Glastonbury - the calm after the beautiful storm


Monday is my favourite day at Glasto, the day starts with excitement as its tat day, the day we go out to collect things we need, new tents, chairs, string, power banks, all the stuff people couldn't be bothered to haul all the way to the public car parks. Then there's the stuff that people have lost, money, ganja, tobacco the list goes on, it really is a goldmine for those that know where to look. Unfortunately I woke up a bit late this year so the youth beat us to the booze, they were out first thing in the morning collecting up some of the thousands of full beer cans that are scattered all around the public campsites, they then take them up to the stone circle and sell them to the last of the party revellers. Gonna go far those youth.

Olivia from Boliva wanted to tat only one thing, one of those posh portable toilets like the van lifers have, she was out for many hrs and found many things but didn't find her toilet so you can imagine her excitement when Ellie found one and brought it back for her, I haven't seen her that happy since she was gifted the bolardo, she was all like omg omg I love it I LOVE it, I always wanted a toilet like this. The tatting mission was a success and we got all the things on our list. The next mission is to go and pay a visit to the commercial traders who have made good money over the weekend, they hire in refrigerated cabins that are picked up Monday so they are happy to give any left over stock to the crews that are staying on. Its a tradition of ours to collect up some of that leftover stock and cook up a feast cause Monday evening is when all the workers, stewards and traders come home to roost, many of which are friends of ours so its always a beautiful vibe in the Regions. People also bring with them all sorts of things, left over veg, salad, bread, rolls, crisps, munchies, drinks, you name it. It all goes out round the fire and we feast and celebrate what has been a truly magical weekend. 

Not all traders do well at Glastonbury though, its very hard work preparing for the festival and some invest thousands, take out loans to pay the high pitch fee and struggle to break even let alone make a profit. I been in this situation myself with Jackie when we did the paella posse stall nr the pyramid stage, the stress was mental but we managed to break even on the Sunday so I know that feeling and really feel for people in that situation. They might not know it yet but those who are in that situation have had one of the best educational experiences of their life and you can't put a value on that, cause if you have the courage and self belief to give it a go then you would have certainly learned over the Glastonbury weekend how to do it better the next time, that I promise you. Experiences like that are priceless cause they give us wisdom and teach us how to do better the next time. Never give up 👊

It feels so special to be back here in the tipi field, the thing is working festivals you see  and live with the same crews for weeks at a time year after year and you become friends, part of the crew like. We all run separate businesses but we are all part of the tipi field, we help each other out and we take great pride in keeping our space clean from rubbish and beer cans. The tipi filed was spotless all weekend which is quite a contrast to the stone circle in the field next door. The litter pickers who sweep the circle at sunrise have been our first customers each day,  they been coming in for drinks and cake after their shifts have finished. Litter picking isn't a very glamorous job and it kills ya back after a while, they really are the unsung heroes cause its fkn unbelievable the rubbish people leave behind for them to clean up. Put ya rubbish inna bin ffs, or at the very least inna bag. The stone circle is a sacred space not a dumping ground for beer cans, soggy balloons, noz chargers and bog roll covered in K snot. Thankfully by the time most people wake up and families are ready to head out for the day the site has already been cleaned up so BIG up the litter pickers.

I didnt really see any bands apart from Ziggy Marley on the first day but we have had many very talented musicians jamming round the fire and the vibe was so nice I didn't feel the need to go anywhere else, come to think of it I didn't really leave the regions much except to go to the wholesale markets down by the pyramid stage. I love going to the wholesalers as the only way you can get there is on foot so you have to bring a trolley and haul all what you buy from one side of the festi to the other, not an easy task in the midday sun. We have a custom trolley we made specially for the job as it has to be light, strong with good tyres to weave through the seas of people and bumpy terrain. The wholesale markets are full of life with people running in and out with there trolleys and barrow's, it reminds me of the market life I knew as a kid as I worked on the markets since I was 11yrs old and I loved every minute of it. That way of life is dying out so its nice to see that kind of hussle and bustle.

Many touching things happened to me this weekend, a stranger came up to me, introduced himself and asked if I was Steve May. He had a gift for me from his Auntie who was unable to come and give it to me in person, it was the most beautiful hand written letter full of lovely words and a homemade picture, reading it almost brought me to tears as it was from a woman I have never met, she had discovered the bat flu diaries in lockdown and it was a heartwarming letter saying thank you for taking the time to write them. No one has ever written me a letter like that before so it was a very special gift. Also one of our tortoises Ernie escaped out his pen just before the festival,  many people helped us look and worthy fm came to get the details and spread the word. Ernie had been on quite a mission and with so many people and vehicles about we were starting to fear the worst. Amazingly he was returned to us safe and well after the festival had finished, so massive thanks to all those that helped us find him 🙏

On Saturday night in the hrs before sunrise a man sat down by the fire just before I was going to bed, I could tell from his body language he was in an emotional state so I asked him if he was OK and if he would like a drink. I got chatting to him and I was right, he was in an emotion state as he was carrying the ashes of he best friend who had sadly passed away in lockdown. He had made a promise to him if Glastonbury festival ever returned he would scatter his ashes in their favourite hangout spots, he was just on his way to the stone circle to watch the sunrise which was a tradition for him and his mate. It was clearly a very hard thing for him to do but he was saying it was very important to him to forfill that promise. Hearing his story and seeing so many people just so happy to be back here again made me realise how much this festival means to some people, they make some of the best memories of their lives here and it holds a very special place in their hearts. I have been coming to this festival for over 30yrs myself and can totally understand where they are coming from cause since 1991 this festi holds a very special place in my heart too.

See you at Buddhafield x