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Glastonbury and Coachella are arguably the two biggest music festivals in the world. They both have stellar line-ups with high-profile bands and attract a parade of celebrities. But which one is better? Well, we think we have the answer.
Sure, Coachella has guaranteed sunshine and Hollywood stars, but Glastonbury is and will always be the original festival experience and ranks number one in our hearts.
In the run up to this year’s festival, which kicks off on June 21 at Somerset’s Worthy Farm, we look at the many reasons why it’s so much better than Coachella.
You know that feeling of contentment you get at a festival as you watch your favourite band with your favourite alcoholic beverage in your hand? That doesn’t exist at Coachella. Nope. Revellers there are only allowed to drink booze in designated areas, which are far away from the two main stages.
At Glastonbury, you’re allowed to bring your own alcohol and drink it wherever you please. Such sweet, boozy freedom!
Yes, Glasto has mud and rain but Coachella’s searing heat can be downright oppressive at times. Sometimes it gets so hot that attendees have to be hosed down with water from the stage.
Then there’s the dust. The festival in Palm Springs, California, is often windy, which means you’ll be fighting to get sand out of your eyes and mouth throughout the weekend.
Queuing up to get into Glasto isn’t a barrel of laughs either but at Coachella you’re standing around in temperatures of over 30°C (86°F) with no water, as you’re only allowed to bring in empty bottles that you can refill at various points across the site.
Heat exhaustion is a real danger and you haven’t even seen any bands yet.
When it comes to headliners, Glastonbury and Coachella are more or less on a par. But the US festival is a lot smaller than its UK rival.
There’s more walking from stage to stage at Glasto, but you can see acts from every single music genre at Worthy Farm, and there’s more chance of stumbling upon a band you would never normally have gone to see.
At Coachella you get a few art installations, a silent disco and roller rink, but this all shuts down as soon as the headliners finish. Revellers then retreat to their campsite to party with their mates but there’s no real community spirit.
It’s a whole other story at Glastonbury. There it’s all about becoming friends with complete strangers and partying until the early hours with your new buddies at one of the many free parties held around the site.
And it’s not just about the music – there so much more to see and do including Healing Fields, woodland chill-out zones and naked yoga classes. Even the Dalai Lama showed up in 2015.
You know what you’re getting at Coachella – a bunch of Instagram models wearing Urban Outfitters floaty dresses with flowers in their hair.
Glastonbury appeals to everyone – families, old hippies, festival veterans, teenagers… Where else could you see a kazoo marching band, people in all kinds of fancy dress and men wandering around on unicycles?
Coachella is the clean-cut student that drinks in moderation and is allowed out when it gets good grades. Glastonbury is the cool older cousin who drives, goes out until all hours and sneaks you cans of beer.
As festivals go, Glasto is the whole package. It’s about getting lost and surrendering yourself to the madness. You can plan what to see, but nothing beats wandering around at 2am and stumbling across something amazing that you’d never even heard of. It’s crazy and a wild ride but an experience you’ll never forget.