Glastonbury: 10 top tips! (part two)

A sunny Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury

Here’s the second part of my top-10 tips to get the most out of Glastonbury. Part one can be found here. I hope you find them useful!

Accept help (if they look able to help!)

I like to remain as independent as possible in my day-to-day life, but a muddy Glastonbury is a different beast. I’d say my PA (and wife) helped me about 70-80% of the time this year.

But, of course, that started to take its toll on her towards the end of each day, so if people approach you asking if you’d like a hand, take it! They’ll have no problem with pushing a wheelchair 100 yards or so, or even gathering a crew together to help lift or push you out of a particularly sticky bit of mud. I said in another blog that I completely lost count of how many people approached us during the festival and we were grateful for every single one.

That said, have a mini assessment in your head to check they’re in a fit state to assist. We didn’t realise quite how inebriated one particularly enthusiastic helper was and he proceeded to push me right into a two-feet deep chewing-gum-mud patch, despite my wife trying to direct him around it. She then had to gather the first four people she could find to rescue me. We can laugh about it (now!)

Be vocal (but friendly!)

As I’m sure you can imagine, Glastonbury is a busy place, full of excited people trying to get from one place to another, while simultaneously paying more attention to discussing what they’re going to do next rather than what’s immediately around them.

That’s fine, people can’t be expected to spot everything, especially if one of those things happens to be a man in a wheelchair hidden in a crowd full of people. So make sure you’re vocal when you sense that people can’t see you, especially if you need them to move so you can get past or, worse, they might be about to trip over you (I’d hate to be partly responsible for someone’s trip to the medical tent).

Just a simple “mind yourself”, “watch out”, or there’s a wheelchair in front of you”, said in a friendly tone with a smile, will do, but don’t be afraid to repeat yourself more loudly if you need to. They won’t mind and are usually very apologetic once they realise you’re helping them avoid injury!

Get a Glastonbury system

Anyone who knows me will laugh at this tip (my organisational skills are legendary!), but using a tent with an outdoor loo/shower requires some planning.

When you arrive, orientate yourself with the best route to everything you need and lay everything out so it’s all to hand when you need it. It is trial and error, though, so make sure you’re always thinking about easier ways.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to know more about how I do things – I’ve been four times so feel pretty confident that I’ve got it down now!

Use your PA

Beer and Champagne at Glastonbury

Evening supplies at Glastonbury!

If there’s one place your PA will earn their free ticket, it’s here. It may seem harsh to send them to pick up drinks, food, or back to the tent whenever needed, but it’s definitely the quickest and easiest way to do things.

On an average day, we tend to get to where we’ve decided to go then my wife will head off to pick up some food or drinks and bring it back to me, where we’ll sit and eat before deciding what to do next.

She’ll usually head back to the tent once a day (usually early evening) to take back anything we no longer need and pick up some drinks and warm clothing for the evening. Then we’re good to go for the rest of the day! (Just make sure you don’t have too many beers and peak too early while they’re gone – apparently that doesn’t go down too well!)

Remember it can be hard for everyone

Everyone will have at least one “FML” moment while at Glastonbury, but I’d be very surprised if that takes away from the overall enjoyment. It’s a huge site and covering up to 10 miles a day over sometimes difficult terrain after only a few hours’ sleep on an airbed will take its toll on anyone.

But all that is quickly forgotten when you’re making the most of everything the festival has to offer. So if you find yourself in a difficult situation, remember everyone there has been through the same rollercoaster. Stop, rest, reset, take the help if you need it and go again when you’re ready. It’ll be worth it, I promise!

And lastly… Enjoy! You get to see a unique side of the festival as a disabled guest, meet some fantastic people and gather memories that will last forever. What’s the worst that could happen?

 

I really hope you found my series of blogs on Glastonbury interesting and helpful. This is the last one, so if you want to ask something I haven’t covered, feel free to email me, I’ll be glad to help.

My next series will be on my recent trip to Thailand, where I’ve been trying to change perceptions of disability, among other things, so please check back soon!

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