For the last few days I’ve been ready, both mentally and physically, with all my packing done, to leave London and plunge into the busy, beautiful and often muddy world of Glastonbury.
This morning Fran, Will, Lottie and I packed the car with two tents, two wheelchairs and more glitter than four people could ever need, and headed for Somerset. The roads and sky were clear and my excitement levels soared as we got closer to what is the largest outdoor music festival in the world.
For the next few days Glastonbury will be our home. I’m performing with Captain Hotknives every day, once again unleashing the creative chaos of the Tourettes-Bi-polar Alliance on unsuspecting festival-goers.
We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and went in search of a good place to set up. The Theatre and Circus backstage camping area was already busy and full of tents of every shape and colour. But we soon found a good spot, did a quick wheelchair-width-check to make sure I could get in and out of our new home, and got set up.
Lottie’s got an amazing bell tent – perfect for hanging out and for sleeping in. We put my dome tent next door, and Captain Hotknives and his mate Pete, who arrived soon after, pitched theirs nearby. Our crew’s almost complete – Fat Sister’s coming after work tomorrow.
Following a quick sound check at the Sensation Seekers stage, one of the two stages we’ll be playing on, we headed off to explore.
The site was soaked in late-afternoon sun and looked glorious. There was so much to see, everywhere! It was Lottie’s and Fran’s first time at Glastonbury so we showed them around a bit at the same time as we all found our bearings. We kept bumping into old friends along the way.
As the light faded we headed off in search of some music. Our first stop was the Rum Shack where Akala was playing. The place was crammed but we managed to squeeze in at the front. At one point Akala made the whole audience crouch down and by doing this he gave me a perspective I very rarely have – for a moment I was the tallest person in the room. I enjoyed seeing everyone’s faces, and getting a sense of the scale of the space. The crowd jumped up en-masse, creating an incredible wave of energy that more than made up for the return of my legs-and bum-dominated view.
The Circle sits on a gentle hill with views over the whole site. The sky was dancing with lasers coming from the various stages, and all around us candles were burning, with groups of people chatting in their warm glow. It was too muddy for me to make it up there last year so I was glad to have the chance to sit and take in the view.
Throughout the next few days I’ll always have two people to help me get around and stay safe. We’ve worked out a support rota to distribute the time equally.
As I settled down to sleep under the canvas of the bell tent I felt incredibly happy and relaxed.