When I was in my senior year, my friend and I saw our tutor at the Leeds Festival, got sunburned, and drank a pint of cider at the campsite. “Oh my God,” I remember us all giggling, probably painting our faces in neon, and deciding which ugly off-shoulder top to wear with our ugly three-quarter-length bodysuits pants. “Why is she here? She’s so old!”
That’s 33. In hindsight, she was perhaps in her 25 golden age for festival-going. I know this because now 2023 I’m not in my golden age anymore. I’ve just returned from Glastonbury and I’m old 33 and I feel as ancient as the remains of a recently unearthed medieval villager. Please drive me away, put me in a museum, I’m ready to rest.
Of course I know Glastonbury is the kind of festival that people of all ages go to. Sunday afternoon, I danced to the blonde with my friend’s parents, all wearing their 33 and 33, They’re all doing jelly shots. Heading to any of the festival’s acoustic stages, it’s hard to be impressed by the old fellows in official Glastonbury T-shirts and felt hats. Thirty-three isn’t a ridiculously high age to be active. But, for me – a person who last went to Glasto was 25 age – in my 20 in my years, I do feel like I’m a long way from doing that The distance of a lifetime.
When I first started thinking about this piece on the eve of the festival, I thought I knew it would be different. Embarrassingly, I thought that as soon as I got older I was going to be one of those people who only travels with a day tripper sized backpack filled with North Face gear, eats acai bowls as hangover hangover food and keeps their hair in perfect condition woman. A messy Sienna Miller waved until the end of the festival. I think I’ll be fitter than my Glastonbury there, I’ll be up at 8am to go there Arrive at the on-site spa instead of finding yourself still sitting on a stone circle at dawn. I read the Instagram story of my friend Ju, who arrived earlier than me and was taking salsa lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays, finding secret piano bars, and taking soap-making workshops. I thought to myself: That’s me. I am now a soap maker.
Walking to Argos to buy pounds 33 Before the tents closed at 8pm on a Thursday night, I found myself Stuffing party top after party top into a very old camping bag already full of travel-sized hair stylers and face masks, I realized that maybe things wouldn’t go this way.