The 2004 Experience

Well, what an experience is all I can say, not the best line-up that there has been, but still a great time was had by all.
The Festival ran from Friday 25th of June to Sunday 27th June 2004, we arrived on Wednesday 23rd of June after 2 days of heavy rain.
The site was extremely muddy (but apparently not as muddy as in 1997 and 1998) and we were dropped off at a road side rather than the festival bus station because of the mud. – Must remember to pack lighter next year.

After grabbing our prime location near the pyramid stage (after arriving at 6.30 and taking 2 hours to set up our tent because of the wind) we ventured off to a BBQ I had been invited to through the Glastonbury message boards – a very weird experience but fun.

Thursday started off very early – we got woken up by a combination of the slight sun there was through the tent and the rain – this was looking to be a very wet festival – well at least we could say we’ve experience the worst type of weather we could get for it.
We went looking around the site (including buying wellies for 2 of the group), trying to get to as many places we could see, just to get an idea, the rain eased off, the sun came out, and we got over half the site covered. The amount of different stalls selling things and different types of food you could buy was amazing.

With the sun out and the site drying (quite quickly) things were looking up.

We went back to the main stage at 5.30 to get a good spot to watch the football, we could have got closer to the screen but we thought we had a good spot, until the football actually started and we realised we were quite crushed and the sun was in the way a bit.

WE DESERVED TO WIN – The ref was bias towards Portugal cos they were the host nation – but on a better note we were in the biggest crowd IN THE WORLD to watch the match – a crowd of 80,000 people were there (not everybody had arrived yet) and even the stadium did not have as many people as that. A bad end after Beckham missed his penalty and yes we were a bit upset, but we were at Glastonbury – what else could go wrong.

Friday we started again, trying to get to places we hadn’t got the day before – we went to see the first band play on the main stage who were quite good, then carried on because we wanted to see loads of things later that day.

We got to other parts of the site, wandered a bit for lunch and dinner then started to go see the acts we wanted to for the day – with The Chemical Brothers (on the Other Stage) topping our bill for the day
(with the excellent Goldfrapp on before them), who played a great mix of old and new music, with the biggest sound system I have ever heard (must of been about 20,000 watts of sound minimum), we were stood quite close to the middle of the front and the best way to describe the sound is, it’s like having headphones on, REALLY loud, and the bass is like having you chest hit with every drum beat by a slow tennis ball, it made your whole body shake if you stood still – and I had the best time I had all weekend!

They started their set with “Hey boy, Hey girl” and you could hear the crowd above the sound system, we jumped away with the music and our glow sticks (bought on the internet very cheaply) and enjoyed it all, with a crowd of about 35,000 people while Oasis were on the main stage – who were apparently quite bad and didn’t seem to want to be there.

we meet some oddballsSaturday morning we woke up to the sound of rain again but realised we got sunburn between thursday evening and going to bed friday. We went and had a fried breakfast and returned to the Pyramid stage to watch….Sister Sledge, shame there was only 2 of the original 4 but they were still amazing. The ground had returned to being quite a mud bath but it didn’t put us off. We separated for the headline bands with 2 seeing Sir Paul McCartney and 2 seeing Basement Jaxx

I was one who saw Basement Jaxx and again, they were great, doing a mix of their own music and DJ’ing and covering loads of other people too – live. A band that MUST be seen live (shame they seemed over too soon) We stayed out of the mud to watch them (still holding our glow sticks – which people kept wanting to buy from us) but the sounds was just as loud as the night before although the crowd was smaller (cos most people went to go see McCartney), the crowd still got worked up into a frenzy with the music provided from the Camberwell pair.

Sunday – the last day – started out looking good, there was nothing we wanted to see until 5.30, but we could hear the Pyramid stage from where we were camped very well, so while the others went for breakfast (cos they got up later than I did) I lay in the front of my tent catching more sun (bizarre weather we are having) with another friend of a friend (who we had met as soon as we had walked in), listening to the English National Opera (of all things)

In the afternoon 2 of us ventured out to see Joss Stone at 2.30, who we thought was pretty good, but her songs don’t match her voice – she need s bigger songs.

There was then just enough time to get some dinner in (when it started raining again) before out longest period of watching music, which started with the Godfather of Soul – JAMES BROWN (and the rain stopped), which was pretty funky, his band were top notch, his backing and supporting singers were excellent and the man himself did his “thing”.
Supergrass were next up so we pushed closer to the front (we got about 10 rows back, which when you’re standing is pretty close), who’s set was half marred by more rain (by now the site was really very bad mud wise), but they were still really good – why I’ve never got into them before I don’t know.

When they finished I separated from the rest of the group to take our stools back to the tent (the others were waiting to see Muse, while I went to see Orbital)
Morrissey was up next, who I found pretty dull and the others had not been interested in seeing him either, but they had to if they wanted to be at the front for Muse.
After that I went to see Orbital who were doing their last ever gig – they are a 15 year old group (well pair really, they are brothers) who make trance music, and their set was not what I was expecting, but they were still good (they packed the field out). Shame I couldn’t get close cos of the mud (I would have been covered in it with no spare clothes if I had) who finished their set with their first ever single (Chime) started with the Dr. Who Theme (They did the same in 1994 and the mix was much better from then I thought), what a way to bow out.

Mean while, the others had to be pulled out of the crowd by security because of the crush the crowd was making at the front, one of them lost consciousness and had to be taken to medical but came round very quickly, so they ended up at the side of the field with a good very of the giant TV screen and less people.

A sad note about Muse, at 1.15am on Monday morning, while celebrating their best set, the father of the drummer collapsed and died. Paramedics were treating him for 30 mins before he was pronounced dead. our condolences go out to the family.

Then it was up again on Monday morning to return home, catching a train 1 and a half hours later then we should have cos of the queue to get out and to get on the train, but it wasn’t a problem – it was expected.