Comparing festivals

Hannah Clarke had a great time at this year’s Glastonbury, where Beth Garden tells us that you don’t necessarily need to have heard a lot about a festival before heading out and having just as good an experience.

Glastonbury

Condensing this year’s Glastonbury Festival into a few short paragraphs is tricky. From arriving on the Wednesday evening to leaving early Monday morning, it was a full-on and unique experience. I don’t think I’ve ever been so mud-covered in my entire life. Saturday was my highlight of the whole Festival- the sunshine made it all the more perfect. From Scottish band, Admiral Fallow in the morning, to Elbow and Coldplay at sunset (with Jimmy Eat World and Emmy the Great over lunch), I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Elbow were simply incredible- Guy Garvey really knows how to get the crowd going and with Glastonbury being their favourite showground, you could just tell they were loving it as much as we were. I love Coldplay and seeing them live was more than I could have asked for, but I’ve got to say, I could have gone to bed happy after seeing Elbow alone. At least, I would have been happy if my tent wasn’t sinking progressively further into the ground.

The Joy Formidable were on top form too, when they played the John Peel Stage on Sunday. It’s easy to see why they’re frequenting the airwaves at the moment and I expect their popularity will continue to increase in the next couple of years.

I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t one of those who was desperate to see Beyoncé, choosing instead to check out Queens of the Stone Age over on the Other Stage. And I’m so glad I did. I’m not the biggest QOTSA fan in the world but they played an entire set chosen by the fans, and the crowd were loving it. Josh Homme was hilarious – he really engaged with the crowd and you could tell he was thrilled to be playing to such a big audience.

Funnily enough, his disparaging comments about Beyoncé were omitted from the BBC coverage, but they were one of the most entertaining bands I’d seen over the course of the festival.

Glastonbury was the highlight of my summer and an experience I won’t forget

Hannah Clarke

Wakestock

Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. Nor had I heard of the place at which it was taking place: Abersoch, North Wales.

Now, I’m Welsh, so you’d think I’d have a semi-firm grasp of my own country’s geography, but this place was in the middle of nowhere. I can’t complain, however, the setting of the festival was beautiful. We were camping in the middle of a mountain range near Snowdon, with the smallest amount of mud I’ve ever seen at a festival, but people were still wearing their trendy wellies.

After a night of drinking, and, I am reluctant to admit, throwing up, the festival began. It all kicked off with Ellie Goulding, who actually does sound better in the flesh. I should know, I was at the front. Chase & Status’ gig was pretty similar to every other gig they’ve done – people clambering over each other, climbing the ropes holding up the tent, the normal routine. A friend of mine nearly killed himself in the centre of it all. He said he loved it.

Earlier that night, Lethal Bizzle and Kids In Glass Houses absolutely ruled the stage.

Saturday’s line-up consisted of the very talented Beardyman, a great set from the Wombats, and a surprisingly enjoyable appearance by Kelis.

Sunday was worth the wait: recent addition to the charts, Ed Sheeran lived up to his acoustic expectations, playing to a crowd who knew every word to A-Team. The Noisettes were very good, as was the DJ sensation, Jaguar Skills. Example won the entire weekend for me, however, significantly impressing me. Biffy Clyro set the standard for an incredible gig, with fire and a lighting show. There is a reason these guys are headliners.

For a festival I’d never heard of, I have to admit, it bettered Reading. I recommend this one for a first festival – but plan your travel carefully, it’s a nightmare if you arrange it last minute. A really enjoyable experience.

Beth Garden