For this blog, I decided to split it into two parts. Part 1 is before we embarked on our mad adventure to Worthy Farm. Part 2 is after we had made it back, (I say made it back as a bit of an understatement!) It was an experience, not your normal Glastonbury experience, if you have children and are contemplating going to this festival, you need to read this to the end….
PART 1: BEFORE GLASTONBURY 2016
One fateful day back in October 2015 we got up at the crack of dawn (ok that might be a slight over exaggeration but it sounds better than ‘reasonably early’), opened up every device we have that connects to the Internet, checked that our friends had done the same, and waited…
Glastonbury Tickets are a go! Quick everybody! Refresh your page 100 million times a second to try and ‘get in’ to get tickets…
Now is it just me or does anybody else get ridiculously nervous at this point? It’s like this manic desperation takes over and you NEED to get those tickets, the more you hit refresh and the longer it takes the more nervous and manic you get until you’ve whipped yourself into an absolute frenzy and then…
I’m in, I’m in, I’ve only gone and got them!!!
This year we were lucky?
I think it was something like all 135,000 tickets sold out in 30 minutes…that’s like 4,500 tickets a minute…for some reason, this blows my mind…
So in less than a week we are going to Glastonbury a-woo-hoo! We (me and the Hubster) have both been before (pre-big and little one) and had an absolute blast…it was sunny, it rained,it was insanely muddy, the music was amazing, we drank (there are several rather hazy memories), we ate, we laughed, we loved it…YES! we’ve got tickets, this is going to be insane…oh wait…we’re taking ‘the boys’…
Never mind ‘this’ being insane…are we insane??!!! Honestly? I don’t think so, I cannot wait to take them both to their first big festival (we’ve taken the big one to Bingley Festival before which was a great way to ‘break ourselves in gently’). It is going to be amazing, for totally different reasons but not ones that I’m any less excited about!
Glasto is one of ‘the’ biggest and best festivals to go to and one that goes out of its way to cater for kids (both big and little) it seems, anybody heard of the Kidz Field? Of course, you have! They even have a tent that provides pretty much everything you can imagine for your baby or tot, including, food, nappies, wipes and even bath time! It is reassuring to know that all that and more is available but I can tell you now, I am still going to over pack…
The rigamarole that is packing
Does anyone like packing?! Speaking of, the thing you have to understand about me and the Hubster is that in a lot of ways we are polar opposites! He is clean and organised and likes to be on time…I…am most definitely not. I am extremely messy (although I’m a lot better than I used to be), my idea of being organised is packing an hour before we leave so I don’t forget anything (this never works) and I have an inbuilt ability to be late…for everything…ever!
So it’s now Thursday morning we don’t leave until Sunday night (we’re spreading the journey out a bit…long car journeys with kids? whole different story) and I am sitting here typing this while he is running around ‘packing’. He has, for the last hour or so been attempting to get me to do the same. Does he not realise by now that this is in vain? And the thing that drives him really insane? The fact that everything he has packed, I’m probably going to just unpack to re-pack ‘properly’ and by properly I mean the way I think it should be done…not that I’m a control freak, I’m just always right…(insert big and cheesy but slightly maniacal grin here).
When I have finally succumbed and given in, to the ‘getting organised’ I will put together a list and link it below (I’m told I can do that….first I must figure out how!) of things that we have deemed to be ‘essentials’ for taking our Tots to a festival….who knows when I’ve written it down it might even help me to curb my compulsion to pack everything except the kitchen sink!
PART 2: AFTER
Expectation: rosy-cheeked laughing cherub children basking in the sunshine and frolicking in grassy meadows while you watch over them indulgently. Being able to see and enjoy all the music you want whilst munching on mouthwatering delicacies that not only have zero calories but also help you lose weight!
Reality: rosy-cheeked partially cherub children who have flashes of demonic paddies and claw-like nails. MUD…all kinds of mud…everywhere. Glimpses of music as you chase said children manically around a field after the bubbles you thought were a genius idea. Mouthwatering food everywhere…that will spend several lifetimes on your hips just by glancing at it but then you eat anyway because hey technically your on holiday!
What is it about festivals that sends everyone slightly loopy?
It’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster – you literally go through every emotion known to man and come out feeling slightly broken but then somehow still manage to convince yourself you’ve had the time of your life!
3 days after taking ‘the boys’ to Glastonbury and finally having washed all the mud and face paint off, I will now tell you that we had the most amazing time and we cannot wait to go back next year…the day before Glastonbury? I’m pretty sure I’d have said the exact opposite – it’s horrendous, what were we thinking?!…DON’T DO IT!!!
I’m not going to lie, I think the organisers messed up severely this year, if you haven’t heard, the opening of the Campervan fields was delayed by 6 hours this year due to the weather – this I completely understand, what I don’t understand is why this didn’t have a knock-on effect, in that the opening of the other car parks and camping areas should also have been delayed…they were not. This resulted in A LOT of people all trying to get into Glastonbury at once…friends of ours stuck in ‘the queue’ moved 3 miles in 17 hours…yes you heard me! It also resulted in us sleeping in our car the first night…have you ever slept in a car overnight with 2 little ones? There are worse things but it’s not an experience I’m clamouring to repeat! While they thought it was great fun and took up all the space and all the blankets (you know because we’re good parents like that?!) I attempted to sleep bolt upright with the ‘little one’s’ fist in my mouth and the ‘big one’s’ knee up my bum…comfort at it’s best.
Long story short…
…we never actually made it into Glastonbury to camp, we ended up walking in every day but I won’t bore you with that because it really wasn’t very exciting!
I can’t look at it in an entirely bad light because in the end we just had to laugh about it because really, what else can you do? and it definitely added an extra ‘something’ to our experience! It also made us even more determined to enjoy the festival itself, and enjoy it we did!
It was priceless to see the boy’s faces and the ‘big one’ was SO excited by everything! The look on his little face was priceless. Kidz field was as good as everyone claims it is and everything in it was free – the ‘big one’ had his face painted about a million times over, he could craft to his hearts content, there was an inflatable obstacle course that I literally had to rugby tackle him off just so that we could go see what else there was to offer, and he ‘learned’ (as well as any 3 years old who is not destined to be a musical genius can) to play the violin and then got to play with the band!
There was equally as much to keep the ‘little one’ happy, a huge sand pit where he could eat sand till it was coming out of his ears (don’t worry I realise this does not constitute a balanced diet), tents with all manner of toys that light up and play chirpy tunes that make you want to throw them across the room (just me?) after hearing it for the millionth time and the baby tent that had all the promised nappies, food and baths – which I never did manage to wrestle him in to.
Even walking around the rest of the festival…and when I saw walking I mean trudging through the mud which ended up being a game in itself…there was plenty for them to see and be interested in.
Me and the Hubster even got to watch some music, not as much as we normally would have but we’d have been foolish to expect that. I have to say the standout for me was Adele. She has officially converted me. Not that I disliked her before, I guess I was just a bit indifferent really, I mean don’t get me wrong the girl can SING, it just isn’t really my cup of tea and I wasn’t falling over myself to watch her. I’m so glad we did, though, she was brilliant, one of the best people I’ve ever seen live and totally hilarious…she’s a nutter of the best kind.
We spent the vast majority of our time walking around (think it was something like 40 something miles in 4 days…I felt justified in my ‘junk’ food) but decided one day that it would be good to set up a ‘base camp’ in front of the Pyramid stage this did and didn’t work. It was nice not to be carrying everything around with us all day and being able to ‘pop’ off to see/grab things but it did mean having to consciously entertain the kids (not that this is a bad thing and I brought plenty of distractions) which ended up in a popcorn fight, and me being a blank canvas for their face painting exploits. Needless to say, I was covered from head to toe in beautiful creations and I mean they found every uncovered piece of skin to draw on! It was so much fun that even kids from families sitting next to us joined in…I am such a pushover.
Was it worth it?
We’ve been asked several times since we’ve been home ‘Would you do it again?’ and despite the fact that I’ve whined a bit (hopefully only a bit) and at points we’d just had enough and would quite happily have come home, until something amazing happened (like seeing my 9-month-olds face when a seahorse from an under the sea parade stuck it’s face up to his) and we realised that no experience is ever going to be fun all the time but it’s the ‘good bits’ that make it so worth it and keep you going over and over…bottom line…of course, we would, we can’t wait!