Spare me your ‘Glastonbury vibes’. At our age, the only reason to camp is a humanitarian disaster

Your kids would rather be on a Thomas Cook holiday, not observing you skanking

Share

The gates opened at Glastonbury 24 hours ago, and the armies of festival-goers (and most of my friends) are en route, which means – hooray! – only a few hours now until everyone’s phone batteries die, taking their incessant droning about the “great Glastonbury vibe” with it. Glorious silence.

Like most human beings with dignity, I stopped attending festivals in my early 30s. No one needs to witness me gurning to Disclosure or dancing with my arms in the air at 4am to 808 State in Bez’s Acid House. I’m pretty certain this looked passable a decade ago, but these days I look frighteningly reminiscent of my mother letting loose to her Klaus Wunderlich cassettes.

Typically I am against age barriers. I will defend to the hilt Madonna’s right, aged 54, to show us her vacuum-packed camel toe in a boy scout uniform. But I firmly believe Glastonbury should be banned for the over-35s. When I went in the 1980s and 90s – younger, dafter, more willing to listen to any old tat if the bassist looked shaggable in denim – I would not have wanted to meet me now.

So let me say this loudly, and without shame, on behalf of Glastonbury refuseniks: from now on, I will sleep under canvas and queue to empty my bladder in a makeshift hole only after a humanitarian disaster. Neither have I the energy in my body to feign excitement about hearing the Arctic Monkeys crank indulgently through their difficult second album. And although I am fairly sure hearing Mumford & Sons after a pile of MDMA powder would be wholly exhilarating, so would spinning round and round on an office chair in a Staples showroom, and both of these activities would be followed by nine days of anxiety, depression and regret.

Also, after many decades of thought and experience, I can say this now: I don’t like hippies. I’m hippie-ist. There is not one person in the Green Field doling out positive vibes and head massages whom I don’t believe wouldn’t benefit from some solid employment and regular exposure to a bar of Cussons Imperial Leather. And while I’m here, people dragging your toddlers to Glastonbury: this is child cruelty. Your kids would rather be in a tiddlers club on a Thomas Cook holiday in Lanzarote, not observing you skanking to The 2 Bears, in scenes that they will vividly retell during therapy sessions in 2036.

I know this is difficult to hear, but I say this with love, and also the advantage that I don’t suffer from the great 21st century Western-world scourge of FOMO – “Fear of missing out”. FOMO on that legendary Glastonbury vibe – the one you’ll hear about all weekend from reporters and presenters – has led to a lot of otherwise sensible people living in a one-man tent, washing their claggy crevices with wet wipes.

In fact, whenever one hears about this great “Glastonbury vibe” during BBC broadcasts, it’s worth remembering that not one of these windbags is camping in the main punters’ sites, downwind of a latrine block beside a 20-person amateur beatbox crew on a stag night from Kirkby. They are sleeping in Winnebagos and self-catering luxury teepees. They are staying at Babington House or being helicoptered in for the afternoon from London. They are staying in local luxury B&Bs and watching the last bands in bed after a lovely bath. Their pants are lemon-fresh and their bowels have been evacuated into porcelain WCs.

My prediction for this year is that Kate Moss will show up at some point, keep mainly to her Winnebago and then be photographed by the side of the stage during The Rolling Stones, looking elegantly wasted in a AAA pass. Predictions for myself include going to B&Q to buy a hanging basket and then catching up on The Archers omnibus. You can keep Glastonbury. In Ambridge, there’s a very tense atmosphere in the village shop. I know who’s got the better deal.

Senator Davis issues the perfect response

I’m full of respect for the tenacity of Democratic Senator Wendy Davis, who took to the floor of the Texas Senate in pink tennis-shoes on Tuesday night to begin the 10-hour filibuster of an abortion Bill. Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) would ban abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy. The Bill would give Texas some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. That’s a dirty trick to play on Western women by lawmakers, who display little empathy or respect for why they might need to make the choice to abort.

A filibuster – talking and talking as an obstruction to delay or prevent a vote – was an apt and delicious response, as if to say: “You can come with your laws trying to drag women into the past, but ultimately you can’t shut us up”.  At the age of 19, Davis was a divorced single mother raising a daughter in a trailer park. She took two years of community college courses, went to Texas Christian University, became the first person in her family to graduate from college and then went on to Harvard Law School. If anyone is worth listening to for 10 hours about a woman’s right to choose, it’s Wendy Davis.

Brady shows the value of a real life-sentence

This week, the Moors murderer Ian Brady finally got what he wanted for many years – to speak about his misdiagnosis, lobbying to escape Ashworth Hospital and return to prison and kill himself. Brady is a very rare sort of murderer; a lifer actually serving for life. He is serving exactly the sort of sentence – locked up after his “recreational” (his words, this week) crimes, never to taste freedom or his own free will again – from which the public draws some comfort. From Brady’s behaviour in his tribunal this week, he clearly thinks he’s on a higher intellectual plane than everyone around him, and it’s making him completely miserable. Death would be an end to this ongoing, eternal misery. It’s much more fitting, due to his crimes and lack of remorse, to adamantly keep him breathing.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Manager - Alconbury

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...

Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: the old Palace of Westminster; Batman vs Superman; and more Greenery

John Rentoul
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) pictured shaking hands with Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi on 25 March 2004.  

There's nothing wrong with Labour’s modernisers except how outdated they look

Mark Steel
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee