Glastonbury Y2k

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Glastonbury festival 2000 has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life!

It started for me on the 22/6/2000, and will probably never end,  but I did finally return home on the 28/6/2000.

It started from Elaine’s flat in Hammersmith with me trying to tempt her down with a free ticket and failing.    I then waited for the ever unpredictable Martin to pick me up. Elaine ( and the day before, Clem ) had set the mood for the festival to come…. and man did they do a good job of it!   I was on holiday for the first time in a long time and it felt really good.   I had a really strong natural buzz before I even left London, and that is rare in itself.

After many cups of herbal tea and much catching up Martin and his mate Tim turned up to collect me.   So off we went in a hire car  to the fest.

 

NO FUCKING PLANS

I had no plan,   I didn’t want a plan and I was adamant not to form one.   I wanted to see how things would pan out naturally without trying to stick to a rigid plan.    It was one of the best decisions I have ever made .

After picking up Daniella,( Martie’s other half)  we had a long trip to the fest. But as we got closer ,and saw more people we all started to feel the vibe and come to life like a shower of energy from the sky.   We started talking, laughing, seeing lights and people.. and when we entered the gates we just came alive with energy.

We got Martin and Tim over (more like through ) the fence. Daniella and I went through gate one with our access all areas back stage passes like total celeb’s!   The girl on the gate asked us for our tickets,  we showed her our wrist bands and she told us we had celebrity status.     I had to say “do you know who I am? “ to which she replied, “ no”…  but I could tell that it made her think… we just walked in laughing!

 

OUR PLOT PAUL AND MADDIE

AND THE FIRST DAY!!

When we got in we rang Paul and Maddie who came and found us.   They took us to their tent and we plotted up and had a spliff, the first of many. We drank all my brandy, had a bit of an explore and went to bed.

THE MAYHEM STARTS

( THE NEXT FEW DAYS ARE VERY HAZY )

We woke up on the Friday morning and it was dry and not too cold.   We met our neighbours,  the names I remember are few and far between,  but they were very nice.  They turned their tents around and we made a nice big circle,  had a good chat with the others and went off to get some bits and pieces and TING!    I thought I should really test them out so I sat up in the RIZLA LOUNGE and came up very quickly to the funky guitar music.    All of a sudden,  this woman came around with free RIZLA torches that hung around your neck and were the size of a credit card.   I was having a bit of a chat with her when from the massive speaker behind me came Jimmy Hendrix ( foxy lady).     Instantly,  the RIZLA LOUNGE ( which  until then had been full of stoned people on bean bags),  was filled with people strutting around with their fingers on their heads making rabbit ears ( just like Garth in Wayne’s World ) excellent!

I looked at my guide and saw it was time for Cypress Hill so I made my way to the pyramid stage where sure enough they were just coming on.    They were awesome!! They had so much energy… it really got me dancing. I was so buzzy when they did hits from the bong,  I was thinking something was missing and then realized it was Ralph!    So I gave him a ring,  he was at work and probably very confused as I probably wasn’t making a lot of sense,  but I think he got the overall picture. From here I wandered back to the tent, on the way I saw a girl with a sign on her front that said free hugs,  and I thought what a good idea.   I really felt like a free hug so I had one.    She promptly gave me her hat ( the most wicked leather cowboy hat! ),  and went off to hug someone else.   I had found a new hat that really suited me,  what a result. Back at the tent all was mellow,  and we all planned to see the film later. I was still on a bit of a commercial one having not really visited the green fields yet ( the running around the forest and hippy stuff comes later ).    I decided it was time to catch some more bands so I went to catch the end of the Utah saints.    Making a slow way past Moby, towards the start of the Nine Inch Nails, ending at the chemical brothers… on this long and perilous journey I decided to eat.  I stopped and queued up at the pancake place when I heard a man shout “MUSHROOMS!!”.

So I went to get some and scored a huge bag which I tipped into my lemon and sugar pancake and scoffed it, it was out of this world. I started getting stranger and stranger watching Nine Inch Nails and Moby.   Then I went to see the Chemical Brothers and the music took me off offfffffff, to a place that only exists in my head.  The light show was something else,  the projected images moved with the music perfectly then speeded up and slowed with it.  Not just projections,  but swirling neon and fluorescent spirals and lasers. I saw the most incredible things… how many were real and how many were hallucinations, well you decide I was out of it !

Well,  when it all ended I needed a sit down before going to the movie.  I met up with my mates Martie and the others, we walked through the gate in to the film field just in time for the kung-foo bit in the Matrix.  So we all jumped about like fairies and made Bruce lee noises.   Things like this, the small insignificant things will stay in my memory for ever.   This is my 5th Glastonbury…. the way I’m talking, you would think it was my 1st !

The rest of the evening was vary mellow we got a good 3 hours sleep and with hindsight it was a very good move.

 

FROM HERE ON IT’S ALL ONE LONG TRIP

When I woke up I needed breakfast, I decided on the all day breakfast, that was the best plan.  After that Martin needed money,  so we went to the on site bank. Martin queued for 4 and hours to get money .  I thought fuck that,  and went to see Asian dub foundation who were really good,  but he did ramble on a bit ( I’m a good one to talk ) but this was the start of my green fields experience .

I wandered over to see the stone circle, so I went off in that direction.     As I was walking over the wooden bridge I heard a man and his friend talking to a girl who was thanking them for the top acid they had sold her. So I asked them if they had any more… he said yes, and I bought my first 10 tabs of the fest. They were really tripping and I sat and came up with them.    They were telling me how they were the stupidest and the luckiest people!    When they jumped in over the fence,  they jumped into the police compound and got promptly arrested!     The old bill only took the puff in his pocket and didn`t look down his pants for the acid he had.   They cautioned them and let them in to the festival.     So they had a result,  but I thought at the time they were a liability so I left them to go and see Reef .    On the way through the glades I had the first of 2 pulling experiences!   The first one was at the glades where I stopped to build a joint and listen to the funky music.   When I built my joint (with my rolling mat ) a person came over to congratulate me on the size of it ( ooer missus ).   I realised that I was not sure if it was a male or a female!!   We chatted for a while and then I saw her hands……. she had BIG flapping hands,  just like a bloke!      She started telling me about her operation,  so I left to see Reef ( just like the cabbie out of “the League of Gentlemen” ) .

Anyway I digress.    Sitting down for reef building, ( another joint,  a tab and an e!)     They played “ Place your hands”,  and I got up,  sang and waved my arms a bit.   I thought “mmmm…. a bit hot,  I’ll take my jacket off”.   The sun was shining and I was hot .   So,  I put it on the floor and had a bit of a dance when this beautiful woman wearing the most hipped out clothes ever…. comes over and starts dancing with me.    She was really going for it,  and when they finished she sat down and shared my spliff.    She had really nice red dreds and was really mellow.    She came from Norwich and was travelling on her parents money as they were very rich.    We decided that it was great that we had not heard the words” football” all weekend.      At this point, she pulled out her mobile phone and made me choose a number.    Then she called it and proceeded to make a crank call, then she threw her phone into the crowd!

Yes well I didn`t know how to take that at first,  but she explained that they were bad and I kind of understood and went along with it… until I realised that I had 2 mobile phones on me and got them out,   we just rolled about laughing.

As you have probably guessed,  this is pulling situation 2 .

As we were laughing and being silly she decided to take me to see her friends she introduced me to her brother , two work friends and her girlfriend….. yes,  I said GIRL FRIEND!!   Just my good luck,  a lesbian and a transvestite,  but still I had a good time with them,  and had my mate Leona in my mind the whole time.   By now it was getting late and I met up with Marite and we decided to walk past Bently Rythm Ace on the way to Fat Boy Slim ( where I have the vaguest memory of being in the dance tent for fat boy slim wearing just my track suit bottoma aaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!!!! )  .

Anyway,  we ended up at Leftfield and then went to see “Kevin and Perry Go Large” in the film field.      Then we went back to the tents for a chill out and a couple of hours kip.

 

SUNDAY….. I THINK?

It all started with meeting a really nice couple of people called…………now let me think,                                 

Mark and Nhia.    They were very young,  but very cool.   They were selling pills and beers so they stopped with us for a while and we had a big sharing session ( basically we all exchanged things and got off our faces)!

Nhia was very friendly,  but I seemed to have a good connection with Mark.    We were on the same trip and the same vibe.. we really got on,    he showed me where he was camped so we could meet up later.

Back at our camp the neighbours ( whose names still escape me,  I think there was a Chris and an Owen )  and Paul and Maddie and all sorts,   met back where more acid and pills and more MUSHROOMS were consumed.

Sunday afternoon started with food and Jools Holland,  Bert Baccarack and Willie Nelson…. some more drugs ( no one is counting ) and a mad trip around probably the most surreal time I have ever had.     I walked around in a trance for hours seeing strange things and strange people.

I went off to see the Dandy Warholes and met up with Maddie, Martin etc etc,  to see some of the Happy Mondays.  We drank all my vodka and made a rough prediction of what might go on that evening.

I decided to see the first few songs by David Bowie and went  back stage ( as I had not been there yet,  and I wanted to do the “do you know who I am….?” thing again.    So I wandered off to the back stage area where I went to the loo because it was clean,  and had a free beer which was nice. I decided to roll a joint,   have another e and some mushrooms…. whilst rolling a spliff.    I think I caught Jo Whiley’s eye!!    I got a bit of a crowd,  building my joint,   I got the feeling I was the only one off my face.   ( I probably was! )   Jo commented on my hat and my hair colour and for the first time all festival …..I got paranoia… bad!    So,   I got myself together and wondered what to do .

I sat down and thought of Elaine and decided to go and see Gong ( via basement Jax who weren`t too bad ).    When I got to Gong the place was alive with tripped out people and the most ambient vibe I had experienced in the festival so far.    I danced with so many people for so long,  the visuals where incredible,  like the Chemical Brothers,  but not so harsh…. more natural and totally amazing!! (Thanks Elaine,  I thought about you and Rob during that period ) .

When it all ended and I had got a spliff together,  I decided to meet up with everyone.    So I headed back to the tents.

Back at the tents we all met up,  Martie and the mob,  Paul and Maddie ( Paul who by the way had a few mushrooms off me and a few more later on, top man ) and the neighbours.   We decided to see the films “Being John Malcovitch and American Beauty.    It was the first real quality time I had spent with Paul and Maddie and I am so glad I did it!    We had a top time,  talked for hours and they didnt mind me being a bit strange ( that’s mild to say the least ) .    After the film we went back to the tents and I got about 3 hours kip,  to be woken up by hunger at about 2am…. when I got up and ate everything I saw!    In the middle of this I met up with Mark and Nhia.     Nhia was so tired she needed some sleep so mark and I went to get some pills for the next day.

Mark bought and sold lots of pills and I knew he had about 400 on him ( some of it off us… we bought quite a lot off him! )

We went off in to the night to score, we talked and talked for hours, we were so on the same sort of buzz.    We went down to the main stage area where we saw people selling pills so we asked to see them , we saw the pill and it was a Nurofen headache pill!!!    So we told him to fuck off,  he said we could taste it to check it was an e , so we did…. and it was definitely a Nurofen.    We told him to fuck off again and he got a bit leary and jumpie and demanded that we pay him for that one .

So mark turned to me and said “will you sort this one out chez? ”    Now as I mentioned earlier he had 400 in his pocket and I knew he didn`t want to get it out in front of this dodgy scouser.    So I pulled 20 out of my pocket.    As soon as he saw it he grabbed it and ran off. As we turned to chase him about 6 other people in the vacinity also moved and we realised that they were in a gang,   so we left it and walked off. ( Mark gave me the 20 back straight away , he was a top top man ).    We saw it as a bit of a learning experience and one that we won’t forget!   We went back to the tent to get Nhia before we started the long evening ahead.   Mark had been explaining how Nhia might be moving away to college and how he didn’t really want her to go.    He was going to miss her loads,  it became apparent that he really liked her and that he was a very sensitive person, ( I could relate with that and could see where he was coming from ). We went off in to the night, the four  of us,  me,  Mark (  who I had been with for ages),  Nhia  and a second Mark (one of their mates).   As we walked on down the road it was just like a scene out of “Mad Max”,  all the lights,  noises and people that looked like they belonged in barter town.    This was a barter town where all of a sudden skills and ting were more important than commercial day to day shit.   I wanted to go back to the green fields and the stone circle and Mark wanted to take Nhia to the garden of tranquillity ( how sweet is that)?     We all wandered around for hours talking and laughing and looking for the garden of tranquillity , what a totally ambient evening!    We ended up finding what we thought was the garden and sat and watched the sun come up ( took some more acid and a couple of pills ).    When it finally broke over the horizon,  everyone cheered and felt the warmth from its glow as it got bigger and bigger.     The colours where fantastic!     Nhia and the second Mark wandered off back to their tents while mark and I wandered around for a while longer.    We had some food and plotted up in the sunniest spot we could find.    We let the dew dry us off,   had a chicken burger and chatted about everything, you know how some people just click?,  it was just like that this feeling is so rare but so nice when you find it.   We decided we needed some sleep so we went for a kip.

 

The start of the strange

( The only way to start the day )

Exactly what time I woke up I don’t know,  but I started with a tab of acid,  some mushrooms and a big spliff…the only way to start the day!    I went to eat and then to find the travellers field.     I stopped at a food stall where I had more pancakes and decided to trek to the travellers field where they had the best music playing and loads of people dancing about in the sun.    I sat with a girl called Sash for a while and played with her dog,  she was a vary hipped out individual with the most Celtic looking tattoos and huge dreadlocks,( a very very groovy baby… ye baby totally phsycodellic ).    She asked me for a roll up,  so I rolled up a big joint and she produced a bottle of red wine.    We sat and chilled out for a while.    Looking up at the sky,  my mind drifted and I reflected on the evening before… HMC, my guitar…. and I thought,  bugger where did I leave martin? I told Sash about him,  I told her I was going to find him. Well the strangest thing happened …she got up and said “wait here”.    So she left me with her dog ( strangely enough called Max ) and ran off.     When she returned,  she had a small brown bottle with a pippet in the top,  she opened it and told me it was liquid acid and to put some on my tongue.    We arranged to meet by the stone circle later on and I went to find Martin. I just managed to get enough battery out of my mobile phone to ring him and find out where he was!

Now martin was supposed to be driving us home as Daniella needed to be in work for tomorrow.    So,   I expected them to be chilled out somewhere ready to go.

Shock of the century,  to find all three of them tripping off their faces up by the stone circle!    Martie had spent all the money on acid and they were incapable of moving, (however,  I too was rapidly approaching this stage! )    Then guess what?    Martin scored another 2 trips each!!!…. and insisted we took them as well!    From here on in we were all a lost case!    We laughed and giggled for hours and we managed to move out of the sun just before Martin and Tim got sun stroke ( I still had my hat ).     I then spent an hour and twenty minuits watching Martie roach his joint!    I went off to the bank to get some cash so we could get more food. I was very concerned about Martin driving anywhere for days and decided that I didn`t want to ever leave there.    But I   knew I had to at some point.     When I came back we went off and ate and let Tim have a sleep.    Some where by the Manic Organic food tent I got split up from Martin and Daniella.     I was wandering around the green fields when I came across a familiar face…..  it was my mate Adrian from the island where Ralph and I plot up,  and his mate Jenny. What a result!    Two totally chilled out people that I kind of knew, this helped me cling on to reality for a few hours longer.    They where selling the most beautiful jewellery that they had made themselves, a truly mellow moment. I built a joint and had some more mushrooms,  but knew I needed to go and find the others as getting home was becoming a bit of a worry.    So I went back to the tent.

When I got back to the tent they were all there,  which was good.    But Martin was unconscious,  which was bad… very bad.   Daniella was screwing, she had a meeting the next morning at work and could not miss it.   Well I took 1 look at Martin and knew instantly that he was going nowhere for a long while.   I persuaded them to let him sleep and arranged to meet them back there at midnight when they would try to wake him.    I packed up my tent and ruck- sack and left them with the others, I needed to go off and experience more.

I went back to the travellers field where I had a bit of a dance and a look for Sash.     One of her mates said she was up by the stone circle,  so I carried on. On arrival it was getting darker and the very strange people where coming out!

I sat around a big fire where I met Johnnie and Biscuit,  who I chatted to for ages.    Around the fire there were a group of people who seemed to know each other and travelled around together.    There was a girl called Pauleen,  a guy called Scott and about six others.    All day they had been collecting things from around the festival,  from all the food places, stuff like: unused paper plates, plastic cutlery, bread, cheese, pasta, onions, salt, pepper, curry powder, potatoes and about ten cabbages.    They had the biggest stainless steel pots I had ever seen,  just like half a forty-five gallon drum!    We were on a mission to make veggie stew, what a good idea….. I skinned up while we debated the best way. Around the pots, we decided to chop the veggies and put them onto boxes,  which we all did while we chatted,  we looked at the moon and the stars that were just starting to appear.   This led me to believe that it must be about midnight.    I told everyone that I had to go and meet my friends. On the way out of the stone circle I found Sash , she was sitting around a fire with her dog Max and some friends.   I told her where I was going to and she said “if your mates are anything like you,  you won’t be going anywhere !“    To which I agreed,  but headed off anyway. Back at the tent Martin was unconscious and unwakable , and by now Tim and Daniell were tired too.    So I decided to make my own way home in the morning so I went off back to the stone circle.

 

The last night ( hallucinations! )

As I went down the hill,  I met a man packing up his van.    He had bean selling didgaridoos and drums.    I asked him how much his small drums were,  and he replied “what have you got?”    A bit dazed I said to him “a joint”,  he laughed and said “ok give me a joint and a fiver for the small ones which sounded ok to me… so I bought it . Walking along,  tapping my drum with my rucksack and tent on my back,  I really felt I was free.    As I was walking along it was very dark and I could see the lights of the stone circle flickering in the distance.    As I was walking,  the lights started to form long tracers that stretched across the sky, and the path in front of me started to move up and down like riples in a pond going up and down and up and down.    As I neared the stone circle I saw Sash,  still sat with her dog and her mates.    I sat with them and built a spliff to share. I started to drum along with the noise of the drummers nearer to the circle, Sash had her special bottle of acid and gave me a couple of drops,  I shared the rest of my mushrooms with the group.

I needed to get closer to the other drummers,  so I started grooving up the hill tapping my drum towards the other drummers.    I sat with about six other people with drums and we started to beat the most tribal and uplifting rhythm ever… it was fantastic!    As I tapped away,  I looked at the sky and a did dot to dot with the stars to make shapes and pictures.    Then I saw it, it was the white hooded man with a lamp from the stairway to heaven poster, ( Led Zeppelin ).   He started to float around the sky, ( now that doesn’t happen every day !)     I decided to go back to the veggie stew crew. When I got there,  the fire was massive and the pot was on.  The veggies were cooking,  Pauleen passed the stirring stick to me and I had a stir.    I stopped to build a joint and to chat to Johnnie and Biscuit.     I passed the joint to the person next to me who looked like he needed it, he was in the middle of snorting something out of a wrap and turned to me and said “here you are mate finish this off “ so I did.    He explained to me that it was “k” I said what is “k?”    He said “ketamin,  you know horse tranqualizer”    I asked him what it was like and he told me it would make me mellow…..and it certainly did!    I sat there stirring the stew and chatting. A huge Scottish man came past wearing a kilt, ( it was bloody cold , he must of been well hard! )    He had a sporren full of mushrooms, so we all sat down and munched a few.    In my rucksack was a massive green HMC bag that I opened out on the ground for us all to sit on.     A bloke then came running up to us wearing only a pair of lycra shorts,  and started ranting at us!    He went on and on and then ran up the big oak tree next to us.    Well the stew boiled on and this bloke kept on ranting and shouting “I am the messaih “. Well the whole field of about 50-60 people started to do the “Monty Python” thing, it was so funny .   People  were shouting “welees wodewic”  and “I’m Brian and so is my wife”,  this lasted for ages…then,… “oi big nose!“ and “the Judean peoples front! “   ( splitter ) .   It was so  funny. Then a semi naked woman ran up the oak tree with him and we left them to rant at each other. I could see what I thought was a car or helicopter in the distance, it came closer and closer and I realised it was a fire juggler.    He had a long pole with which he dipped each end in petrol , lit and twirled around!!   It looked fantastic!!    He twirled it around really fast and threw it up in the air still spinning and caught it again.     It looked really mad every time he did it!    It span higher and higher,  the tracers were mental. I decided I needed to take a leak so I went off to a quiet part of the field where I stood next to the hedge.   I had my piss then I must have turned around too fast, because I had a massive head rush and lost my vision for quite a while so I had a sit down.   When I got up,  I could see a woman running towards me with a massive TV camera on her shoulder.   She was running so fast at me, I braced myself for impact…..  she ran straight through me and disappeared,  it was the strangest thing.    I went back to the fire and had some of the now ready stew which was lovely and well needed by this point.     There was enough to feed the whole field,  everyone came up and had some and thanked us for making it.    It was one of the most brilliant experiences I have ever had!     After the food and before the sun fully came up,  I fell asleep and had a lovely long kip.

In the morning when I woke up I said goodbye to all my new mates,  gave them a hug and walked through the festival for the last time.    As I walked past the front of the pyramid stage,  (where I saw Cypress Hill, Bowie and the Chemical Brothers) I took the opportunity to walk up right on to the main platform and played my drum for a while.    So nice… so chilled out.

From here I walked 6-7 miles to a place called “Castel Ceri” with a bloke called John.     We dealt with the harshness of reality together,  perfect.   In my perspective , this really is how it all happened.    How much is real and how much is trip I dread to think.    One or two events may be in the wrong order,  but it is all a true story.    In the words of Rowley Birkin Q.C…….          

“I was very,  very drunk ( and stoned, spannered, bollocksed )  at the time!!”

 

                                                ALL THE BEST CHEZ (THE RODENT)        28th-30th, June 2000.