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The Culture Trip's Guide to Glastonbury
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The Culture Trip's Guide to Glastonbury

Picture of Sophie Foot
Updated: 30 March 2016
It’s that time of year again, when we don our wellies, grab our tents and as much booze as we can possibly manage, and make our way down to Somerset to spend 5 nights having as little sleep and as much fun as is humanly possible in 120 hours. Whether you are a Glastonbury virgin or a seasoned pro, take a look through our guide for the top tips for surviving England’s greatest festival – Glastonbury.

What to Pack

While tickets and tents are obvious, there are a few things you may not have thought of

— Baby wipes – They double up as loo roll, shower, makeup remover, and hankies.

— Day bag/rucksack to carry your day-to-day bits –drinks, snacks etc. We also swear by a bumbag, as they’re useful for phones and money.

— Ear plugs – these are a godsend for a good night’s sleep.

— Wellies – Even if it isn’t forecast to rain during the festival, it is currently set to rain in the lead up. With the thousands of people traipsing through the site on the Wednesday and Thursday, there is bound to be sludge so wellies are a must.

— Lots of plastic bottles – bring them empty and fill them up with water and keep in your tent. You will be so grateful for these in the middle of the night when you wake up with a dry mouth.

— Enough snacks to keep you going if you don’t want to buy – nuts, dried fruit, and popcorn are always great.

— Breakfast – If you can’t handle the queue for a bacon sarnie, don’t underestimate the power of brioche and cereal bars to get you going in the morning. Alternatively, pack some porridge sachets – stalls will usually charge you around 50p for some boiling water.

— Disposable BBQ – always a great start to the weekend. You will have to use these early on unless you have somehow brought yourself a mobile fridge.

What Not to Pack

— Do not bring a padlock – this might as well be an invitation for someone to rob you.

— Glass bottles are banned – try and decant everything into plastic bottles. There is an important reason for this, not only will it be lighter for you to carry (no brainer) but the festival is on a farm, so broken glass can cause serious damage to the livestock.

Best Foodie Spots

People go into Glasto with different attitudes – for many, they will do it on the cheap and cook their own food/live off dry foods. Others will see this as a holiday and splash the cash and enjoy the experience as much as possible. Food is around £5 a meal, so it won’t break the bank but it does add up. There are around 500 pop up foodie stalls at Glasto and below are our top picks.

Yeo Valley Yogurt Stall

Start the day the right way – there’s nothing like healthy yogurt to undo some of the damage from the night before

Tea and Toast

Two words: Home. Comforts. You may laugh now, but this place will be your saving grace at the end of a long day/night

Paellaria

Paellaria serve simply amazing paella for that fresh summer vibe.

Wood Fired Pizza

There are plenty of fantastic wood fired pizzas stalls around, for as little as £5 for a pizza

Soup Library

Head to The Soup library for soup and bread – cheap, tasty, and it will warm the cockles of your heart on a rainy day.

La Grande Bouffe

La Grande Bouffe offers French gastronomy at its finest– think tartiflette, boeuf bourguignon, and crepes if you fancy treating yourself one evening.

Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese

Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese serves grub with witty names like the Don Macaroni and Kanye Western (going to be a popular choice this year) – this Southern Belle is one not to miss.

If you are trying to be frugal, the vans further away from the main stages tend to be cheaper. However, nearer to the campsites, the quality of the food tends to drop, so weigh up your options carefully. Vegetarians and Vegans are well catered for. There are Falafel stalls everywhere, and plenty of healthy food stalls can be found dotted around the site.

Must visits

The Stone Circle: At Sunrise

This place has become household knowledge for a reason.

The Rabbit Hole

The Rabbit Hole is usually located in a rather unassuming looking bar, perhaps identified by a large clock or a white rabbit – if you can solve the riddle the doorman will let you in.

The Healing Fields

Have a massage at The Healing Fields, join a cult, do some arts and crafts, or just chill out listening to an aged hippy teaching you how to ‘be the sunshine’. Many a lovely afternoon is spent here.

Kids Tent

Don’t underestimate the Kids tent –last year there was a Frozen sing-along – this year is Dynamo.

Shangri La

Shangri La is the festival inside a festival. Get here early to avoid queuing and be prepared for the weird and the wonderful.

Arcadia & Block 9

Arcadia and Block 9 are for dance music lovers – congregate here.

Handy Hints

— Be prepared. You will walk for miles. In fact, you will probably walk for at least a mile to find a camping spot, so make sure your bag is sturdy enough to last

— You probably won’t find all of your friends

— Do not try and overplan your day, as you will not be able to see every band you want and will end up spending more time running from stage to stage than actually enjoying the bands you do manage to see

— You will spend at least one full evening/day at the campsite having a great time.

— You won’t spot many celebs. Not at the main stages anyway, as they all wander around the VIP area.

— There are shops on site for everyday commodities so don’t panic if you forget something

— You can charge your phone – there is an EE charging tent where you can go and recharge in hourly slots. Best to get there on the hour to avoid the queue

— If you have got an EE power bar and wristband, you can exchange these for a fully charged bar once a day. Get there early to avoid the queues

When to Leave

You will likely feel pretty interesting on the Monday, so we advise either sucking it up and staying all day or leaving really early. Glastonbury officials advise that you leave between 1am and 7am on Sunday to avoid the worst of the queues.

Anything Else

Tickets sell out in record time for a reason – it’s such a unique and spectacular festival, and no two people have the same Glastonbury experience. There is always something to keep you entertained and even after 5 days, you will leave wanting more.

Glastonbury, Somerset, UK

By Sophie Foot

Sophie lives and works in London and spends her free time cooking, reading, writing, exploring London’s foodie scene, and dreaming of her next travel destination. Follow her on Instagram @sophieanastasiax and Twitter @sophelia90