Wednesday, 4 July 2007


In this post I embark upon my 7th voyage to the largest open-air festival in the WORLD

I was working at the festival as a sound engineer and providing technical support.

Here's my 6-day virtual Tor... (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

I'm glad I took along my Mega-XL tripod to get this shot*
[* Actually half-inched from the Daily Telegraph:]

Walking down one of the many flag-lined entrances on my way in

Backstage of the Pyramid main stage

It's a very impressive temporary structure

My friend Stef stood next to his new and rather impressive sub-bass stacks for the Pyramid stage.
...and this was only 1 third of the subs used!!!
It sounded awesome :]

One of the many XTA processors being used across the entire site.
I'm part of the design team for these blue products and myself and another chap do the PC control software.
It's very rewarding to see our efforts being used to control all the speakers on the main stage.

And so it begins, day one
177,500 people in 900 acres of fields - the biggest Glastonbury EVER

A sea of punters going back to the horizon

A BBC cameraman panning to the left to avoid reflections off John's head; bottom left :0)

A shot from the stage into the crowd and back to FOH.
If I were performing up here, I would be cacking it!

Main stage engineers Spef and Simon at FOH

Friday afternoon and the rain really began on the Amy Winehouse set

I'm always grateful I can get out of the crowds and bad weather, take a seat and watch acts in the dry from FOH

Rain + 900 acres + 177,500 people = MUD... and lots of it

You get runny mud at first...

...then the 'orrible sticky mud, once it's been walked over for a while

A woman struggling to keep her balance

A bemused looking infant by the John Peel stage

Two very drunk Glastonbury 'Mud Monsters'

Glastonbury landowner Michael Eavis venturing out into the slop

My friend, the lovely 'expecting' Abby - Production coordinator from the Other stage.
She soon stopped smiling after this photo was taken, as she was informed it's her job to find fuel for Kate Moss's chauffeur, as he had ran out of diesel and couldn't get her off site! Oops

Sweet-toothed Andy will not let the weather get in the way of him and an ice cream.
Real cream, real hardcore!

The Pyramid stage at night

It was great fun to watch drunken / drugged people walking by and falling over in the mud; like this totally trollied girl who wandered in to a cafe we were in after falling over twice.

Wakey wakey Mr Silver Fox
Morning festival head... Bleh

The 'Dance Village' (dance music fields)

I was also helping in the large East dance tent.
I climbed the lighting tower to get this shot of the crowd below.

I was looking after the sound for Fatboy Slim on Friday night!!!


We had site wide noise levels to stick too though, so I was made to keep it down, which was a shame :`[

My friend Esme 'giving it large' to a band called Pendulum

Just a small crowd then! :P

I would never go to a big festival as a paying punter.
Imagine queuing in this mud and rain to go to the loo in the morning - and when you get there the toilet will be minging! Eww
I had access to proper flushing loos, hot showers and no queue! Luxury ;-)

Traffic warden performance artists booking an on-site vehicle :]
(Performance art freaks me out... really it does)

A huge scary looking thing I found

A cool spider's web chair outside a bar (pre mud)

The finalé.
The Who playing on the Pyramid stage on Sunday night.
After that, a load of us went backstage and drank free beer until the early hours and celebrated yet another Glastonbury completed.

Driving out Monday morning.
All that's left is lakes of mud and a few abandoned tents.

It then took 8 hours to get home :[]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Realising I can't stop myself turning statements in rhetorical questions, can I? ...Agh, I've just done it again haven't I? ...Agh, and again! Grrr
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 5/10

Today's Top Tip:
Marketing Managers: If you work for an un-environmentally friendly company, simply add a tiny green tree, flower or leaf to the company logo... That'll sort it!


Aoj and The Lurchers said...

You do get around don't you!? Must admit, if I was to do Glastonbury it'd have to be VIP all the way. Bugger queuing for those toilets.

mellowlee said...

You're photos just keep getting more fabulous! I loooooooooooove that top one! I was just coming to check for a new post, and was gonna crab at you if there wasn't one. Lucky you ;O) XO

b o o said...

cor, thats alota photos eh, glad you're back spidey :-X

Kayla said...

Isn't it strange? I'm almost overwhelmed just looking at these pics! What a task to engineer the sound for such a massive concert.
Amid the gooey, sticky mud, no less.
I found it quite appropriate that the heavy downpour began with Amy Winehouse! Ha. Rehab? No, no no.
And I agree whole heartedly with you...performance artists creep me out big time! Why? I have no clue..
Then again, I am the girl with Ninjaphobia...
How cool that you ended with The Who!
Oh my gosh..there is nothing worse than being drunk off your ass at such a large gathering as that!
Not only do you miss all the music, you set yourself up for being taken advantage of..I hope the passed out girl at least had a friend come and check on her.. Ugghh!
I don't envy her hangover!
Thanks for the virtual tor, DoGGA

Kayla said...

Fatboy Slim...28 thumbs up!
Love their music..and the fact that they let Christopher Walken do their
"Weapon of Choice" video..that is singed into my brain!

jlwarlow said...

Excellent post! Looks like a great event was had, even with the mud and rain!

Lord Hutton said...

I used to work Glastonbury: Lost Property, Lost Children, Lost Minds. We got in for free and camped on the lawn by the farm house. In the barn was a proper toilet etc.
Wouldnt do it any other way.

Great pics by the way.

Phil said...

Angela & Hounds:
Yeah, never go as a punter, you wouldn't like it :]
Smaller festivals are OK and tend to have better toilets!

The top one is great yeah - shame I can't get a full size version.
I've been procrastinating a tad, but hey I got there in the end :]

Good to be back Boo :X

I only engineered a bit and not on the main stage, but my fair amount of technical support for them though :[]
It's rained all but once I've going to Glastonbury, it really spoils what it could be.
Haha, you know Amy Winehouse then!?!
I have 'performanceartisitaphobia' and sounds like you do too - Lets start are own phobia club for that one! :)
The girl was so hammered - She actually was with a friend who left her to sit in the cafe while she went to the loo, but the girl then fell off that chair and we picked her up and got welfare to check on her and then her friend came back and took her off!
I like Fatboy too and he's a solo artist who's done lots of other stuff under different names. He's normally know as Norman Cook.
I like that song and video too :]

Code Monkey:
Thanks and yes, you summed the festival up in one :]

Ah wow!!! Yes I know that area at the top. Cool!
When was that..? 1970??? *runs and hides*
Thanks Huttman :]

Dakota said...

At the time I was actually wondering if you would be at the mud-fest. Apparently you were :)
And you did it in style surrounded by a lot of luxury …..good for you!
Great photo’s (and great line-up too). I still feel I have to visit Glastonbury one day and I probably will when it’s not so muddy (as if that is ever going to happen)

Andre Veloux said...

Wow. I'm speechless.

Jenny! said...

That is so much mud! How bad did people smell? As always...great great pictures! The spider web chair is bad ass!

Anonymous said...

You worked glastonbury! That's awesomely cool. Pees on my gig this weekend!

Does your tripod have a lift or is it spiral staircase all the way?

*Grin* is darn right for Norman Cook. Love his stuff. He lives near me don't ya know, along with his Mrs Zoe.

You need a better name for your phobia (which I happen to share - you know the ones most averse to it are most susseptable to becoming one!). The key is for it to sound nothing like the fear it is of.

Lord Hutton said...

I saw that comment DogBoy. Last time was 98 I think. Swine;-)
We would have been looking after your drunk girl.

Kayla said... it just one man who makes all the music? (Fatboy Slim)
That's amazing!

Phil said...

You guessed correct and they should rename it 'Mud-fest' yea! :]

You'd love Glastonbury I'm sure and if you are ever thinking of going, let me know of course and I can give the dos and don'ts and we can hang out together!!! :)
Next year???
Cheers Dakota...

I thought you may have gone yourself at some point?
You could have cycled there :]

There was a rediculous amount of mud, but poeple didn't smell much - It's the hot festivals that bring out the smells :]
Thanks Jenny!!!

Been working there for about 7 years now - Well, it's more helping out / supporting really.

My tripod have a glass elevator to the top and it packs up small enough to fit into a napsack! :]

I didn't know Mr Cook lived you no... Zoe Ball (and prob Fatboy) was camped to me, but in a big Winnebago.

Yes, think of a better name for me... Maybe Artistaphobia? Performaphobia?

Hehehe... Ooh, I was there in 98 - I went to Reading98 too and got very wrecked with my girlfriend at the time! ;]

Yes, follow the Fatboy link on the post or just type it into Wikipedia - I'm sure he has help of people, but he's known as a solo artist and not a band. :]

Dakota said...

If I am ever going to make it to Glastonbury, I’ll let you know. Not sure if it’s going to be next year though, it all depends on my financial situation.

Me Myself and I said...

Wow! I am concerned about the crowd of 10,000 ppl at the party I'm going to on Wednesday...the thought of 177,000 people makes me very uneasy! Looks like everyone came well prepared with gumboots.

Anonymous said...

SUPERB!! Amazing stuff Mr D! My stuff is all made up you know. I am glad I have found a blog thats interesting and true..

Phil said...

I'll pay for your ticket - now there's a deal :]

'Gumboots' LOL, love it - I've never heard that before :]
Yeah, you have to keep calm at times, especailly in a bit of a crush through a narrow entrance, you cannot move anything but your feet, inch by inch :[]

Thank you Mutley!!!
Ah, thanks for clearing that up - Love your stuff and I always say "Reality sucks" :0)

Dakota said...

:0 I am speechless.........

(it is a great deal though :D)

Anonymous said...

Hello, just stumbled apon your blog on here, and I'm very much into all my sound and lighting work (Only 14, but had tonnes of experience behind FOH desks, and mixing live bands), and to have the privaliage of mixing Fat Boy Slim must have been the cherry on the cake!!
Hopfully soonish I'll be doing a few bits and bobs at Glasto, I have a few contacts in mind ;)!
If you ever wanna chat, my e-mail address is !
Take Care,

Phil said...

Hello and welcome fellow engineer! :]

It's great you're getting into this early! My day job is designing and supporting XTA equipment, if you have ever come across our processors or graphics etc?

I've been mixing on and off for years and normally do monitors, but I'm happy on either end of the multicore, if you know what I mean.

Glastonbury just keeps getting bigger and bigger, so you may be able to get in somewhere!

So, how on earth did you stumble across my blog?

Anonymous said...

Hi Buddy,
Yeah I'll check ya website out in a bit.
Good question that, how I stumbled across your blog! Well I was looking on Google Images for pictures of the Glasto Main Stage, because my freind said he was getting to do some work for next years main stage, and I heard about the gear they used last time. That Funkiton 1 system sounds pretty impressive!! The looks too, are just like... WOW!

Yeah I know what ya mean lol. I'm more of a FOH guy at the moment. Mind you tho, I haven't really been in the position of doing any monitor work, just simple aux out's to monitors at local music events!

Hopfully, Glasto is what I've got in mind... Give it a few years :]

Chat Soon,