Glastonbury 2011 diary: the hippos were right

On the first day of the festival proper, we see past the mud to a smorgasbord of entertainment

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“Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood”- The Hippopotamus Song

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That’s what I was humming to myself as I drove down the M3 towards Somerset yesterday afternoon.  How bad could it be? OK, every newspaper had run with a young woman caked in mud struggling up a hill with a rucksack that morning…but that’s just to shift copies of their rag, right?

If I’ve learned one thing from the media (and several excellent
washing powder adverts in the late 1990s), it’s that summer festivals are
the pinnacle of all that is good about youth culture. Come rain or
shine, free love will prevail over rampant commercialism and everyone
will have a bloomin’ good time. 

Arriving at Worthy Farm last night, it appears the media (and the hippos) were right. Despite Somme-esque conditions, Glastonbury was go.

Unaccustomed to camping on the edge of a bog within an outdoor nightclub that never closes, I didn’t get the best night’s sleep. But you’re not interested in my nocturnal arrangements, so let’s look ahead to Friday at Glastonbury…

Of course, the big debate today is whether to watch U2 on the Pyramid stage or Primal Scream on the Other stage.  It seems like poor planning to pitch such behemoths of musical exuberance against one another in the headline slot – but that’s the nature of the beast.

At present there are no signs of Art Uncut’s much reported protests against U2’s perceived tax avoidance, but the day is yet young, and the hangovers are still wearing off.  I’ll keep you posted.

My colleague, Bart Harris (who will also be reporting for RadioTimes.com throughout the festival), tells me that he’s looking forward to Metronomy, who’ll hopefully be playing a good chunk of their cracking new album, The English Riviera. 

Other highlights he tips include The Vaccines, Darwin Deez, Jim Jones Revue, Guillemots, Biffy Clyro, Morrissey and Canadian indie dance sensation Caribou.

Of course, the appearance of legendary bluesman BB King, who will surely join U2 on stage for When Love Comes to Town, will be a treat for young and old alike.

Right.  We’re off to actually see some music (and maybe a spot of comedy, too – Simon Munnery’s on at 8:45pm) – we’ll be back with you later.

You can see what we’re up to in real time (if we can get network coverage) by following us on Twitter @timglanfield and @bartharris throughout the festival.  Of course, our views are our own and all that.

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Bye.