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Glastonbury 1998.....memories. 20 years ago this week!

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So thought i'd do a bit of a nostalgic thread and trip down memory lane for (Can you believe it) Glastonbury 1998 was 20 years ago this week.

Even though I didn't go I thought I'd share a few of my memories of watching it on TV and what was going on musically at the time.

I'd watched Glastonbury 1994 and 95 on C4, then when BBC got hold of it in 1997 I watched as much as I could, I was too young at 15 to go, but by the following year I was now at college and mixing with older people who were into music and festivals.  Two lads I knew decided they were going to go to celebrate the end of their GCSE's and several other people I'd got to know at college were going as well, most of them specifically to see Blur.  I found it all too much hassle and organisation and decided not to bother (and didn't even go until 6 years later)

Britpop by this point had been and gone, new bands were emerting, and a lot of those were on the line up (Embrace and Catatonia spring to mind)...the main talking point was the weather and the mud! The BBC made a massive thing about it and the general public started to think it was muddy every year given the chaos of the year before. 

My one standout memory is finishing my Friday night shift at Tesco early to get down the pub for EnglandV Colombia in the 1998 World Cup, a momentous night for me as at 16 years old it was the first time I'd ever got served in a pub, and I always remember in the back room there were also a fair few people watching Glastonbury '98 on the TV - I think Primal Scream were on. it may have been live or a recorded performance.  I certintly remember watching highlights of Robbie Williams the following night and Pulp on the Sunday.

Just about everyone I knew went to Glastonbury in 1999 and I opted for Reading instead so sadly never got to see it pre-super fence despite having the opportunity!

Just wonder what are other people recollection of those who went to the festival and those who watched it on TV.

:)
 

 

 

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Definitely my biggest memory of 1998 is wading from our home in Big Ground to The Other Stage and standing knee deep in water watching Catatonia with Cerys wearing a gold dress with wellies, shouting along with Mulder & Scully.

playing football in the mud and rain in the Pyramid field before the England game.

Dancing down the hill towards Pulp on the Pyramid to 'Do You Remember the First Time?'

camping next to a bunch of Scottish blokes who called themselves 'The Betty Boig Clinic for the Insane' or something like that, and watching their crazy antics all weekend - their incredible story telling, burning guitars and anything else they could get their hands on, trying to buy drugs by asking passers by with a megaphone and then trying to explain what they were doing when they attracted the attention of the police 'No Officer - we're not SELLING drugs - we're just trying to BUY some!'

 

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Got there in the dark and found a spot we were unfamiliar with as we'd always gone to the car parks the other side before. Realised in the morning there was a free spot there because it was practically in a puddle. Oh well. 

We had our two-year old daughter, Rain with us and we fitted just about in our 3 person tent. I was 6 months pregnant with our next daughter who we'd already decided to call Jude. Couldn't believe it when Robbie Williams started singing Hey Jude!

Rain fell in the mud a couple of times. Washed her off under the taps. She loved seeing all the tractors. Didn't care a bit about the mud but we ached like hell carrying her over the bits that were too deep for her wellies.

Those are my memories off the top of my head. I'm sure more will come to me!

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Was that the year they filled the dance tent with shit lol. 

If so we did shit loads of stuff my mate treble dropped and ended up in an ambulance and then the medical tent.. I remember we went to see if he was there but he was up and out off his head.. We had the old bill going past our tent all Sat night after that... 

That was the last time we camped there.. We moved to the pyramid stage field lol

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Cant really remember much about it. Robbie williams and pulp are my only stand out memories. I've just looked at the line up now, cant remember blur at all. Cant remember nick cave playing. Cant rremember any specific extra curricular activities either. Glastonburys from that long ago all blend into one mass of drink and drug fueled haze these days.

It sucks getting old.

 

 

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Being pissed out of my head before we'd even parked up (partly cos it was already raining on the way over from Bath and I was therefore expecting another '97). Falling out of the car and looking over the site (as we were up above Gate B where you could get a reasonable view), and wondering how I was going to cope with over 3 days of it all (as Thursday was then the typical day people would arrive). Then my mind flashes to watching James on Pyramid standing in the rain. Remember finishing that year listening to a folk band on a impromptu stage in the corner of Circus, probably about where the feeder lanes for SL begins nowadays. Remember visiting the Weird Beard Field as it was signposted for the first time that year. Little did I know what it was to evolve into in the years to come. In those days, nighttime was bars and sound systems in Babylon and some up in Green Fields and of course drumming at the Stone Circle all night.

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'98 was my first Glastonbury but I have to admit that most of it is a blur (no pun intended) I remember the mud, the Other stage being one giant puddle, Deftones being brilliant, the A lead singer in a ape costume, Robbie being surprisingly entertaining, lots of liverpudlians (or possibly the same one lots of times) selling 'LIGHTERS! LIGHTERS! hash, speed, pills LIGHTERS! LIGHTERS!', flooding campsites and stuck cars. I went to this one and '99 with my then girlfriend, who, sadly, took her own life in March this year. Watching that video and knowing we are both in crowd loving it has brought tears to my eyes.

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I remember being relieved that the mud wasn't as sticky as in 1997, because it there was much, much more water.  

I was ill in 1998, not from overindulgence - a cold or flu.  So I spent most of my time in my tent, eating weed.  I became convinced that all the bits of mud on my tent were actually slugs and I sat/lay in the darkness for what seemed like an eternity. As a teenager on his second festival, I didn't have things like a torch or a hi-tech Nokia to illuminate matters. I told myself they weren't slugs, they were just balls of mud and to pull myself together.  With a great deal of effort and a trembling hand, I reached out and grabbed one of the "slugs"...  PHEW!  It was mud, hooray!  Then I looked around at all the other splats around my tent and had the awful thought "I know that one isn't a slug - but what about all the others???? :bad:"

Sadly, I was still a newcomer and hadn't quite got past the idea that sticking in front of the Pyramid wasn't actually the best way of ensuring value for money, so all my headliners were at the main stage.

 Bands seen:

  • Primal Scream (from my tent in the rain)
  • Blur - they were brilliant, the eponymous album came across really well echoing over the Pyramid arena.
  • Pulp - a great set, but didn't quite live up to the expectations of their legendary sub bump-up from 1995 - watching them was one of the things that made be determined to finally attend Glastonbury the next year.
  • Bob Dylan for a bit, until I realised that he had been playing songs I technically knew, but they were totally unrecognisable and not for the better. I wandered off to see Bernard Butler without any regrets - one of the liberating things about Glastonbury is that there's so much on, even the most revered musical figures have to earn it.  To paraphrase a contemporaneous hit  "So you're Bob Dylan?  That's don't impress me".  Possibly one of the moments I truly got the Glastonbury bug.
  • James Taylor Quarter - randomly wandering around with @fatyeti24, sharing goodies, having no idea where we were, or who was on the stage until he said "aren't those the band that don't have any words."? At which point I realised I was at a stage called "Jazzworld"

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It was the first year I went ticketless, thinking that I'd actually have to jump a fence.  We set off across fields, fell into streams, got chased by a bull and got caught on an electric fence, all in the pissing rain, before heading for the same gates as everyone else.  God bless the scousers, that's all I can say.  £20 and 10 minutes later we were in.

We used to camp in Row Mead back then, so I probably caught a lot of the Pyramid line up by default of hanging around at camp.  I could just about see the stage from my tent, which came in handy.

I remember the world cup being on, seeing Beckham score against Colombia on a big screen in the old outdoor cinema field - is that where JP is now?

My other abiding memory is of being stuck in my tent one night, sheltering from the rain.  My tent leaked from the bomber burns in the floor, but I was able to hold off the water with worn/dirty clothes to soak it up.  I could see the Pyramid though.  I couldn't for the life of me work out whether this was a good or bad situation to be in.  Acid may have been taken (it was) and I pondered that well into the night.

My mate got the Ian Brown gig in the new bands tent temporarily stopped mid way through after he'd decided to climb up the lighting rig, hanging one handed over the crowd doing a monkey impression.  Acid is a hell of a drug!

Oh, and it was wet.  By fuck was it wet.

 

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My 2nd Glastonbury with my husband, after the deluge of 97 we thought we couldn't be that unlucky again... 

He was full of man flu all weekend and so we spent most of it sitting in our tent, smoking. It was really fucking cold too that weekend.. It was not the best tbh. 

I'm sure we did venture out, maybe saw Kristen Hersh and Gomez, maybe not! 

He said it would be his last one, he hated it. Fortunately i managed to convince him to go to just one more.... And we've been 16 times i think since and love it! 

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On 6/21/2018 at 8:40 PM, guypjfreak said:

Was that the year they filled the dance tent with shit lol

If so we did shit loads of stuff my mate treble dropped and ended up in an ambulance and then the medical tent.. I remember we went to see if he was there but he was up and out off his head.. We had the old bill going past our tent all Sat night after that... 

That was the last time we camped there.. We moved to the pyramid stage field lol

I do recall that but dates are not my strong point  

I just wished I had kept a Diary - some of the crew was going on about the Mud but of course none of them had been to 1985 because if they had they would know how bad it got .

I am sure that is the year the WBC moved camps - always a right pain in the arse because the first year of a new crew camp is very tricky

so lets say as we arrive the crew entrance is facing west - its only after everyone arrives that the WBC Council get together - they can argue for five hours over what should be on the breakfast menu.

now of course everyone is pitching tents facing the entrance/exit - 

always happens the first year of a new crew camp but the people I was with that first night were not aware ' that there was a very good chance ' that by morning - it would be all change 

some of them # had prime spot to entrance/exit # I did warn them that they may be in for a  surprise the next day - none of them believed me - I don't blame than as it does sound a Mad claim but none of them had been in the WBC for that long.

The next morning - shock - horror - the entrance/exit which was facing west has now moved and its facing South.

all that crew camp is planned out Months before but I knew the entrance/exit was in the wrong place so I took a gamble the Council would see sense and on that occasion I was right.

So while I know where the crew camp was { we were there for 7+ years } I cant recall what bloody bar we worked on and with not knowing that its difficult to recall what we went to see apart from a few big acts.

Now I moved 6 months ago so there is tons of stuff in boxes but if I find the right box I may find my old allocation sheets and if I do I will be able to work out which bar we ended up in and who was on my Team that year - they are younger than me so they may have a better idea what we did.

I did spot there was a ' Workers Beer Stage ' in 1998 and it was a good friend of mine who ran it so that would have been the bar we worked in 

we had straw down inside the bar  ' But a Fire officer showed up and told us to remove all the straw even although we had imposed a no smoking rule in that tent - he cracked me up because a person would need a blow torch to start a fire as it was so damp but rules is rules so we had to dump the straw.

the Workers Beer Stage was only a platform for people who were willing to play for free { although they did get a drink out of it }

the bar was near the meeting point so closer to the acoustic area so I expect we spent most of our time up there and on that Friday the stars were ' The Australian Pink Floyd ' - they were fantastic

Saturday Robbie Williams and Sunday Dylan - there will be other people but it all fades into a distant past - thanks efest if I  had not spotted that about Workers Beer Stage I would not have recalled all that - the WBC did not have a stage again as far as I recall 
 

Edited by glasto-worker

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Forgot to take a coat so ended up wearing a bin bag.

Had shit boots so ended with bin bag type shoes.

Tent got nicked with everything in it (stupidly camped near dance tent). Loads got robbed.

Gomez opened pyramid I remember that, tony Bennett, Robbie Williams had a fucking huge crowd, knee depth mud in some bars, and it pissed down like I've never seen it before or since on the Friday night.

The pasties were good 

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11 hours ago, glasto-worker said:

I do recall that but dates are not my strong point  

I just wished I had kept a Diary - some of the crew was going on about the Mud but of course none of them had been to 1985 because if they had they would know how bad it got .

I am sure that is the year the WBC moved camps - always a right pain in the arse because the first year of a new crew camp is very tricky

so lets say as we arrive the crew entrance is facing west - its only after everyone arrives that the WBC Council get together - they can argue for five hours over what should be on the breakfast menu.

now of course everyone is pitching tents facing the entrance/exit - 

always happens the first year of a new crew camp but the people I was with that first night were not aware ' that there was a very good chance ' that by morning - it would be all change 

some of them # had prime spot to entrance/exit # I did warn them that they may be in for a  surprise the next day - none of them believed me - I don't blame than as it does sound a Mad claim but none of them had been in the WBC for that long.

The next morning - shock - horror - the entrance/exit which was facing west has now moved and its facing South.

all that crew camp is planned out Months before but I knew the entrance/exit was in the wrong place so I took a gamble the Council would see sense and on that occasion I was right.

So while I know where the crew camp was { we were there for 7+ years } I cant recall what bloody bar we worked on and with not knowing that its difficult to recall what we went to see apart from a few big acts.

Now I moved 6 months ago so there is tons of stuff in boxes but if I find the right box I may find my old allocation sheets and if I do I will be able to work out which bar we ended up in and who was on my Team that year - they are younger than me so they may have a better idea what we did.

I did spot there was a ' Workers Beer Stage ' in 1998 and it was a good friend of mine who ran it so that would have been the bar we worked in 

we had straw down inside the bar  ' But a Fire officer showed up and told us to remove all the straw even although we had imposed a no smoking rule in that tent - he cracked me up because a person would need a blow torch to start a fire as it was so damp but rules is rules so we had to dump the straw.

the Workers Beer Stage was only a platform for people who were willing to play for free { although they did get a drink out of it }

the bar was near the meeting point so closer to the acoustic area so I expect we spent most of our time up there and on that Friday the stars were ' The Australian Pink Floyd ' - they were fantastic

Saturday Robbie Williams and Sunday Dylan - there will be other people but it all fades into a distant past - thanks efest if I  had not spotted that about Workers Beer Stage I would not have recalled all that - the WBC did not have a stage again as far as I recall 
 

I remember walking past robbie but wouldn't let the wife stop to listen to angel's.. She's never let me forget about it lol.. 

Most of my Glastonburys are turning into one long story 

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18 minutes ago, stuartbert two hats said:

I remember listening to Robbie from the comfort of a porcelain throne (much missed!)

No regrets?

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30 minutes ago, stuartbert two hats said:

I remember listening to Robbie from the comfort of a porcelain throne (much missed!)

something beautiful ? and strong ?

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51 minutes ago, cammie81 said:

No regrets?

 

39 minutes ago, crazyfool1 said:

something beautiful ? and strong ?

I don't think either of those songs were out then. #deliberatelymissingthepointandmisusinghashtags.

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1 hour ago, stuartbert two hats said:

I remember listening to Robbie from the comfort of a porcelain throne (much missed!)

Let meeeeeee

wet and stain you

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I was 40 in '98 and had the chance of stewarding on a mate's crew, I'd done Glasto '81-'86 (took my 10 day old son for a day in '86!) so thought after a 12 year gap 'you're never too old' and I signed up.

Mud, madness and mayhem are the abiding memories. Site had grown and changed massively since my previous time in '86, got lost constantly every time I shlumphed off in me wellies away from the area we were camped and working. Realised after a while that using a noodle bar or pasta place as a reference point was not a bright idea, mind blown by the size of the site and amazing stuff going on round every corner. Non-stop fence jumpers all day/night next to our area, people, bags , kids, coming over all the time + a dog lowered in a basket. Work and weather completely knackering.

Band's wise it's all a bit fuzzy, but remember catching bits of Blur and Primal Scream, also saw a bit of Dylan but think he'd asked/insisted for the screens to be off in the Pyramid field so he was a bit of an ant in the distance with a lollystick across a sea of mud.

Got a lift home with friends on the Bristol Playbus. Took 2 tractors hitched together to pull them out of the Kids Field, came out like a champagne cork.

Despite or because of this never looked back and did all bar one Glasto up to 2016 - it get's in yer blood, you know it makes sense.😉

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I was 46 and it was my first Glastonbury,  with my son who was 14 at the time.

Just the two of us as wife is / was a teacher ( I got her to her first G last year after retirement )

We came from the east (Norfolk) and I remember stopping on an overlook on the way in and saying something like "F***. It's so BIG".

We were convinced it would be dry as the stats said there had never been two wet ones in a row! How wrong that was

We arrived Friday and the place was rammed. We found a sloping space, path side in the family field above Acoustic, and wedged in in two 1 man tents in line, opening to opening. They weren't up to the rain, neither from above nor running underneath. After a long trudge I found the last piece of buyable plastic sheet on site which was long enough to cover both tents.

Would need to check records to see what bands we saw. Remember Robbie's singalong. And Tony Bennett in his immaculate 3 piece suit.

It took us hours - literally - to find the car when we left.

Great time and well and truly hooked.

And I've been very fortunate in that I haven't missed a single one since then  😊

 

 

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First one for me, went with my parents and a mate from school, I was 14. A baptism of... not really fire but soggyness. The constant rain put us off going to see much at all. Biggest memory of it was Foo Fighters as my mate wanted to get right as close to the front as we could. I was about 5 ft then and as we got nearer the front it was just wading in about a foot and a half of muddy water. They're a band I've grown to care less and less for but they were bloody good then and it was one hell of an experience. Oh and we had Dave Grohl relaying the scores from the England vs Colombia match in the first half!

Other bands we saw were Blur, Pulp, Kenickie, Finley Quaye, Space, The Lightning Seeds (Three Lions getting an airing), Catatonia, Sonic Youth, Robbie Williams. That could have been it, seriously. 

I hear people say the first one is the best one you go to. I have to admit, and it sounds plain bizarre and almost sacrilegious saying it now, but the first four I went to ('98 = wet, 04 = only did the Fri, Sat and Sun because of exams = wet on the Saturday, 05 = tent flooded and having to sleep in my mate's car, 07 = wet and unpleasantly cold), I couldn't wait to come home from all of them. I'd enjoyed bits of them, don't get me wrong, but I was starting to think it really wasn't for me after 2007 and I had to be coaxed into getting a ticket for 2008. Thank goodness I did as I completely fell in love with the place that weekend and haven't missed one since.

Edited by JoeyMester
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Lots of rain ....England footie in the pissing rain ....sloppy mud ... Robbie in the sunshine .... more rain .... sleeping with my feet out of the tent as I was unable to remove muddy wellies .... more rain ....Moby and the Chemicals in the dry dance tent .... and after that .... who knows.

Just checked the line-up .... still no idea. I should've kept notes. As Russy says up above - sucks getting old. Keep a diary kids!

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My first year too. My uni mates told me we were going. I got a coach from London without a festival ticket but never really thought about the prospect of not getting in. I arrived in the pissing rain and wondered around the outside of the site to try and find the gate I was supposed to meet my mates at. Found it then had to wait what seemed like hours in the rain for them to turn up from all over the UK. They arrived and we paid some scousers £20 for a handstamp and we were in. We camped what seemed like the furthest away from where we entered the site that we could possibly be, on a hill which is now by The Unfairground. We were on the hill and I remember tents around us getting slowly enveloped by the mud flowing down the hill as the weekend went on. I don't remember much about the bands I saw but do remember Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, James, Primal Scream and the Warm Jets where me and my mate were dancing to them in the rain while people stood under umbrellas looking grumpy - we even got a shout out from the singer! I seem to remember it only really raining on the Thursday and Friday but there was so much water around that it was an effect to get anywhere. People said that 2016 was the worst year for rain/mud but I remember 1998 being far muddier, the mud was a lot wetter though. It may have rained more in 2016 but with all the drainage they have created the site seems to handle it much better these days. Even though it was mega muddy it never stopped me going back. I think I like the muddier years more, it seems like the festival is more unified - people join together to overcome the mud. That seems to be lacking when there isn't any mud.   

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