We Are Scientists, The Pigeon Detectives etc) you’ll be satisfied, but if your taste in music happens to be broader than a hair’s width you will be bitterly disappointed. The whole Jay-Z headlining debacle was extremely amusing, given that the lack of diversity elsewhere on the line-up meant his appearance should have been lauded. Unlike his fellow headliners, Kings of Leon and to a lesser extent, The Verve, he is actually a massive act, worthy of headliner status at what is meant to be the world’s best festival.

6. They can’t even sell out the tickets, which is especially embarrassing when you take a look at how quickly the tickets for other major festivals like Reading/Leeds and T in the Park were snapped up this year. Get the message Eavis.

7. For some reason Glastonbury-goers (I imagine they call themselves “Glasties”, “Glasto-gos”, “Glassies” or something equally annoying) are rather proud of the fact that they have been to Glastonbury – especially when talking to people that haven’t been. You will find them all over Britain, the wristband to several Glastonburys still around their wrists, spouting nonsense about the “amazing atmosphere” and how “there’s just no other festival that can rival it.” If you encounter one of these smug people try and fight the overwhelming sense of despair that will inevitably engulf you.

8. Each year it rains and on the news non-Glastonbury goers are subject to picture after picture of morons sliding about in the rain or idiots prancing about in their Wellington boots which they’ve daubed “GLASTO 2008” on in a predictably child-like scrawl. Evidently the drainage at the festival site is as bad as at the St Jakob-Park Stadium which played host to the Switzerland-Turkey Euro 2008 game recently. Here’s hoping scores of attendees get trench foot.

9. You cannot see the stage for all the flags and stuffed animals on sticks that some members of the crowd insist on holding up. I am not sure of their motivation for this, maybe it’s so they can see where they are on the television highlights, or perhaps it is to make profound, powerful statements to the crowd and beyond that, the world. Watching the highlights earlier I noticed a flag with a picture of a toaster on it is obviously some kind of radical political statement. And the one I saw with “I love portaloos” on it is actually a biting piece of political satire critiquing the Labour government’s systematic erosion of civil liberties. Or alternatively, people who spend over a hundred pounds for a festival ticket and then stand about in a field holding a flag up all day are mentally deficient cretins.

10. Camp fire singalongs.



WILSON said...

Do you know what? I fukin hate glastonbury, its all the people who go to glastonbury and go 'ooh lets all drop out for the weekend isn't it marvellous' really gets on my tits.

Billy said...

I think if you actually went then you'd see what people like about it.

There's a reason it's called a 'Festival of Contemporary Peforming Arts'. Glastonbury isn't just all about the music.


Unfortunately the stuff that isn't the music is shite. Don't help that the music ain't too hot neither.

Thomas Byrne said...

This is fucking excellent.

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