Performance Reviewed at Glastonbury: Wednesday and Thursday

Start us up! It’s been a long wait for Glastonbury 2013 since Worthy Farm took a worthy break in 2012. Two years of excitement and anticipation were built up, fuelled by line-up rumors and realizations and finally released over an epic five days of soul restoring madness in Pilton’s pop up city of performance.

Performance Reviewed pitched up and headed out to bring you the best from a thousand acres Glasto-wonderland.

It’s Wednesday morning and the masses are beginning to file in, weighing up different factors to determine the best camping plot. For many dedicated Glasto-goers their ‘weekend’ started in the small hours as people camped overnight waiting for the gates to open. Although the music doesn’t fully kick off until Friday, as the festival’s full name “Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts” suggests, there’s still plenty to do. We join the streams of old-timers, first-timers, hippies, skaters, rockers, groovers and couple on stilts and head off to explore the near, far and far out.

First we find ourselves at William’s Green, a stage to the east of the site boasting a huge variety of wonderful distractions. From a film screening to bars, chill out zones with canopies of hanging baskets, a musical line-up that could keep you all weekend and finally the whole area is fringed with the greatest places to eat. It’s still early on and food vendors supplying tastes from around the world are enjoying being the main people on site providing music. Walking around is like diving into an iPod on shuffle. Get Lucky from one side I Wanna Dance with Somebody from behind you somewhere and everything else in between.

A quick stop by the tipi playing reggae music sees people already unaware of the day or time loyally clutching their plastic tumblers of cider and enjoying the beats and a bit of shade.

A wander down takes you past the Hare Krishna tent rumored to be giving out free food if you catch them at the right time. After this you arrive at the one part of the weekend that I could find fault with – The Recharge Tent. It is a fine facility, for many it is probably regarded as a necessary one. But why is there already a big queue? Of all the tents to queue for and spend time in, this is at the bottom of my list.

We head west now and find ourselves confronted with the ‘War of the Worlds’-esque invader that is Arcadia. A vast spider-like sculpture of scrap metal that seems solid and silent by day but comes alive and explosive after hours. Making our way south we pass through The Green Fields site, an area filled with skillful, mindful people spreading the message of clean living. “Love The Farm – Leave No Trace”. Finishing up around here we take a pause at The Stone Circle, one of the places to check out for a great view.

On Thursday evening by chance and good Glasto luck we arrive back at William’s Green where we catch our first dose of live, fully kitted out crowd charging acts. Sets from Dry The River, Django Django and Alt-J firmly established an electric, foot pounding, beat clapping vibe for the rest of the weekend. We enjoyed “the force of Django Django’s coconuts” the best in their upbeat, neo-psychedelic set and by the time emerged from between the guide ropes the sun was down, the lights were up and we went on exploring, waiting for Friday to dawn and bring more of the weird and wonderful.

Author: Rachel Hannah

Rachel is a music correspondant for Performance Reviewed. She enjoys seeking out the best live acts from intimate local ciruits to stadium fillers and everything else in between.