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Glasto '98August 12th 1999.
The person who I had arranged to go with (I'll call him Will) had gone down the day before and had agreed to ring me at a specified time to say that everything was going as scheduled. We had also arranged a meeting point which we would meet at. If we missed each other we would check there every two hours for the oth er person. We even packed walkie talkies so we could just call each other. With planning like this what could go wrong?
The leavers dinner predictably stretched long into the morning which meant that I started out to Glastonbury with very little sleep. Unfortunately that phone call never came, so I waited another hour thus causing myself to run late. The phone call nev er came.
Rucksack fully laden I set off. For those who don't know, the Glastonbury festival is a huge music festival which is put on about once a year at a local person's farm. This farm is huge (it must a few miles high and wide). along around 100,000 peo ple to attend.
The bus dropped me off at one of the far edges of the farm and a fifteen minute walk took me to one of the main gates. The sheer size of the thing was fantastic. Map in hand I set off to the prearranged meeting point.
Sadly, I had left too late to meet Will at the original time so he was nowhere to be seen. Noticing that the mud was becoming a bit deep I decided to swap to wellies and put my overloaded rucksack into storage.
I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day trying to push through crowds of peo ple in a vain attempt to try and get to where I wanted to go. Whilst this going on, it started to rain. All that wonderful grass was softened up and was being trampled into mud. Thoughtfully, some areas had been concreted over and planks of corru gated metal had been placed on popular walkways. However such areas were not everywhere...
In what I thought was a piece of superlative planning I actually decided to try and make my way to the dance tent using the map which had been provided. I arrived early and to my surprise the ground beneath the tent wasn't mud. I sat down and waited for Fluke to appear. Twenty minutes later, Scott 4 turned up. I had ended up in the new bands tent. Sadly the new bands tent wasn't that close to the dance tent and what with trying to push my way through more crowds I was only able to catch the last 10 minutes of Fluke. Foiled again.
After declining some drugs, I left the dance tent and decided to do some exploring to familiarize myself with the layout of Glastonbury after the Fluke incident. With those walkie talkies we packed, I'll have no problem catching up with Will. Of course Will would have to have his walkie switched on for ten minutes every hour as agreed...
Unlike the mobile phone, walkie talkies work like a one way radio. There isn't any number to dial, they won't ring. They also have long aerials which makes anyone using them look a complete fool.
After four futile attempts of talking into the walkie talkie I resorted to tapping out an SOS signal with the on/off button but there was never any reply.
Throughout the day I systematically left messages at all of three of the message points around Glastonbury. Though the messages started out pleasant enough, they became increasingly aggressive in tone as the day wore on. I never found any mes sages for me though.
I made my way to the official meeting point which Will and I had agreed to go to if the worst came to the worst. Hundreds of people must have passed by but there was no sign Will. I waited for about two hours by which point I point I felt like I could tear Will's head clean off. The rain was tipping down, I had missed most of the bands I had wanted to see and I was tired.