The challenge of Glastonbury

Andy at Glastonbury 2016

Glastonbury Festival is something I’ve been meaning to blog about after each visit but I’ve never got round to it.

The festival is such a great analogy for challenging your independence and overcoming adversity.

This is certainly true from the perspective of someone with a disability, like myself.

We decided to pull our fingers out this time because the difficulties we faced this year gave us so much more to talk about!

This will be the first of a few blogs on the festival, mainly from a disability angle. So, if you would like to go but are not sure whether it’s for you (due to a disability or otherwise), we’ll hopefully help you make up your mind!

Glastonbury: Something different

Glastonbury 2016 wristbands

Glastonbury 2016 wristbands

Anyway, back on topic… When my wife and I secured tickets to Glastonbury in the resale, we decided to try different things while there.

It was our fourth visit and, while it was clear that the headliners were going to be great, we decided to spend far more time away from the Pyramid Stage and more time seeing what the rest of the festival had to offer.

Thankfully, given how bad the mud was throughout our five-day stay on Worthy Farm, it was just as well we decided to be more discerning!

We’d been reading about the rain leading up to the day the gates opened. The damage to the ground had already been done before anyone had set foot on the farm.

We were stuck in traffic for a couple of hours, which we were actually quite pleased about; others had been caught up for far longer! We got onto the campsite and pitched our tent, thanks for help from the wonderful access team (most of whom are volunteers – more on them in another instalment).

Our plan then was to have a wander around the site before going to a venue called The Rocket Lounge for a pre-booked dinner cooked by a Michelin-starred chef.

But, as we had no idea what the state of the ground would be, we decided to forgo the preamble and give ourselves plenty of time (three hours in the end!) to make the approximately two-mile trek to the south-east corner, where the Rocket Lounge is located.

Adapt and Overcome

The journey there was the first of many where we adapted to and overcame our often challenging surroundings. We laughed, (almost) cried, got wet, dried off, got covered in mud and danced through the night. We met countless wonderful people, whose generosity enabled us to enjoy the festival even more (again, more on them another time).

I want these blogs to prove that the festival (or any other ambition you may have) is available to everyone; even if it entails travelling across chewing-gum mud for five days!

You may need to change and adapt your original plans or call upon the help of others at times. But you can do this without forgoing independence or enjoyment. It might just take a little more thought at times!

The upcoming Glastonbury blogs will talk about getting around with a disability and its services. We’ll also include our general festival highlights! Check out the next one here.

But if there’s anything else you’d like to know, just get in touch!

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