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I Tried Really Hard to be the Most Basic Person at Glastonbury

Unless you are literally Kanye West, there's no need to be a snob or a show off or take yourself too seriously to have fun at a festival.

by Milly Abraham
Jun 29 2015, 12:02pm

Todd Terje! Kanye's backstage party! That spot by the Stone Circle where all the drag queens are doing laughing gas 'cause they can’t get hold of poppers here any more! There are loads of places you can go at Glastonbury to create the façade that you’re really cool and into DMT and have just made out with one of FKA Twigs’s dancers.

But to truly to be at one with this festival you have to learn how not to be cool. Glastonbury isn't about getting in the Winnebagos so you can do ketamine with the spawn of the Primrose Hill set, it's about wearing a flower headband screaming "KAREN! KAREN! KAREN! I'M HOLDING UP MY PHONE! CAN YOU SEE ME KAREN! OH YOU'RE THERE, BABES YOU'VE GOT TO STICK WITH US - THIS WHY YOU ALWAYS END UP GOING BACK TO THE TENT BY YOURSELF!"

Glastonbury used to be the antithesis to basicness, but then Kate Moss made Hunter wellies a thing and all that started to change. Once that iconic image had trickled down through the pages of Grazia and into the public consciousness, "festi-chic" became its own section on Asos and Britain's biggest music and arts event was overrun by Daily Mail photographers and people who arrive on Friday night and leave on Sunday morning.

Of course there are still Glasto stalwarts dressed like Game of Thrones extras doing fire poi on the hill. But there also guys in vests that say "SUN'S OUT GUNS OUT" doing bro punches to Rudimental.

Maybe these basics are the death of the Glastonbury spirit, but at the end of the night, as the sun is rising and people are traipsing back to their tents, it always boys who call any group of people they're standing with "the lads" and girls covered in bindis and glitter paint that look like they had the best time.

This year at Glastonbury was all about swallowing your pride: Patti Smith fell over, Mark E Smith apparently wet himself on stage, and Lionel Richie downed a vodka cranberry wincing. Unless you are literally Kanye West, there's no need to be a snob or a show off or take yourself too seriously. So I followed suit and tried to be the most basic person at the whole of Glastonbury by following these simple steps.

DANCE OUTSIDE CLOTHING STALLS

There may be a life-changing Patti Smith set happening 25 metres away, but I'm standing by the computer speakers of a stall that sells trousers made from old yoga mats, dancing to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Why do people do this? They could be anywhere, yet the sepia-tinted lenses of red plastic knock off Rayban wayfarers lead them to believe that jumping up and down to Avicii is the most fun you could have at the best festival in the world.

WATCH JAMES BAY / ALT J / PALOMA FAITH

I was forced to watch so much terrible music for this article I finally know how Jo Whiley feels. Alt-J sound like incidental music for a TV show where people sit round drinking weak tea in silence. James Bay is like the Zac Goldsmith of pop: looks nice, seems like a decent bloke, but deep down you know he just wants to scalp the plebs and sit on a pile of his own dirty cash. I was told to see Paloma Faith but could only manage one song. How do you people do this?

DON’T TAKE ANY DRUGS BUT STILL ACT LIKE YOU’RE ON THEM AT 9 AM

We know you're not on drugs because you're still wearing a flower crown so why are you up at 7 AM enthusiastically chatting about your favourite savoury snacks? And moreover why are you listening to Paloma Faith on a tinny iPod dock in anticipation of her set later while everyone else is trying to locate their downers? I wanted to get in the spirit but this is one element of basicness I refuse to partake in. At no point during this Glastonbury did I have to pretend that I was on drugs.

HAVE TENT TIMES

Apparently "part of the vibe" of Glastonbury is to sit around the tent building towers out of beer cans, smashing your way through box wine and applying body glitter, like you could be at any campsite in England. To truly have tent times, it's good to have a big group of 12 of you here including loads of shirtless ex-boyfriends who are good at making fires. I was not allowed to go to hospitality at any point during the festival, instead camping miles away from anything, right at the perimeter fence. It was good—there's nothing like a wet toilet seat against your thighs in the morning to feel like you’re at a festival. Or waking up to the scent of everyone else in your tent’s sweat.

NEVER SHOWER

This one was easy. There's nothing that makes you feel your comedown more than 87 solemn girls clutching their TRESemmé, queueing to get into a tiny moist prison that someone has definitely taken a shit in at some point. It made leaving the festival slightly less depressing, since I hadn’t washed in four days and couldn’t tell what was a tan and what was dirt and what was my pee on my legs. I looked quite good tbh.

GET A HENNA TATTOO

Basically, anything you can do on a holiday in Majorca you can do at Glastonbury, including hair braids and henna tattoos. In the name of research I decided to get a temporary tattoo of my favorite basic band and parade it around the festival for a few hours. No one blinked an eyelid. I was truly blending in.

DRESS UP

This year saw grown men dressed as Despicable Me characters, women of all shapes and sizes dressed in burlesque and a lot of kooky new kigus. What is not acceptable is blacking up as Lionel Richie, you know who you are. My choice? Hen party cool, pink wigs, and lots of dodgy make-up. In fact I think I wore more make-up this Glastonbury than I ever have in my life. Like 45 minutes in the morning an again in the evening doing blusher and swapping each others clothes and coordinating. It's nice to look sexy when you're rolling around in other people's shit screaming "give me more K".

By the end of the weekend I was being a basic bitch all of my own accord. I walked around holding a clear bag of white wine like a colostomy bag, I wore a silly moustache, I spent loads of money on laughing gas, I peed between a cluster of bins infront of approximately 100 people, I danced on a podium in Shangri La’s Love Bullet Club to pure house music like I was at Hed Kandi.

It was refreshing to have a really nice time, without all the drug fuelled nightmares, STD scares and falling over drunk infront of D-list celebrities that I’m used to enduring. Rather than spending all my money on pills and bubble tea, I bought things I can take home with me—like a nice flower crown and Raybans, the memory of what I actually did, and of course, my Flo Welch tribute tattoo that I’m told will last up to two weeks

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