AM I FESTIVAL READY?

Fairly recently I added the Glastonbury Festival to my Bucket List.  I know when I tell people that Glasto is on my Bucket List, I can see that they are smiling inwardly. I know what they are thinking … “Isn’t she a bit old to be going to a five day  music festival?”.  My philosophy is that you that you are never too old to do anything but, as an aging Festival goer, do I really have what it takes? Do I really have the stamina to last five days at Glastonbury?  Some of which is likely to be in the rain and most importantly will I cope with my portaloo phobia?

In 2014, I watched the then 68-year-old Dolly Parton struttin’ her stuff at Glasto, live on TV from the comfort of my armchair.  With a glass of Pinot Grigio on the table beside me whilst, seemingly, half of the UK population were surging towards the stage for a better view.  That was the day I added Glasto to my bucket list.

Dolly Parton Performing at Glastonbury 2014 Photograph by Gary Calton for the Guardian
Dolly Parton Performing at Glastonbury 2014 Photograph by Gary Calton for the Guardian

During Dolly’s dazzling performance, I had a text from my ‘twin’ – yes, born same day same year. We met at 16 – a lot of years ago, but we have remained firm friends. The text said “Are you watching Dolly – we are actually here!”  My ‘twin’ of course is a lot older than me, by at least 25 minutes, so I was more than just a little miffed that she and her husband are not only regular Glasto Goers, but were actually there to witness the 2014 Glasto Dolly Mania.

My ‘twin’ and her husband do Glastonbury in style, hiring a Winnebago with all mod cons and there is the rub.  I have always liked my creature comforts and at the top of my list is an en suite bathroom. Even when I was at Pony Club Camp, aged10, I was far from impressed that I had to vacate not only my sleeping bag, but my tent as well, to go in search of a hole in the ground.  An experience I have never been able to erase from my memory.

So wavering slightly about where I would be performing my ablutions within 1000 acres of Festival showground, along with 100,000 other people, I was given a ticket for the last day of Jersey Live 2015 as part of my birthday present earlier this year. So last weekend was the perfect opportunity to see if I was Festival ready. A one day dummy run to see if I have the stamina and bladder control for a proper festival. Perfect, especially given the fact that Jersey Live is practically in my own back yard.

Over the years, Jersey Live has drawn some of the top names, such as Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Madness to name but a few, but it is a much smaller venue than Glastonbury. The total number of people living on the island of Jersey, UK, equates to the attendance figures on one day for Glastonbury, to so it was the perfect test to see if I still have what it takes to party-on.

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Jersey Live 2015 (Sunny Sunday)

I was actually a little disappointed when it was suggested that we should rock up at 16.00hrs on the Sunday to see The Proclaimers. I am not sure what I thought I would be doing from Midday when the Dance and other Tents start pumping out the music, but it was a great day weather-wise, ideal for the out-of-touch festival goer.

We arrived right on cue to see the Proclaimers and they were terrific. I found myself boogying around like a two year old, mostly with members of my own generation, but there were more than just a smattering under 30’s in the audience for the Proclaimers.   So credit to the bands founders, 53 year old twins Charlie and Craig Reid, 32 years on the road and still drawing in crowds of all ages. 

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Young and aging (i.e. Tessa Barrie) Festival goers enjoying The Proclaimers in the sunshine – Jersey Live 2015.

Then there were Circa Waves – I am learning – followed by the gorgeous and very talented George Ezra. Ideal son-in-law material, with his baby-faced looks and dark brown voice. It was all great, with the place hotting up generally in anticipation of the headliners, Rudimental, until the barometer plummeted big time.

My knees began to howl and after the best part of a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a can of beer, my bladder needed to be expressed.  Although I was told the portaloos were fine, my phobia kicked in and I had an overwhelming desire to use my own loo, just down the road. So it was time for this aging Hippie to leave.

So am I Glasto material? Probably not. My ‘twin’ and her husband are talking about glamping in 2016. They showed me the location of a possible glamp very recently and how far it was from the Festival site. I thought it looked like quite a long way to the renown 1000 acre Glasto site on Shank’s Pony, unless I can fit in two knee replacements in time for next year or buy a horse.

In 2014 The Telegraph reported that glamps in the area were £9,000 for 5 nights during Glastonbury and I see nearby timber lodges are already booked around that time for 2016. So I think I might strike Glasto off my Bucket List and what if it rained? As a self-confessed GOW, I really couldn’t cope. Wet, tired and cold. A perfect recipe for extreme grumpiness. So I think I might go back to The Maldives for 2 weeks instead, which may well be a cheaper option.

I would go definitely back to Jersey Live. Not only is it incredibly well organised, but it is practically in my back yard.  So if my knees are about to give way, or I am feeling the signs of bladder weakness, then I can always pop off home in search of my creature comforts, dressing gown and slippers.

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