Ride #9 – Canny hippy couple and their mate
So, we were squidged up in this tiny car with three other people and all our respective stuff, headed for the entrance to the festival.
“I’ll take you as far as I can” said the girl who was driving, “but we’re going to the staff entrance, so they might not let you through…but it’s closer to the gates than the normal entrance.”
We looked at each other, daring not to get over hopeful. What a stroke of luck that the couple who had picked us up were actually working as medics at the festival. WHAT if…we could manage to sneak in the staff entrance in their car? We both saw the other one thinking the same thing and immediately shook our heads. “it’ll never happen. There’s no way its going to be that easy.”
As we approached the staff gate, the stewards on the door gave our new friends a smile, a wave straight through the gate and a familiar “Oh, it’s you lot again! You’ve been coming and going all bloody day!”.
The second steward also gave us a friendly hello, and stuck a sticker on the windscreen to say that there were five people in the car. We couldn’t help but get maybe, just a little bit, excited that we were going to get all the way in.
Went through another three security checks, all of which waved us straight through and made some sarcastic comment “Have you lot had to go to Tesco for some more cans AGAIN?”. We were now about ten yards from the actual entrance to the festival with one more little cluster of stewards to go before we were home and dry. We daren’t even speak what we were thinking out loud, although Susan kept nipping Jill’s leg and grinning maniacally at her. We just didn’t dare believe that it really could be THiS EASY?
The group of stewards on the corner all smiled and waved us through, as the others had done…all apart from one. One girl – small (obvious Napoleon complex), looked about twelve years old, with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp – rapped on the driver’s window and barked “You do know, that you’re not ACTUALLY allowed to come and go though this entrance after three o’clock? There’s a CURFEW.”
The lady driving apologised and said that she wasn’t aware of this, and there followed a good few minutes of her being barked at by said little harridan.
“Could I see all your tickets please?”
Oh well, it had all been too easy. We hadn’t dared to think that we would just be able to sneak in with them, but it had seemed like that was what was happening. We could taste the festival!
Cathy (not her name, I just think she needs one as I am bored of typing “the driver” and the like, plus she did look like a Cathy) also got chastised for bringing us in.
“You mean you just picked up some random strangers?”
“They were hitching! We were going this way!”
“…to the STAFF ENTRANCE?”
We made some muttered excuse about our friends being inside the festival with our tickets, and that we had to get to one of the gates to ring them and get them to meet us. Evil steward bitch escorted us out of the car park and pointed about 3 fields into the distance. “You need Pedestrian Gate D”. Ok then. With no better ideas and nothing better to do, we headed off to the pedestrian gate to see what the score was there. We stopped for a break at the side of one of the car parks where you could see loads of the festival from. The Pyramid Stage! The Dance Tent! It was all there STARiNG at us BUT WE COULDN’T GET TO It!!!
Nonetheless we had a toast of pinge, to congratulate ourselves on making it the 314 miles, chilled on the grass for a bit and had a spot of lunch.
We wandered off to the gate, which was swarming with stewards, security, barbed wire, gun turrets*etc. Not a chance, dirty pants. You’d have better luck breaking out of Auschwitz. There were a few people hanging around outside discussing their failed entrance attempts but, well… they were all a bit chavy so we decided not to talk to them. So…we decided to try the other gate. On the way across the car parks we ended up chatting to a couple of lads dragging a trolley full of cans along the grass. It turned out that they were trying to get in with no tickets as well, but apparently had friends inside that were getting them wristbands and meeting them outside, and said that if said friends could get hold of another two then they would ring Susan. At that moment their “mate inside” rang.
“Yeah, we’re just on our way…what? You’ve got four? Well that’s cool cos we’ve just met these two lasses…”
Susan and I start getting a bit excited again.
“Oh, they’re all blokes tickets? Ah, never mind.”
Bugger. Apparently all the tickets had photos on them and it was doubtful we could pass as men, especially as Susan had forgotten to bring the moustaches. Susan: “Have you not got any girly looking mates?”
They said they would still try once they got in, and gave us a cigarette and can of cider each.
We found a nice spot in the corner of one of the car parks to drink our cider, smoke our tabs and have a swig or two of pinge (which made Susan vom violently into the hedge) and made a mental note of the location as it was out of the way of the surveillance and you could hear one of the stages really well as it was just over the wall.
We continued on our merry way to the next gate (after stopping to explore some troll tunnels, which didn’t lead anywhere but back to the car park, and left us with numerous barbed wire cuts and nettle stings), which was even more secure then the first. We met several groups of people walking round with long faces after buying wristbands from randoms, only to find that they couldn’t get in without the accompanying paper tickets. Things weren’t looking too good. There followed a couple of totally GRiM hours of walking around aimlessly in the rain, as the stewards were stopping to ask anyone just hanging around and asking to see their tickets. Cue repeating our same old “our friends are inside with our tickets and their phone is turned off so we can’t get hold of them” routine, which they blatantly didn’t believe but left us alone for the time being. We came across a group of emo kids wearing silly hats that were obviously also trying to find a way in and had a bit chat on with them whilst making tasty sandwiches (fake ham, beetroot cheese, salad and pasta sauce. Scrummy.). A couple nearby who had already previously been stopped at the same place were just being escorted off the premises so we started to panic a bit.
“So what are you lot doing”, we asked the emos.
“Erm, we’re just going to give up and go back home. We only live round the corner.”
Charming. We’d only been talking to the lad who’s house it was for about an hour, told him all about the trials and tribulations we’d endured to get down there and yet not even a little offer of “oh you can camp in my garden if you’re stuck”. How rude. Although in his defence he probably still lived with his mum.
So, to avoid the same fate as the unfortunate couple, we decided to go and pitch Raphael in our little dark corner that we’d found earlier, have a few drinks, go to sleep for a bit and maybe try our luck first thing when the sun came up, reckoning that at 4am there would be fewer stewards around, and those that were there would be getting a bit sleepy and thus easier to sneak past.
We were foiled again however, when we got back there and realised what we had missed during the day – it was right under a huge floodlight, and what’s worse, security were constantly patrolling the car parks with flash lights and moving anyone on who looked like they were settling down for the night. There wasn’t anything for it, we would just have to get out of the site and find a farmer’s field out of the way to camp in. However as we were trudging through yet another boggy car park (in my old converses with holes in, I may add, that were taking on water and mud like no ones business. Jill was getting a bit worried about the likelihood of getting trench foot.) we bumped into three lads. After some unsubtle hints from both parties that we both had no tickets, nowhere to camp, and were all pretty much fucked, we decided to join forces in the hope that there was strength in numbers.
The lads were canny. Wallace was 29 and seemed to be the one with all the ideas and all the drugs. Liam was 23, had the beer and tabs (and not to put too fine a point on it, was rather hot) and Laurence was a random scrawny blonde 19 year old who was off his face on ketamin and had pretty much nothing to add to our mission apart from…well, apart from nothing.We told them about a place we had found where the fence leading to the wall was broken, and we reckoned we could get over the ditch and over the fence (we had dismissed this as too dangerous earlier but the consumption of lots of pinge made us forget this, plus with the aid of a few strapping lads, we were sure we could all get over no bother).
They liked our plan, and seemed quite confident once we got there. After climbing over more barbed wire and nettles, and leaping over ditches to get to the wall we concluded that yes indeed, if we stood on someone’s shoulders we could easy all get over and haul the last one over from the other side. Laurence and us retreated to the bushes to lay low and sort our things out ready to throw them over the wall, as Liam and Wallace went to have a quick peek over the wall just to see exactly what was on the other side. They came back looking very disheartened.
“What? Are we moving then?”
“That there wall…it isn’t even THE REAL WALL. There’s that wall, and 20 foot away on the other side is the ACTUAL six metre fence that people have been talking about. Even if no one catches us in between, there’s no way we can make it over that.”
Heavy sighs all round. We heard a rustle in the hedge and all immediately threw ourselves on the ground and tried our best to hide.
“it’s ok” came a voice, “I’m one of you!”
And thus we acquired another member in our covert Glastonbury infiltration Unit. Nathan was in his early forties, and your typical charve-cum-ibiza hippy pill head that proudly boasted that he had been coming to Glasto for fourteen years, and never paid for a ticket once. Awesome. A veteran. In fact, he had even brought along a bloody grappling hook.
“A fucking grappling hook! Mint! That’s just what we need!” but alas, it turned out that he had just nearly been at the top of the wall, got caught by security and had to do a runner leaving his rope and hook attached to the wall. Merde.
So we all regrouped in the hedge and had a joint and alcohol break. The weak lemon drink actually made the pinge drinkable (we had used our empty cider cans as receptacles). Nathan told us of his best bet to get in, which was a few hundred yards away where there was a portaloo and only one steward who kept fucking off every now and again for twenty minutes at a time. If we all dragged the portaloo over to the wall (when the steward was away) and got on top of it, then we could all surely get over no problem. It sounded like a plan. Nathan and Wallace went on a reconnaissance mission to scope it out, and the rest of us lay low in the hedge, our job being to time intervals between the security trucks coming around. We had a bit of a drink and a giggle, and Liam said that he would dish out his fair share of blowjobs to stewards in order to get in, which was bloody sporting of him we thought.
A while later (we had timed the last few trucks and they were EXACTLY twenty-three minutes apart. Freaky.) Nathan and Wallace came legging it back over yelling “Move! Move! Come on! We’ve got to go!”
A startled Jill, Susan, Liam and Laurence grabbed all of our stuff and ran like mad across the fields after them, hiding behind trees and hay bales and commando rolling around trying to dodge the security lights whilst giggling like dickheads. It turned out that the place where the portaloo was, was directly under one of the security towers and they had heard someone on a walkie-talkie warn people that two men of their description were hanging around by the wall and chased them. We found another safe hedge, drank more, smoked more and contemplated our next move.
Susan had got a text from Joe at this point, asking how it was going and if we had managed to get in yet. We replied that we hadn’t managed it yet, but were having a bloody hoot trying. PS The only drink we had left was the pinge. A message came straight back from Joe. “Don’t drink that shit. Seriously. Don’t. SHiT. NO. Don’t drink it! It’s gone seriously wrong. If you want some palinka I’ll bring some back from my next trip to Romania but PLEASE don’t drink that.”
Which came as we were dishing out swigs of pinge to the lads. We were slightly concerned at the urgency of his message, as we didn’t want to feel responsible for the 2009 Glastonbury Pinge Massacre. We had been drinking it all day though, and felt totally fine…in fact we were starting to increase the pinge to weak lemon drink ratio as we couldn’t taste it anymore. Although, this was us… it is possible that all the other people we fed the pinge to are now dead.
We decided after this brief interlude that the best plan would be to head for the stone circle, as there were no gates there, just loads of forest at the other side of the fence so we were less likely to run into anymore pesky stewards. Lots more jumping over fences, across ditches (including one that Laurence nearly fell in, which would have been bad as it was about twelve foot deep. Luckily Jill and Liam caught him by his t-shirt and dragged him out. Oh and Susan spilt the pinge all over herself as the lid came off the bottle in her bag mid leap) and getting nettled a lot. Laurence by this stage had had a load more ketamine, and was getting lost trying to find his way out of the hedges unless he was holding hands with one of us. He was bloody useless, and Liam, Wallace and Jill suggested we should abandon the dead weight as he would only jeopardise our chances of getting in. Susan being the sweetheart that she is, refused to leave the poor lad K-ing his tits off in the middle of a wood somewhere. So we ended up settling in a nice hidden corner of a farmer’s field, having more drinks and smokes while Liam and Wallace went off to see what they could do.
Nathan was getting quite frustrated at this point. “Guys! Guys! We had a plan! What happened to the plan?”
“Erm. Ketamin happened.”
We didn’t really expect them to come back for us, and they didn’t…so either they got in or they got caught…or more likely they just enjoyed chasing each other through the woods. It was getting pretty late by this point, so we decided to pitch Raphael in our quiet little corner, have a few more drinks and turn in and try again tomorrow. Susan and Laurence were both game for having a last ditch attempt before we gave up, but Jill had smoked way too much weed (Nathan kept rolling joints and promptly passing out so she just smoked them) and Nathan was as we mentioned, passed out.
We got comfy in Raphael, followed by Laurence who Susan didn’t want to leave lying in a muddy field all night. We tried to wake Nathan up and get him to squeeze in as well, as it had started pissing it down, but he just grunted that he was fine so we let him be. We all passed out after lots of giggling at Jill getting annoyed by the lack of continuity in the camouflage pattern of the tent.
At about 6am, while we were enjoying a particularly nice sleep, there came a “knock” (in as much as you can possibly knock on a tent door) at the tent door.
“Open up! Open up!”
Someone unzipped the door and we were all a bit dazed and didn’t know what the hell was going on.
“God! It stinks of booze in there!”
“is it three females?”
“Er…no, two females and a male” half-awake Jill corrected them.
“Everybody out now! Come on! You’re trespassing!”
So we staggered out, bleary-eyed and still wasted, with no bloody idea as to what was going on. We were greeted by three policemen and police woman, the latter of whom searched through all of our stuff (literally ALL of our stuff…). Laurence was taken away in one of the cars, as I suppose they must have found his ketamin stash.
We, however, had NOTHiNG whatsoever on us, but the police woman was determined she was going to find something she could do us for.
“And just WHAT are these safety pins for?”
“Erm, in case my clothes fall apart”
“And just WHAT were you planning on doing with this CABBAGE?”
“IT’S FOR THE LiZARD!” we chorused back. Susan had given Jill some cabbage for Bogie from her parents house and she’d forgotten to take it out of her bag. Plus, what dubious and illegal activity has ever taken place involving a bleeding CABBAGE?
“And just what are these?” she continued, holding up a small bottle of paracetamol that Susan had bought from Boots in Thailand.
“So what’s all this then?”
She pointed to the foreign writing on the bottle.
“They’re from Thailand. It’s in THAI!”
“So are you saying I don’t speak Thai then?”
“Well, you obviously don’t, otherwise you would know that that says PARA-CET-AMOL!”
It was all getting to stressful for Jill at that point, so she said “Balls to this, I’m going for a piss.”, wandered about three metres away and weed in a hedge. The policewoman got very agitated.
“What’s she doing? Is she having a shit?”
“No! I’m just having a wee man!”
“ Jill! Have a shit! She’ll have to search through it!” yelled Susan
“I’m trying! I just don’t need one!”
“You know” continued Susan, “I really wish I needed a shit, just so she would have to search through it.”
The policemen were trying to conceal their hysterical laughter at this point.
Jill was also having serious bother trying to pack up Raphael, in her wrecked, half awake state and being pressurised by the evil policewoman* she couldn’t manage to get him folded down properly. She can normally manage it in about ten seconds! Evil woman threatened that we would have to leave it if we couldn’t get it down in the next minute. We managed to get it flat, but not small enough to fit in the bag and since we pointed out that as we were hundreds of miles from home, being dumped on the main road in the middle of Somerset with nowhere to stay, we might possibly…kind of…maybe…NEED our fucking tent to sleep in, she managed to wedge it on the roof rack of the police van with a harsh “well we’re not stopping if it falls off.” Just to be a bitch. Because that is what she was.
*All policewomen are not evil. Especially not you Karen 😉
They made us sign a caution (in Susan’s fake name, and Jill’s real name as they had found one of my bank cards so there was no denying that), warned us that if we got caught again on site then they would prosecute us, and escorted us to the entrance of the site in the van. We have some blurry recollection of trying to help someone push a campervan that wouldn’t start, as the police were threatening to tow it off site and the poor hippies were getting all in a tizz.
From there, we wandered off down the road in the rain, still half-wrecked and yet again at a complete loss as to what we were going to do. There were lots of people in similar states staggering around, but they were all heading back to camp at the festival. After some aimless wandering (and drinking a bottle of corona we found in a hedge with a slug on it) we decided we might as well try and head home, or at least far enough away to be able to pitch our tent and get some sleep, and managed to hitch a ride from another Polish truck driver who could take us to the A37. And guess where we ended up….
Rodney fucking Stoke*. We found a nice little field with very long grass where Raphael was practically invisible from the road (we were still paranoid the police were looking for us) and passed out, very cold and wet.
So there you go. The unfortunate tale of our attempt to break into Glastonbury had failed so far. Find out in the next instalment if we ever got in and if we ever got home again!
*Oh, I forgot to mention Rodney Stoke before. It was the name of the village in Somerset we were stuck in for ages. That and bleeding Bradley Stoke. We have pledged never go to anywhere that ends in “Stoke” ever again.
Ride #9 – Canny hippy couple and their mate