festivals 2016

A Handy Guide to Everything You Will Miss At Glastonbury Because You're A Mess

Let's face it, you're probably going with a group of people who are so disorganised they won't get it together to watch more than four acts all weekend.

by Noisey Staff
02 June 2016, 11:11am

Like a refurbished campervan inching its way up a hill, the Glastonbury line-up is one that slowly climbs into view. By the time the full running-order is announced, it resembles a musical carousel, where festival-goers can take a ride on Brazilian funk, mind-numbing techno, a rap act who got a four star review in a broadsheet newspaper, or the latest pop clone to be signed to a major label, before crawling back to their tented coffins with an encroaching case of trench foot and what they perceive to be a culturally enriched sense of being.

This year’s full line-up - which was announced on Tuesday morning - is no different. On the one hand you’ve got Chris Martin, who will no doubt slide into view with the exhilarating, whooping thrill of a cub-scout leader on karaoke night. On the other, you’re handed Lekkido, Lord of the Lobsters, an outsider pop maverick who is obsessed with crustaceans. Catering to the one person who wants to watch explorative folktronica at 4am, as much as it does the circus-loving theatre student who only came to experience the excitement of the Big Top, Glastonbury is - as you're probably nauseatingly aware - for everyone.

Yet, as much as it is built on the diversity of its line-up, no one person can ever watch it all. That’s not to say people don’t try to, though. Everyone turns up with a Guardian Guide lazily placed round their neck, but then someone’s significant other needs to go for a wee, a stop-off is made in another campsite, a mate’s friend from university whose name no one can remember is hungry and – oh shit, that’s ten minutes left to traverse the entire site in order to make the only performance by the one act on the line-up you can’t miss, except you do, because it’s Glastonbury and you are destined to miss everything.

You may plan to complete a triumvirate of culturally enriching experiences IE, watching an act you wouldn’t normally see, attending a talk, and going to see a band incase the members may die soon but the likelihood is, it just won’t happen, because Glastonbury is built on time-wasting detours for toilet breaks, Pieminister, taking photographs of a man dressed like Jesus, and sitting on damp patches of grass. Here, then, are some of the things you may want to set an iPhone note for this year, and the reason why you will 100% miss the whole thing.

TAME IMPALA

Photo by Jake Lewis

Why you think you should go: Finally, the one thing everyone could agree on: Tame Impala at the Pyramid Stage. Who could dislike their sultry psychedelia? For the purists, they sound like the Beatles; for the young team they are co-signed by Frank Ocean. Everyone wins.

Why you absolutely won’t: This one starts with the best intentions. But walking down from the campsite towards the Pyramid stage, you hear the most unearthly throes of ecstasy and raucous cheers coming from the Stonebridge Bar. Everyone agrees you’ll “just stay for one song.” You push and elbow your way to the front to find no less than Super Hans from Peep Show wearing a string vest and chanting “SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!” as he drops trance classics with Gary Lightbody acapellas mixed over the top. You stay for six hours and have the greatest single night of your entire life.

PANEL: FEMINISM - A MAN'S PLACE

Photo by Jake Lewis

Why you think you should go: You could be a militant feminist, a man in a fedora looking for someone to interrupt, or someone who has read a few listicles on BuzzFeed about the 8, 14, 78 ways in which was a feminist role model but didn’t really understand what that meant – either way, you probably consider yourself a pretty lefty, progressive person (or else you’d be at The Big Feastival at Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds). So, you think: sure, why not go to the talk about why the onus for change in how society views and treats women shouldn't be placed entirely, as usual, on women.

Why you absolutely won’t: Charlie Sloth and KSI are on the Sonic stage at the same time. So, uh... soz gender equality!

MURA MASA

Photo by Carys Lavin

Why you think you should go: That feature in the Guardian, placement in the BBC Sound of 2016 poll, and collaboration with Nao wasn’t for nothing, was it? His EP touched everyone from foundation year art students to bearded, crate-digging beat-maker types. He is literally “a one to watch”.

Why you absolutely won't: He’s one of the few acts performing on the Thursday night, so getting to see him shouldn’t be difficult. Waltz up, crack open a warm tin, and wait for his insurmountable talent to generate a heightened awareness that time is passing and we will soon all be aged and wrinkled vessels of broken dreams. Easy, right? Except, of course, he’s playing at the WOW! Stage AKA a 35-minute detour from the Stone Circle, where you and all your hoop-eared mates are hell-bent on huffing through balloons and pissing in the bushes. At one point someone stands up and says “C’mon guys, let’s make a mo–” then gradually loses their balance and falls back into a sitting position. So that’s it; new music is over. Drugs win. The circle of life goes on. Besides, it’s not like Mura Masa is going to cartwheel on to the stage wearing a dinosaur head, flanked by a roller-skating dance crew and a brass band, ready to fire pyrotechnics into the audience as he bangs his way through “Lovesick Fuck”. Just tell everyone you know that you saw him and he played a predictably very good and solid 4 out of 5 set. One to watch….

MICHAEL EAVIS

One of the only recorded sightings of the apparition, by William Coutts

Why you think you should go: He’s the MVP of Glastonbury. He’s giving a speech. You can listen to him do the speech and bathe in the pool of his knowledge.

Why you absolutely won't: Ever since you first crawled on to the Worthy Farm site, you’ve been promising yourself you’d catch his Sunday afternoon address. Eventually though, you will come to accept that you will never witness Eavis in the flesh, and he is in fact a sentient apparition that only appears thrice-yearly as a news story proclaiming that Glastonbury will be over by 2018, or that next year is going to be The Best Glastonbury Ever, and you will calmly roll over in your sleeping bag and wait until you have the energy to fill up a water bottle and eradicate the dry-mouth you’ve sustained since arriving on site four days earlier.

THE LEGENDS SLOT ON THE SUNDAY

A legend in the flesh... by William Coutts

Why you think you should go: The legends slot on the Sunday! The legends slot on the Sunday! No matter what else you miss, everyone keeps telling you that all will be well if you make it to the legends slot on the Sunday. Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon – they’ve all done it. This year it’s ELO. You don’t really know who ELO are, but surely the whole world can’t be wrong about this? You set a reminder in your phone for 3.30pm on the Sunday.

Why you absolutely won't: You wake up facedown on a half empty bag of red wine in the entrance of an half-pitched tent. The sun is slowly beginning its downward arch, and you don’t know what day it is. There is a stamp on your hand that says “NYC Downlow”, your phone is gone; you’re wearing a Guinness top hat and one broken high heel. You unzip the tent door, feel the air on your face, and, for a second, you swear you can hear the faint sound of 200,000 people singing ELO’s “Mr Blue Sky”, somewhere, far away. You go back to sleep.

THE CINEMA TENT

Photo by Jake Lewis

Why you think you should go: A cinema? On a festival site? Screening everything from My Neighbour Totoro to Star Wars to King Fu Panda 3 to that recently released film about Eddie the Eagle? Sounds like the ideal place to comedown after a whole night on the showbiz sherbet.

Why you absolutely won’t: Yes, the serene beauty of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece is the perfect late-morning night-cap – the colours, the comforting soundtrack, the warm knowlege that Totoro can transport you around on his belly – but let’s face it: you’re at a festival, not wrapped in a duvet surrounded by three packs of Pringles. Besides, have you ever tried to drag your friends away from Shangri La to go and watch the third installment of Kung Fu Panda? It’s not going to happen.

JEZ WE CAN: JEREMY CORBYN IN CONVERSATION

Photo by William Coutts

Why you think you should go: Ever since you started university, shaved your eyebrows off, and discovered sexual fluidity, your favourite subjects to speak about are post-capitalism and gender, and guess what?! That’s exactly what Labour leader and recent VICE documentary subject Jeremy Corbyn is going to be chatting about in the Left Field tent! If you get there early enough, you might even catch the equal society panel, and if you get there wasted enough you could start chanting “Jez we can! Jez we can!” with all your mates. What a time to be alive, eh?

Why you absolutely won't: It will be pissing it down with such intense ferocity and speed that your tent will begin to slowly slide its way down the hill like a shit-smothered helter skelter. Fuck the rain, you’re thinking. Anything is better than spending a weekend walking approx twenty five miles in sodden footwear, with the rotten taste of warm cider marinating in the back of your throat. So unless socialism is providing free socks, it will be forgotten about for the next 48 hours.

LEVELZ

Photo by Jake Lewis

Why you think you should go: Your dad won’t stop banging on about nineteen-ninety bloody two and that time he stepped foot in the Haçienda. “You don’t have disco biscuits like when I was a teenager!” he says. “You don’t have Manchester like when I was I was a teenager!” White bits of spittle forming in the corners of his mouth, his sagging acid house t-shirt flecked in bolognaise stains. Then you read that piece on Noisey about LEVELZ and realise, actually, maybe LEVELZ are worth checking out.

Why you absolutely won't: On Saturday night you will be doing absolutely nothing apart from getting jostled from side to side in the crowd waiting for Adele. By the time the sun begins to set, it will resemble a giant amorphous web of muscles, slowly crushing you like a monstrous tie-dye clad boa constrictor. This is not how I want to die, you will think, not to the sound of 100,000 hot faces chanting “Rolling in the Deep”.


LCD SOUNDSYSTEM

A man who may or may not be unloading his lunch, by Carys Lavin

Why you think you should go: James Murphy singing “All My Friends” while you’re surrounded by all your friends on the final night of the best festival in the world. Does it get better than that?

Why you absolutely won't: You’ve come up with a genius idea for avoiding Glastonbury’s notorious toilet situation, and you’re idea is: do not have a shit. But that’s a dangerous game of Russian roulette, and nobody knows when the moment of no return shall come, or how long it will last. You spend the entirety of LCD Soundsystem’s 2 hour set alone in the bogs while the rain falls lightly on your bare legs. I mean really, where did you think all that mung bean dal was going to go?

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