Generations unite in Glasto bliss: A mother’s blog on sound-loving adventures with her son’s crew

Glasto – Day 1 – This is going to Glasto with kids with a twist! I’m 54 and my son is 27. He invited me to join his crew. See my first blog for the whole prep process. Glasto is insta for sound-lovers.  A love-bubble for like-minded friends and friends-to-be, family and, I’m overjoyed to announce, family-to-be! More of that later… That original hippy vibe is still alive and thriving; amazing, considering half of London is here. 

We got to the O2 arena coach park with no mishaps, and settled into the on-time coach after a packing orgy. Great organisation. And the only issue was getting into the Glasto car park, it took a couple of hours of queuing in the most beautiful countryside, so no complaints.

My son, Nick, suitably manicured, with tequila and water

As we reached the brow of the final hill the whole coach erupted in jubilation. We got through passport control and customs and it was heads down for the tramp to the camping ground, Pennards Hill. 

Thank god I had no tents to set up. We are in a very organized group and two of our number, Raffi and Ciara, drove up with the car chokkers with 8 tents all of which they set up early. There are thoroughfares, but the tents are not each aligned along pathways; they all dovetail like crazy paving. And you have to keep to the mortar so to speak. So you pick your way through and round , tripping on guy ropes, walking sheepishly across other huddles, avoiding protruding body parts, detritus. Cheek by jowl. 

Mac spies the Promised Land

 

There’s a hub for our community and we huddled in under a low-slung flappy awning. A flag makes our encampment visible from afar and bloody indispensable it is too for the noobie. Nicholas designed it specially, featuring a duck and dog on a zoom call. A couple of guys came round awarding rubber duckies to the best and we got one. See how luvvy duvvy? 

Soaking up the carnival atmosphere

 

The first night is a warm up. It’s a very happy balance of dispersing according to taste and regrouping to sleep and compare notes. Niko and his lady-love Poppy took me to the south east corner which has a different vibe, it’s where the non-rockers used to hang out and it still hosts alternative music.

Lady-love Poppy blending with the banners

 

We flitted about checking out the offerings. ‘Temple stage’ is straight out of Indiana Jones’ TofD, and does drum n bass. Boo B2B Hedex was a little too ‘ts-ts-ts-d-df-df’ even for me. ‘Iicon stage’ was the weirdest, with ‘ambient techno’ by DJ Midland; the music made me think of a vast alien spaceship preparing to disembark right above us. Very stark, brutalist, industrial-sounding. ‘MezTent’ was the opposite offering  bouncy dance music, a jump-on dance stage, incense, and a garden hide-out.

The Greenpeace Tree at sundown

 

We were finally drawn to Genosys, a Dj-ed stage with Pavel Plastikk who created bass-heavy house and techno beats. I’m used to melody and the song going somewhere, so it took some time to tune into the subtle changes and embrace a more meditative drub. It helps that there is no such thing as too loud, and I love to feel the bass rippling through me. The stage is significant because it was here last year that Nicholas said ‘I wish my mum was here’.  What a scene: a bacchanale. I wish all the world was like this all the time. 

I was chaperoned back to the tent very kindly around 11pm and they went back out for more, till 6am! I slept like a log, on my air mattress and tempur pillow. Bring your usual pillow, it’s a brilliant idea for enabling sleep, when you can hear 4 sound systems through the ear-buds. 

 

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