Glastonbury is finally over, and if you feel like your entire body has been run over by a truck, you’re not the only one. But if you think the music festival is solely about whoever headlines the Pyramid Stage, you’d be wrong – the real joy of the blow-out extravaganza comes from all the bizarre and truly strange moments you fleetingly encounter over the course of your five days in a massive field in Somerset.
The sheer weirdness of Glasto is what differentiates it from other similarly huge festivals around the world. Would Coachella ever have anything like The Rabbit Hole, a secret party spot exclusively hosted by people dressed as Alice in Wonderland characters? Does Primavera have anything like NYC Downlow, a queer club set in a fictional meatpacking warehouse, with entry guaranteed only if you acquire a silly stick-on moustache? Is there any other festival at Earth where you can overhear someone discuss dropping a pill at Paul McCartney before you wander off to an area known as the “Naughty Corner”, which plays head-pounding dance music until 7AM in the morning?
Only at Glastonbury will you see 200,000 punters from all over the world gather in the pursuit of gloriously stupid hedonism. It will ruin your week after. It will annihilate your serotonin levels. You will have made best friends with costumed freaks and people you will never meet again. My friend once spent an entire night talking to a pole.
All these reasons and more make Glastonbury one of the greatest places on Earth. VICE sent photographer Chris Bethell down to the festival to document some of its strangest, silliest and most surreal moments.