Top 10 Things to Do at Glastonbury Festival

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO AT GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL!

I knew that, of course, I’ve been before, but I didn’t quite register just how much until I started researching this post. It’s an absolute school boy error to just study the Glastonbury line up, circle your must-sees and think you’ve got your Glastonbury planned. All the real fun happens away from those main stages, that’s why 150,000 people buy tickets before they even know who’s on the line up.

The best way to find out about stuff happening at Glastonbury is to follow the official @Glastonbury on Twitter, and @GlastoWatch, and you might as well follow me @VickyFlipFlop too.

But here’s what you’ve / we’ve got to look forward to…

Top 10 Things to Do at Glastonbury Festival

fishaye Ian Mullan

– Thanks for all the pics Ian from fishaye.co.uk

1. Find the secret gigs

There are so…. many… rumoured performances at Glastonbury this year, with 56 ‘TBA’ time slots to fill, some on the big stages too. When I went in 2011 Pulp and Radiohead did secret gigs. PULP AND RADIOHEAD! Missed them both. We could see the crowd for Pulp, but couldn’t get anywhere near enough to hear up at The Park. You need to keep your ears and eyes on high alert, and probably on Twitter, to find out where they are.

Keep it on the DL but Lady Gaga, Kraftwerk and Manic Street Preachers are the biggest rumours for this year.

2. Step away from the big stages

Things to do at Glastonbury Festival

Don’t get hung up on the Main Stage and the Other Stage, but go for a wander and see what else you can find. Glastonbury Festival is so much more than the music. Move around, explore, and you’ll get a lot more out of it, trust me.

3. Be a part of the biggest peace sign, ever

Join me, my friends, and the few thousand other people predicted to turn up at the Greenfields at 12noon on Thursday 22nd June. The long time organiser of the Peace Garden in the Green Fields, Beth Llewellyn, wanted to make a statement with her quest for the biggest peace sign ever made. 

“…I’d been thinking about how there are so many more people in this world who want peace than there are with anger in their hearts. Peace starts within ourselves, and Glastonbury Festival really is built with the power of love from the whole crew. So when I was working on a new part of the Peace Garden and I saw a drawing of the peace sign in the soil, I thought, ‘Why don’t we get together the fields, and make this sign around the stone circle with people whose intent is for peace and not to be threatened by the few?’ We’re just doing it for love. I’m really looking forward to it.” – from Glastonbury.com.


 

Glastonbury advice


4. Go to the Ultimate Power party

More fun for Thursday day, ULTIMATE POWER. I went to an Ultimate Power night in Camden once, and it was one of the most fun nights out ever. Get glittered up and head on over, and be ready to dance passionately to Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion, Queen, Meat Loaf and of course, Tina Turner.

Williams Green at 2:30pm on Thursday, be there!

5. Chill out at the cinemas

Johnny Depp is going to be introducing the films on the new Cineramageddon stage, which Micheal Eavis recently described as such:

“We’ve got a massive film screen and 100 60s American and Cuban cars. We’ve put them all in straight lines, so you can sit in the cars, watch the films and the sound comes into the cars by a little Bluetooth thingy on the wing mirror. Julien Temple is doing all the film choices. This is the biggest thing of the year.” – from The Guardian

How awesome does that sound?! I can’t imagine having the concentration to sit through a film, but if I can do it from an old Cuban car, I might manage it.

While Tilda Swinton helped curate the films showing in the Piton Palais. It’s the 35th year of it, and they’re celebrating with a bigger screen showing films from Wednesday to Sunday. Having checked out the line up I’d say Frozen was the highlight. Lols.

6. Learn something at the Free University of Glastonbury

Another nice little sit down event, expand your mind with the Free University of Glastonbury. NASA astronaut Mike Massimino has just been added to the bill, ask him about the time he went out on two missions to repair the Hubble Telescope. Cool hey?

The Free University of Glastonbury line up looks awesome – talks from noon till 4pm every day up at Crow’s Nest at the top of The Park area.


keeping clean at Glastonbury


7. See something random

I was all excited about the headliners when they were announced, but now I’m thinking I’d like to check out the smaller stages and just see what comes up. I’ve been working my way through the line up on Spotify and YouTube today and The Hackney Colliery Band sound fun.

8. Check out the Unfairground

Didn’t go to this when I last went to Glastonbury – can you believe it? There’s just so many things to do at Glastonbury, you kind’ve need to accept that you’re just not going to fit them all in. It’s a totally bonkers area, playing Acid House and all sorts.

9. Head to the Shangri-La early

This is where everyone goes after hours, and we never got there quite early enough last year.

10. Go on a bar crawl

There are lots of different bars to explore at Glastonbury, it’s not like they’re all just your typical straight up festival bars. I think it’s an excellent idea of Somerset Live’s to go and try them all when you first get there, just to get your bearings, and your beers. Explore The Cockmill Bar, the Beat Hotel, The Cornish Arms and Avalon Inn on the Glastonbury Bar Crawl. Get some of that good old Somerset Cider in!

packing list for glastonbury

11. Find the secret areas

Ok, this article from Somerset Live on all the secret areas at Glastonbury is awesome. I’m going to print it off and go find them all, hopefully. Apparently there are secret underground bars, that are actually underground, there’s a tunnel, a rabbit hole bar, and secret bars behind the stone masons. I kind of want to dedicate my weekend to finding these things.

Other things to do at Glastonbury Festival

Things to do at Glastonbury Festival

I hope that’s opened your mind a little to some of the most awesome things to do at Glastonbury. I guess, having said all that, my number one tip would be to chill out and not feel like you have to do everything. Just have fun and see where your Glastonbury takes you!

Have I missed any out?
Any secret tips to share?


Have you watched my Glasto Packing List?


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My Isle of Wight Festival Experience

3 Comments

  1. by Chadwick on June 27, 2017  9:51 am Reply

    So... how did you do? Did you tick off anything on the above list? The 'problem' with Glastonbury is that even if you follow the advice in your opening paragraph, and instead make a list of off-piste goals, Glastonbury still manages to distract you from even doing that.

    Everyone's experience of Glastonbury is different. We had a first timer with us this year. We'd told her so much (and tried to not spoil some surprises) and it turned out everything we told her was true, and yet irrelevant. So here's my experience, listed against your 10 points, because there is no good way to categorise Glasto.

    1. Secret gigs
    "Lady Gaga, Kraftwerk and Manic Street Preachers are the biggest rumours for this year". I don't think any of them played. But I did catch the Killer's worst-kept-secret unbilled show at the John Peel tent. That is, I managed to get into the field before they closed it, but not into the tent.

    2. Step away from the main stages
    I skipped all the Pyramid headliners this year. The main stages are a small part of the festival experience (this often surprises newcomers). Some of the best entertainment is on the smaller stages and tents.

    3. Peace Sign
    We got there half an hour late and it was finished. So we visited the dragon and chilled out on the hillside instead.

    4. Ultimate Power
    Nope. But I did get to the Smyths and Showhawk Duo (same place, later that day). Showhawk Duo - for the uninitiated - play 90s dance music on classical guitars with all the energy of the original tracks. Another similar tip is Baggy Mondays at the StoneBridge Bar on Thursday evening - arrive early for 90s indie. I also discovered the joy of Fleetmac Wood - a club DJ set consisting entirely of remixed Fleetwood Mac tracks.

    5. Cinemas
    We wandered around Cinerarmageddon in the day to marvel at the cars. To be honest, I couldn't commit to two hours watching a film that I could see elsewhere.

    6. Free University
    The what? Where? Huh? That one passed me by completely. I heard Michael Eavis did a Q&A session somewhere, and was asked how come there are no cowpats when this is dairy farm and these are the cow's fields.

    7. Random
    Hackney Colliery band were on my list too, but I didn't make it. My favourite place for random is the Circus and Theatre fields. You never know what you're going to see there and it's different every time. On one brisk walk through I met a giant spider, a giant Mexican Day of the Dead skeleton, a close up card magician, some trolls, a couple in Venetian carnevale outfits, some demons, a marching brass band, and then as we approached Bella's Bridge, a boat drifted out from underneath with a couple in evening dress who mimed to Barcelona.

    8. The Unfairground
    How do you prepare people for this? Imagine if Damien Hirst took a few too many drugs and was given free reign. We played Pop Your Chicken.

    9. Shangri-La
    Picking up where the Unfairground leaves off (geographically, as well as spiritually). A festival within a festival. Actually, we only wandered through one time, because I discovered the Common this year, with the waterfall. We also spent an entertaining and er... educational evening in NYC Downlow in Block 9. (If you've not been there, it's a club run and staffed by a transvestite group from London. Expect sweat, leather, chiffon and moustaches - none of these words are usually associated with me!)

    10. Bar crawl
    Actually, this is quite hard. We walked nearly 10 miles every day. The site is huge and the big bars get busy, so it can take a while to go from one bar to the next. I like the Cockmill Bar (quieter and they serve proper beer) and the Woods, and the cocktail van at the entrance to the Circus Field (with the revolving birdcage on top). The Spike was a new find this year. Avalon Inn is also good, as is Down the Rabbit Hole (the hidden bar, not the main one).

    11. Secret areas
    Everyone wants to find one of these! We found out where the underground piano was, but didn't have time to go find it. Apparently it was discovered quite early and there big queues by Saturday. Down the Rabbit Hole is an easy find now and we've been to see the dragon a few times already. The Stonemasons Arms is still on my to-do list (again, no time!).

    12. Arcadia
    OK, I'd adding to your list. Seen it before, but wow. Eyebrows singed.


    I'm sure some people are reading my comments and wondering if they were at the same festival as me. And that is perhaps Glastonbury's biggest attraction - that it can be whatever you want.

    • by Vicky on June 28, 2017  10:13 am Reply

      Thanks for your comment Chadwick. Yeah it's kinda impossible to go into Glastonbury with any kind of plan really.

      I was outside the tent for The Killers too! Shame it was on such a small stage. I saw the headliners, just felt I couldn't not, but I totally agree about the action being on the other stages. The trouble with the headline stages are that they're so busy. I like to be close to the stage and to be able to see the artist.

      Everything you've said in point number 4 sounds amazing. Definitely needed your advice when sorting our day! Ultimate Power was awesome but again, so, so busy. We went back for Guilty Pleasures that night – they were late and then pretty awful. Bit of a waste of two hours actually. Which was sad.

      Same on 5. We were camped near Cineramageddon and still didn't go. No way I could concentrate for that long.

      6. Ha! Good point! Never thought of that. I didn't actually end up going to the University, but I heard it was good.

      It sounds like you had an incredible time and actually saw way more than me. I'm inspired by your list. I think next time I go I'll stay away from the main stage and not stay out till 5am not really caring what I see. I was sort of just following the crowd and going to what they wanted to to keep it easy, but next time I'll be a bit more independent and check out some of the cooler stuff. I did spend a lot of time in Block 9 in the early hours!

      We had the password for the Rabbit Hole but never quite made it in. There's just SO much to do in such a short space of time. Sounds like you really did Glasto 2017 justice though – well done!

  2. by Chadwick on June 28, 2017  10:33 am Reply

    We barely scratched the surface! And I certainly didn't manage 5am finishes! But as this was our third year on the trot, we were more comfortable with splitting up to do different stuff and regrouping later, and we knew how to get around the site and where the best toilets were.

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