I went to Glastonbury completely sober and here are some of the ridiculous things I witnessed

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I went to Glastonbury completely sober and here are some of the ridiculous things I witnessed


“You’re going to Glastonbury sober?!,” is an incredulous question I’ve been asked more times than I can count over the last six months, along with “How will you cope?,” and “Are you sure you don’t want to experiment with some drugs?,” (despite the fact I’ve never been into them).

After giving up alcohol a year and a half ago I’ve done day festivals, weddings, birthdays and more nights out than I can count. But could I survive five days at Glastonbury, a festival that’s as famous for its levels of excess and alcohol and drug consumption as it is for its music, a festival that is literally known as “the biggest party in the world”.

I knew it would be different to my previous experiences. The last time I set foot on Worthy Farm was eight years ago. Kanye was headlining and yet to be cancelled, I was 27, a full-time journalist, and not yet aware that my inability to know when to stop saying “one more for the road,” would become a problem.

On day one myself and my best friend from University, a man who ironically (or maybe not) would go on to be one of my first friends to give up alcohol, lugged 12 heavy bottles of Prosecco and two litres of gin over the undulating ground – and those were just our pre drinks!

I couldn’t tell you what kind of time we had other than to say that photographic evidence suggests we saw many, many, garage sets and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to pose in front of the sunset.

By day three I had the type of hangover where walking is impossible, everything spins and you feel like death might be preferable to the ever increasing pain in your head. I was so hungover, in fact, that as I lay on the grass, just 100m from my tent, strangers stopped to ask if I was ok.

So how did I fare sober? Well, if I’m totally honest, it was hit and miss. What I quickly realised is that being sober heightens everything in an environment like that. The incredible moments will feel wildly emotional; think uncontrollable weeping as Elton John belted out his final UK performance of Rocket Man, or being unable to wipe a smile off my face at Lana Del Rey’s shambolically started but iconically finished performance.

But I had to learn to adapt my levels of understanding and patience fairly quickly. In my day-to-day life drunk people, or people on drugs, can be annoying as time wears on, but, at Glastonbury, I had to learn to laugh at the maddest moments or I might have gone mad myself.

Like when I was woken up at 4AM by a loud voice booming over a megaphone as a man was giving Gary Lineker a run for his money by commentating on people going to the toilet. “Man in the green shirt, enjoy that poo,” he shouted, “Off for a number one are we lady in the red trousers?.”



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