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Letter from the editor: Glastonbury experiences


I knew it was tragic before the words were out of my mouth. We were bantering – as you do – in a lame attempt to divert ourselves from the grim news in today’s i when we began reminiscing about Glastonbury experiences.

OK, I was banging on about mine, and everyone else’s eyes glazed over as they feigned interest in laying out the FTSE100 page. And then: “You know, it’s the 25th anniversary of my first Glaston-oh-s***,” said I, all too suddenly aware that our feisty, and fabulous, Geordie designer Charlotte was born in 1986.

No point being old enough to be her dad if I don’t bore on like one, so she was then treated to a rose-tinted recap on the joys of The Cure, Simply Red, Lloyd Cole, the Psychedelic Furs (“who?”), The Pogues, Madness, and the blah! blah! blah!s. How that year the talk was that the “CND Festival” was too large at 60,000, and we were worried it might pour! And, how I was much more concerned about my first (and last) nights in a tent ever.

We got on to Glastonbury because we were in that normal newsroom cycle of cynical schadenfreude: ha ha, the mud; oh, what old-fart bands; can’t believe the BBC’s over-the-top coverage; it’s too corporate; it’s just a celeb-fest; my dear, the loos; and you can’t even get Wi-Fi to file copy!

But, most of us will be tuning in to the Beeb at some point over the weekend, snug and smug on our sofas with a cold beer. Some of us will be wistful, because as you can’t know while you are there living it, going to Glastonbury is one of the great rites of passage in modern-day Britain.

So, if you’re reading this on the way down, don’t even worry about not remembering it, because you can now bore children and workmates alike via the great BBC archive. And if you are reading this on site, then you need to get a life! See you for i on Saturday.