My First Glasto – 2002

I’m not sure how it occurred but my mum got tickets for us to go to Glasto with a group of her friends. At 12 I was the youngest of the kids and had a huge crush of the son of one of my mum’s friends. My memory is somewhat patchy but a few incidents stick out clear as day even now. One was me following this boy and his friends around everywhere – partly because I liked him but also because I didn’t know anyone else.

In a somewhat humiliating moment he turned to me at one point saying loudly, ‘stop following us around, I don’t like you. Leave us alone’ (mixed signals as he was later my first kiss, but we digress) and literally ran away from me.

So there I was, at Glastonbury, no friends and didn’t want to hang out with my mum so I thought fuck it -I’m going to get a real lemonade. Obsessed I was with these real lemonades – I used to go there every day with my Glasto allowance – I went, got my lemonade, wandered back to the campsite and just as I was reaching my tent I tripped over a guy rope and went flying – lemonade and all. My only comfort was that the boy and his friends weren’t at the campsite. I sat, took a deep breath and started walking back to the lemonade stand because DAMMIT didn’t I deserve a lemonade at this point??

‘Back again?’
‘I fell over and dropped it’
‘Oh no! Here’s another on the house – a large this time’
Things were looking up. The experience wasn’t over. I wandered slowly down the Glastonbury roads sipping my lemonade and taking in the weird and wonderful that surrounded me before finding myself at the Pyramid stage. Not too busy, I got close enough to take a blurry picture or two of Gwen Stefani climbing onto the main stage speaker in full flow.

That was the first time I’d heard No Doubt and what an introduction! This badass, punky, blonde 0wning main stage…amazing. As they finished and the crowd began to dissipate I maneuvered myself to the front right of the stage and without looking at the security guard, walked full speed ahead and into the Pyramid’s backstage where I went to look for Beverley Knight.

If she was phased by a solo 12 year old wandering up to her before showtime, she didn’t show it. The most lovely woman, she signed all 5 of my mini programmes (4 for a foursome at school I was trying to get in good with) and talked to me for a few minutes (my brother has just done a song with you Beverley. Yeah, he’s good thanks) before I clocked the security guard looking at me puzzledly. I thanked her, said my goodbyes and headed back to camp where I shared my free lemonade, No Doubt and Beverley Knight stories with glee.

Beverley Knight at Glastonbury 2002

I love thinking back to that story and to how comfortable I was to go and find my own way and the fact that the acts which stay in my mind were all powerful females. It’s a theme that’s stayed with me throughout my favourite Glasto’s – in more recent years Janelle Monae, Adele and Lizzo have filled me with awe. I’ll be watching past performances for the next few days because no matter how hard you try, someone always gets missed – but not this year – Silver Linings?!

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