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Crab Girl and Jackmaster: Documenting the Glastonbury Pre-Lash

Glastonbury is the only festival worth arriving early for.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

A lot of UK festivals sell early-bird tickets but unless you enjoy shitting in a cesspit for longer than necessary, they’re pointless - there’s no music, just over-priced beer and the realisation you won’t be sleeping in a bed for the next five days.

Glastonbury is different. Although the main-stages don’t kick off until Friday, lots of venues open on the Wednesday, and the late-night entertainment starts on Thursday. This means the first two days become the UK’s biggest pre-lash party: people ease themselves in on Wednesday, and by Thursday evening they’re struggling to operate the motor neurones in their face.


We arrived at the site early Thursday morning and surveyed what was happening.

The first hour in Glastonbury was spent walking around trying to find a place to pitch our tent - you would think finding a two metre by two metre space in a farm the size of a small town would be easy but my lacerated shoulders tell me otherwise.

Once we were all set up - which mainly consisted of deciphering tent instructions - we hit up the Stone Circle. This woman asked to be arrested - I didn’t realise you could turn yourself in because you’re wearing white jeans to a music festival, but OK.

The Beat Hotel was open all day Thursday - with Seth Troxler taking the headline set. This place must have been blessed with some sort of special magic because everyone was having a really great time listening to pounding techno at four in the afternoon, in the rain, outside. Our photographer, Jake, asked if he could take a photo. They obliged - and then tried to make him take his shirt off. You can't get anything for free these days, not even at Glastonbury.

It was so good that this guy was even trying to call someone on his mobile phone to tell them to come down.

By the time we left The Beat Hotel it was dark outside. This meant it was time to visit Shangri La. Jackmaster was playing in "Hell" - which, sadly, did not feature the lava-rocket cannons I had been expecting.

It was only Thursday night but people were really getting into the spirit of things. This woman even managed to connect with the beat and rode it like a rollercoaster.


A lot of people in Hell gave us proof that Glastonbury is definitely, 100%, the only festival ever worth turning up early for. They're all having a great time!

Seriously - Thursday night at Reading Festival mainly consists of teenagers downing cans of Strongbow and shouting abuse at strangers. But at Glastonbury there were countless other venues, with countless other people, having this kind of fun:

However, when this girl morphed into a crustacean, screaming "'I'm a crab, I'm a crab, I'm a crab", I knew it was time to leave.

Today the music starts. I went to watch a secret set from The Libertines, it turned out to be a secret set from the Kaiser Chiefs. It can only go uphill from here.

Follow Ryan and Jake on Twitter: @RyanBassil @Jake_Photo