Glastonbury 2019: the highlights
Last Wednesday I headed to my third Glastonbury with the same excitement and anticipation this festival brings. Every year produces its unique unforgettable moments and you never know what they will be. There are really too many to put in words but here are my key highlights of Glastonbury 2019.
THE CLIMATE FOCUS
This year, there was a huge emphasis placed on the climate crisis and nothing was done by half measures. There were marches by Greenpeace and the Extinction Rebellion, there were talks by Greta Thunberg, the living legend Sir David Attenborough made an appearance on the Pyramid Stage to talk about the war on plastic and most incredibly of all, the festival went completely plastic-free.
No plastic bottles were sold, all vendors had to provide their food in compostable packaging, the cups served at all the bars were completely biodegradable, there were endless compost bins around the site and all the Water Aid stations were selling steel cups and refillable bottles. There was also a plethora of vegan food vendors, as well as more of the regular vendors now providing vegan options. People were also strongly encouraged not to bring any single-use plastic with them and urged to only use biodegradable glitter. There was still a sea of litter strewn across the fields once the festival had come to a close, but hardly any of it was plastic, which is a huge step in the right direction.
There is a reason Glastonbury is famous for its mud and great British weather is an oxymoron but there was not ONE DROP OF RAIN for the entire festival. Granted, Saturday was a little too hot but I was not about to complain, having never experienced a wellie-free Glasto. The sun was shining, a refreshing breeze was blowing through and everyone was revelling with carefree abandon.
The wonderful weather also brought out some of the most spectacular outfits I’ve ever seen - it seems that once you step out of real life and into the festival, anything goes. There were body suits, flares, sequins, rainbows, bikinis, nipple tassels, boobs, bums, cross-dressing, headdresses, and fancy dress galore. People pulled out all the stops and on more than one occasion caused me to ask myself, where do they find these things??
AND OF COURSE, THE MUSIC!
There were many iconic moments during the festival, like Stormzy being the first black British rap artist and second youngest act, to headline the Pyramid Stage and who put on a fantastic set; Kylie drew the biggest crowd, with her emotion-filled and fabulous show 14 years after she was meant to headline but had to pull out in 2005; and I’m sure you will have read about Alex, who stole the show as he rapped Thiago Silva with Dave on the Other Stage on Sunday night. There were many other personal highlights for me, such as George Ezra, Liam Gallagher and Courteeners, and there were countless acts I didn’t get to see but who were equally amazing. There is literally something for everyone and you will never be stuck for choice
Glastonbury is a unique and magical place, on a scale which is difficult to imagine and still impresses me every time I go back. You can feel the love in the air and the inclusivity and non-judgement everywhere you look. Everyone seems really comfortable being themselves and all ages, sizes, races, genders, music tastes and outfit choices are welcomed with open arms.
Whether you want to see some huge acts, eat some fantastic food, see some incredible spectacles or experience the unique wonder of the long drop toilets, the festival is calling your name and as the 50th anniversary year, Glastonbury 2020 will be the biggest and best yet.