These last few weeks have been unbelievable. Harrowing and absolutely shocking. The Manchester terrorist attack happened while I was in Greece – I was glued to the news for longer than was healthy, trying to imagine those poor kids, the parents who came to pick them up, and what their families must be going through now to try and make sense of it all.
Sitting in cafes and restaurants in Skiathos, the British accents around us were voicing the same, mainly why, and how could they?
It’s hard to give the level of respect and thought to all the victims when there were just so many but Martyn Hett, the guy with the Deirdre Barlow tattoo, kept coming in my thoughts. I’d seen him on Tattoo Fixers and then one article I was reading was talking about his Twitter feed so I went to check it out, stupidly. He’d been Tweeting from the Ariana Grande gig, about going out for a smoke, about the show, just the usual stuff you see on Twitter – he was a normal guy, a music lover, doing what normal music lovers do.
– Flickr pic from crisu_avadanei
And then Eilidh MacLeod from the Outer Hebrides. Her death is so confusing and odd to get your head around. I can’t help but imagine how excited she must’ve been to go with her friend down to Manchester for a gig. I went to see Robbie Williams at around that age, my first stadium gig, and was excited about it for months. My friends and I counting down the days. I imagine she was the same. How can a young, innocent girl from the Outer Hebrides be caught up in a terrorist attack?
Manchester, and then London. James McMullan just on a night out with friends, Chrissy Archibald walking across London Bridge, the unnamed French man working in a restaurant nearby – any Londoner, or person, does similar things weekly, if not daily.
I was out on Saturday night, as many of the victims were, and was getting messages through from friends around the world asking where I was and if I was ok. I didn’t actually know what had happened. I was two hours away from London, in my home town of Southsea, and safe with friends and a drink. Thing is, the people affected were so random, it could’ve been me. It could be anyone.
After spending Sunday watching the One Love Manchester benefit gig, and then the emotional extra long news special after it, I started to wonder where it would happen next. Where they could make the most impact. And in my tired and paranoid state of course Glastonbury popped into my head.
Lots of people, crowded space, world famous, meant to be a lovely event…
So I’ve been researching the potential terror threat on Glasto. Cheery, I know.
Terrorism at Glastonbury:
Why We Can’t Be Scared
– Flickr pic from 2create
There’s no intelligence to suggest a threat
The Somerset Police have said there is ‘no cause for alarm’ when it comes to a terrorist threat at Glastonbury. According to Somerset Live they’ve said, “We work closely with Glastonbury festival to plan for major incidents and our plans are regularly reviewed.”
We have to trust in them.
Everyone is known and ticketed
To get a ticket to Glastonbury you need to have signed up to the website six months before and entered your name, address, payment details and uploaded a photo. The organisers know everyone who’s on site and only people who have a ticket, with their face on, will be allowed a wristband to enter. And this year that’s going to be stricter than ever.
Glastonbury is a no fly zone
No helicopters, no drones, no planes – nothing is allowed to fly over the site during the festival.
No cars are allowed on site
Only working cars, belonging to staff, are allowed to drive on site. And that’s usually limited to equipment trucks and portable loo suckers. This means that the method of terrorism from London Bridge and Westminster will not exist.
We’ve been told to pack light
Anyone with a Glastonbury ticket was emailed yesterday telling them to pack as light as possible. All trollies and large baggage will be searched thoroughly and will have to go to a separate, lengthy queue. Good.
“We encourage you to pack as light as you can. For security reasons, all ticket holders will be subject to extra searches of their vehicles, their bags and their person at this year’s Festival.
“This will make entrance slower than in previous years. Please be patient if there are queues, and please cooperate with any security requests and all searches.”
Media have been speculating for years something will happen
And it hasn’t. Anything you read is just scare mongering – no one knows.
Police are everywhere
And you can bet they’re going to be as vigilant as possible.
“There will be plenty of staff and police around, so if you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak to them.” – official statement from Somerset Constabulary
Terrorism at Glastonbury
– Flickr pic from ebotunes
There is absolutely no way you can stop what you’re doing and how you’re living because of the current ‘Severe’ terrorist threat in the UK (MI5 rating). As the brave victims, and victims relatives, have said publicly, if we change our lives then it’s giving the terrorists what they want. I don’t know how this is ever going to stop, or what’s going to happen, but I think it’s important that we enjoy lives as we were and have confidence in those that are supposed to protect us that they will.
Thanks to this little bit of research to calm my over active mind, I’ll be going to Glastonbury with the same carefree and fun attitude that I did when I went in 2012, and I hope you do too.