39 is fine: Glastonbury FOMO
Oh Lord, I thought I’d cope. But no. With every Instagram shot, every Facebook update…
And for the first time in years I’m not there. Cue extreme GLASTOFOMO.
I first went to Worthy Farm ten years ago (pic on the left), and that's when I fell for Glasto. Mud and all.
I've been six times since. It can be a rainy hell but of course I've had amazing times there too. And surprises (Beyoncé!)
Then this year, no ticket. Yes, I have been spoilt, the last two years I’ve had press tickets. I know, I know. My fair share.. but I got used to it, dammit!! And I wrote up a big article about being single so I paid my dues!
GlastoFOMO (FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out) is what we who didn't get tickets are now suffering with this weekend.
The FOMO extends beyond not being there. It's the fun I might have had. The people I might have met. Memories never to be made. It's the year I won't be able to talk about.
It's not the beach body ready fitness girls that make me jealous on Instagram - it's the pics of those fields!
I am already trying to be pleased for friends posting on Facebook. Is it wrong to hide them from my feed for the weekend?!
And then a question that relates to this ‘ere blog. Should I be over this at nearly 40?
Should I be able to cope more maturely? Because I know I am close to stamp-my-feet-toddler-sulking that I'm not in a field waiting to see the Foo Fighters. Which almost typo-d as Food Fighters. Probably be some of those, too.
So why do I love Glastonbury? I'll admit there are always moments when I'm there that I wonder what on earth possessed me to get a ticket again. The walk to the campsite, straps digging in, wellies rubbing, sweat running down your spine like a monsoon. Needing a wee more desperately than you thought possible while in a massive crowd waiting for your face band. Jumping up and down so much some of said wee comes out a bit. Thank goodness for lady pads.
When the rain is just so fierce you might as well have poured a bucket of water on your head....
When you queue for a loo and it takes so long by the time you get to the cubicle you've got a mild bout of cystitis and have to lie down and cry a bit for an hour (true story)
But then there are the moments of joy. The memories that override wees and smelly poo toilets and feeling like you will never be able to wash it all off... (the mud, not poo).
When a band you love comes into the stage and they play your tunes and it feels like they're playing them just for you and people around you hand you some rum and ginger beer in a big plastic bottle and you get on the shoulders of some youth who you don't tell that you're wearing your shorts that earlier had wee on thanks to a she pee mishap. (Also true story. Never used one since. Shorts were rather wet.)
Sitting on that bloke’s shoulders I looked back over the crowd, saw a glimpse of what the artists see from the stage. It takes your breath away. A surge of people, so colourful and close. I can see why Adele swore so much. That crowd is like a giant sea of fun and love and happy.
People as far as the eye can see. Those flags, which make it the most unique festival crowd.
Glastonbury is sacred land and I know some of you will think this sounds airy fairy but I do feel the energy there. It feels like a safe place.
Up in the healing field, you can wander round and have organic curry, or send a postcard.
Sure there are fall outs, moments of frustration when you want to go one way and your crew want to go another. When you can't choose out of all the food stalls or when you're sick in the long drops. (True story. Why god why was I not just sick in a bush or a bag?!)
There's the moment when the sun goes down and the place starts to buzz with an expectation of the fun of the night ahead - and the morning if you do an all nighters in the stone circle.
I can't imagine how it's changed since it first started. I see changes now - people doing hippy crack at the stone circle despite signs asking them not to. Laaadddds in the crowd, rather than just indie boys.
So am I alone in my GlastoFOMO?
Did a little straw poll on Facebook as I like to do.
Some will have the FOMO badly (my Glasto buddy Helen is almost in tears already), others aren't so fussed...
Sally says she’s never been, while Cressida will be filled with FOMO. How will she cope? “Just a little sulk I think. Then I'll resolve to book other smaller festivals, suddenly it will be September and I'll think "next year..."
Caroline says wisely: “I don't think you would feel so bad if it was raining and cold...”
True fact, that.
My sister Pam is defiant: “Unfollow them all. Glastonbastards”
Annabel is happy watching on the TV, as is Louise who says “Surround sound was invented for Glasto. Turn it up to 11 and invite the neighbours to use your loo.”
Lou gets it every year even though the last time she went was ten years ago (I remember it well, that was my first . Mandela Bar, Lou!
Shannon gets it, having survived the ‘mud years’ and gets over it when she watches on the telly.
Helen says: “I'm not sure I'll be able to watch it this weekend without sobbing”
Well, we’ll be at a barbecue. having a lovely time knowing we're not packing up a tent the next morning and also united in the meat, booze, sunshine, friends and fun part of things! All with a lovely porcelain loo.
And there’ll be a lovely dog, Victor. None of those at Worthy Farm!
So please, friends, posting from the fields of Somerset, think of the ones left behind. The armchair fans. The ones who missed out this year.
Now I understand how it feels to be seeing the updates not posting them.
I’m so glad at nearly 40 I can say I’ve been going to Glasto for ten years. And I know I’ll go again one year in my 40s.
In the meantime, I am going shopping, and out for a posh dinner with The Boyfriend, as clearly I’ve saved hundreds of pounds not being at Glasto…