Well this is a problem faced by all photographers when they're trying to capture the essence of a place. You want to soak up the atmosphere and encapsulate it for those who can't be there. Now this isn't a problem when it comes to landscape, monuments and inanimate objects but people are different. You see someone worth snapping - but what do you do? Furtively click away from a distance? Introduce yourself and ask permission to photograph thus risking a grimly glazed pose rather than a spontaneous snap? Difficult. More difficult to do the former without a zoom lens and a steady hand. But in Glastonbury there are additional difficulties...
The town has long attracted seekers of truth and those in search of spiritual guidance but alongside them are individuals who have decided to drop out of society and all that that entails. As such they may not be too keen to be snapped lest there whereabouts and circumstances become known. My advice - if you want a bit of local 'colour', photograph fast and from a decent distance...or don't do it at all!
Silver street has a nightclub and when it's closing time the area can be a bit dodgey. Also the road leading up to the Tor past the White Well has some homeless people living behind the wall of the Chalice Well, and is best avoided at night.
On the night before the festival started in 2005, after several days of intense heat and sun the heavens opened and it rained extremely heavily all night. People were cheering the thunder cluds at first but the morning revealed the real devestation..
This Picture from the BBC shows the scenes in the morning. Although nobody died, several people lost tents and belongings (oh... and that isn't just rain water, the toilets were washed over in the flood too...)
In true Glastonbury Style though people were charitable enough to offer up spaces in tents, food, money and clothes to those affected. Unfortunately, thousands went home early and missed a fantastic weekend of music.
The toilets at festivals are generally less than pleasant. here's a couple of tips to make the experience less painless:
Don't use the portaloos - go to the swing door metal ones that are open to the air, or at the top of the main field ther's proper flushable loos by the cowsheds.
Get there early in the morning to avoid queuing. If you are there at about 7am they have usually just been cleaned as well.
It can be very cold and windy if you visit the Tor at the wrong time so take plenty of warm clothing and a camera for the wonderful views. Here's Jacqui, sheltering from the blizzard and still smiling.
Watch out for strange goings-on when you wander around, especially in the vicinity of the theatre and circus fields. Should he really be pushing that pram?!