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Mark E. Spliff

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About Mark E. Spliff

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    Festival Freak

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  1. They used to have '10p' printed on the cap.
  2. Hasn't the OP made it obvious enough? As a first post, it sticks out like a sore thumb, but going with another 'Jim' username. Come on...
  3. Whenever anyone asks this question, the majority of replies will be along the line of: 'yes, do it - you will definitely have a great time.' Personally, I think that's reckless advice. The truth is that you won't magically morph into a different person just because you're at Glastonbury. You can get lonely in the middle of a party, and it's entirely possible to find where you're camped you're surrounded by arseholes. If you know you're the sort of person that wouldn't let that get them down, then go for it. Personally, I wouldn't want to take that risk. KinkyInuit's advice is good. Working a festival is a great solution if you're going solo. Last year, I worked one of the other big UK festivals for the first time, which involved me arriving a couple of days before my mates. I find that in a workers' campsite you're far more likely to bump into groups of people who're not sure or are nervous about the work they're going to be doing and that's an easy environment for breaking the ice with people you don't know. Within minutes of starting to put my tent up, I'd been approached by loads of people asking where things were etc. and ended up with a big group of people who we hung around with throughout the festival, and that was before I'd even met any of my fellow volunteers. The other option is to try and make contact with like-minded people through forums, although it always seems to be a damp squib when people try to do it on here. All the 'solo camper' threads seem to fizzle out because no individual takes responsibility for organising something.
  4. The problem with accessing the actual stage is that most of them are laid out with a single access point from the ramp so you're going to be hanging round where people are trying to get equipment up and down. A (usually stressed) stage manager will probably notice you if you don't have a reason to be there. Some stages have areas off the ramp where you can watch, but it's still going to be a bit like gate-crashing a wedding: after a while someone is bound to wonder who you are. Just hanging round the back-stage area would be a bit dull, as it's just weary, sober people getting on with their mundane logistics tasks, with the artists tucked away in their dressing rooms. The only really good perk of a production pass would be if it got you into the inter-stage area between Pyramid and Other - that's both a useful short-cut and a place of sanctuary from crowd-crushes around the Pyramid. Other than that, the best behind-the-scenes stuff is access to the various crew bars/areas and artists bars, and these are either open to all crew or require an area-specific wristband/laminate.
  5. You have prompted me to add my 2p: My prediction for the next 10 years is that someone will be run over and killed by a site vehicle. This will have massive implications as the festival currently relies on the ability to move large kit along pedestrian routes during busy periods. Once this has happened, the introduction of the South-East Corner one-way system will seem like child's'-play compared to what the festival will have to do to satisfy the authorities and ward off the lawyers. I can't imagine how they'd sort it and I reckon it would be an existential thread to the festival itself. (Sorry: it's a bleak contribution to the thread and doesn't deserve further discussion. It does, however, lay the foundation for a big 'told you so' at some point before 2030.)
  6. No worries. I wasn't intending to 'censor' your opinions - that just plays into the hands of the right-wing's phoney 'political correctness' narrative. It is a loaded term though, so if you don't like it either then it seems a no-brainer to use something else. As for whether travellers actually eat swans... Sounds a bit of a dubious tale to me! But even if any still did, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it - I'd rather live the life of a Swan than the horrific existence of a battery hen, of which there are far more.
  7. We all admire your brave stand against populist tabloid tropes, so have an early Christmas present in the form of a 'top tip:' If you don't like a term, you can avoid all that anguish by simply not using it.
  8. I just meant they were all different with respect to their design and therefore how they cope in wind and rain. I'm sure you're right about their light/thermal properties - anything with Fresh and Black written on it will be a reflective blackout tent. It could even be a proprietary fabric that they all use? By the way - Fresh and Black tents are one of my many 'should have put my money where my mouth is' scenarios. Here's me preaching about reflective tents on here in 2009, way before Quechua got involved: And this was the one I was banging on about ten years ago. Still a brilliant tent for hot weather, but I couldn't get them to send over a replacement when my last one fell apart: http://www.instanttents.com/shop/3p-mosquito-dome-fly-sheet
  9. Mine survived unscathed through Boomtown this year, when the post-hurricane wind/rain forced some bits of the festival to shut down and many of the attendees were refugees from Boardmasters, which had been completely cancelled. However: 1. 'Fresh and Black' is just a brand label applied to loads of different tents which have nothing else in common. Mine is the 'Quickhiker 3.' 2. Hydrostatic head is a red herring. Almost all of the tents in the Green Fields (e.g. Small World Stage etc.) are canvas, which effectively has zero hydrostatic head. They keep you dry because they've been put up properly and their design means the line of least resistance for water is down the canvas rather than through it.
  10. Mark E. Spliff

    Bar queues

    Sometimes auto-correct is determined to screw you over... *separate
  11. There is some very specific research you could do to find out if this idea could ever be a goer. Just find out what happened to 'Camplight' at Glastonbury. Did the festival pull the plug on their pitch at the popular Pennards Hill camping field, and if so, why? Did the festival offer them an alternative within the main site? If so, why did they decide not to take it this year?
  12. All that's happened in this thread is that the OP, who probably hasn't camped at Glastonbury before, set themselves up to be shot down with that little 'model village' picture. However, even on this forum, there were some avid flag-wavers for the more bare-bones 'Camplight.' It was heralded as a green initiative, but the real selling point was clearly that it got late arrivals, and those travelling light, a spot in Pennards. Pre-pitched in a reasonable spot around the £30 mark will definitely sell out.
  13. People are slowly waking up to the fact that token gestures are nothing more than a distraction and that radical action is needed. There's increasing sympathy for the likes of George Monbiot, but with all these things - you need someone to fire the first shot. Glastonbury is the perfect institution to do that - eliminating the disposal plastic tent would be a fantastic way to show up 'awareness raising' as the pointless exercise it is. As discussed, this would require changes which would offend the sensibilities of the modern Thatcherite, consumerist, no-such-thing-as-society festival-goer with the result that it would take weeks, rather than minutes to sell out. The Beat Hotel is the least of your worries. Now we're past lunchtime, I'll explain the other common reason that abandoned tents at festivals go to landfill. It's a surprisingly common practice to take your final Glastonbury dump in the privacy of your soon-to-be-abandoned tent. Never fall for the pink fluffy Unicorn 'Glasto spirit' nonsense: we can all be scumbags when we've got a biblical hangover.
  14. Yep. I collect abandoned tents after the festival and this year I found myself in the unenviable position of agreeing with The Sun & co: Glastonbury's claims about the step-change in waste were hollow. As far as recycling tents is concerned, the problem is that most of them are budget 'festival' tents. I give the tents I collect away for free, but nobody would want these ones - even at that price... They're all plastic and they all go to landfill, and would still do so even if they'd been packed away neatly. You raise loads of valid points about the impracticality of attempting 100% pre-pitched. I can't argue with any of those, but the alternatives are all variations on the theme of education or 'awareness raising.' I share the Extinction Rebellion view on 'awareness raising' - i.e. it's a bunch of passengers on a bus heading over a cliff discussing producing a leaflet on 'fatigue and driving' to leave near the sleeping driver. I'm a total hypocrite by the way - I don't walk the walk - but I'd still welcome Glastonbury attempting to do something genuinely radical on this. Other festivals, like Burning Man, are streets ahead when it comes to setting examples to the rest of society. Replacing all plastic tents with canvas ones would require a huge management operation but I see this as one of those JFK 'we do these things because they are hard' situations.
  15. A business dressed up as a 'new' solution by a new forum member was inevitably going to get shot down in flames on here. The thread makes depressing reading for me though. The thing that originally set Glastonbury apart was its radicalism - not only in terms of the causes it championed, but also in the inventive way it set up its own infrastructure to support and entertain so many people, whilst (at least pretending to be) putting two fingers up to the capitalist model of doing business. Most of us appreciate that plastic waste is one of humanity's major problems and anyone who thinks Glastonbury isn't still an annual environmental disaster has their head in the sand. Going down the 100% non-plastic, pre-pitched route would set an example to the world and be the most 'Glastonbury' thing the festival had ever done. And if the festival itself managed the project in the same innovative way they manage the internal markets, bin-painting and composting toilets etc, it would definitely not result in a monotone concentration camp. No need to worry about this ever happening though - Eavis was no more sincere in his 100% pre-pitched comments than he was in his hints at moving festival location. He's just a wily fox when it comes to PR... I still find it depressing that we put the shutters down to a radical solution like this because the move from individualism/consumerism to a managed/cooperative approach threatens to push us out of our comfort zone.
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