Thursday, June 21, 2007

Not that Glastonbury's gone commercial or anything...

BBC News explores just one of the tents on the site:

Across three days, at least 100,000 handsets will be powered up at the on-site Chill n' Charge tent.

The facility is free and will not feature any logos of the mobile phone network which is providing it.

However, its choice of colour for the canvas - bright orange - might give even the most sozzled of festival-goers a clue about who is behind it.

The marquee will also contain 35 internet terminals to show off the company's broadband service.

Punters will be encouraged to "upload your pics, e-mail your mates and let your mum know you're still in one piece" - while those at home get behind-the-scenes tours and a Glastonbury blog from Peaches Geldof.

"We want people to walk away from the festival feeling more positive about our brand than when they arrived, to think that we have done something for them," said Mat Sears, spokesman for, yep, Orange.

"Then obviously we hope that when it comes to them deciding which mobile network to sign up with, who to supply their broadband, we might be their number one option."

I know, I know the arguments - that, despite the ticket price pushing the event ever more into the VIP box bracket, there's still a need for more money to fuel the event. But you do wonder if the festival might not have retained some of its specialness if it sacrificed a few of the clowns, and got by without Orange powering its marketing with a Peaches Geldof blog onsite.

Meanwhile, shouting "former SAS man" Andy McNabb - yes, him - is in The Sun offering tips on how to survive Glastonbury. We're not sure if he's ever actually been there, as the key tips are "start queuing to recharge your mobile before the last 'charge' segment disappears" and "hide from Peaches Geldof at all costs", but instead McNabb, who was in the army, you know, seems to be preparing festival goers for a trip to a war of some sort:
It is time to leave the Jesus sandals at home. Wellies aren’t just for fashion victims like Kate Moss.

What does that even mean? Since when were wellington boots fashion items?
Change your socks regularly (take extra pairs) and keep your feet dry. It might save you from trench foot.

Change your socks? Was he in the SAS or matron at a minor public school?
Every night simply put on your dry stuff and change back into the wet stuff in the morning. I have survived for months like that.

When I was in the jungle we always had a wet set of clothes and a dry set.

Or, since it's only a weekend, you could just take enough tshirts and trousers to have clean dry clothes every day. Because you're camping in Somerset, and not in the jungle for months.
If you have got one, a head torch is great, leaving your hands free wherever you go.

Which is useful if you have to... um, use one of the broadband internet terminals or pick the olives off your bruschetta or something.
Other useful items are safety pins, sealable plastic bags for keeping things watertight, vinyl tape for running repairs, a torch (with spare batteries), penknife and whistle.

We're sure the Glastonbury organisers will be delighted that The Sun is suggesting people turn up with knives. But a whistle? Will that actually help you if you get in to trouble, or just encourage people to throw things at you in the mistaken belief that you've wandered out the rave tent?

You're on a dairy farm with thousands and thousands of other people, Andy - where would you be so far from civilisation you'd need a whistle rather than shouting "help me" to get help?

Andy then turns his attention to food:
AN army marches on its stomach and you will also need some decent scoff if you want to go the distance.

Burgers for breakfast, kebab for lunch and chips for dinner, all washed down with copious amounts of lager really isn’t going to do your stomach a lot of good.

Anyone who has seen the loos at Glasto knows that you want to keep your visits to an absolute minimum.

Andy McNabb - who was in the Paras or something - apparently knows no fear, other than a slighty grubby chemical toilet. Can this really be the same man who barked at Sky One viewers about how he would survive a dirty bomb who can't even face a dirty toilet cubicle?
I like sachet grub which you just rip open and eat.

Or, erm, you could just go off to one of the dozens of food stalls. Or perhaps have some biscuits? You can just open the packet of biscuits and eat them.
Don’t forget to stock up on lots of fruit and veg.

Wholefood such as muesli to eat in the morning will give you energy for a full day of revelry.

All that roughage. Handy, except, erm, if you're trying to "keep your visits to the toilets to an absolute minimum."
Water needs to be rationed at all times but drink plenty of it. The SAS carry water purification tablets.

Don’t laugh — you may need them over the next few days.

Sorry, Andy. I'm trying not to laugh but water purification tablets? Things might have got bad in the past at the festival, but even in 1997 nobody got dysentery because they were forced to drink the puddles.
CHOOSE higher ground and remember the prevailing winds at Glastonbury are usually from the west.

A decent Gore-Tex tent will keep you dry — you won’t need to dig a foxhole.

Great news, everybody - you won't need to dig a foxhole. Although that will come as a disappointment to everyone who turns up at music festivals carrying a shovel.
The next segment is called - honestly - yomping:
GO the pace of the slowest man or woman in your unit. Conditions will be testing. It will be seriously boggy out there.

If one of your team is falling behind STOP and let them have a breather.

The most important thing is making it through together and intact.

Or you could just arrange to all meet up on the right-hand side of the blanket stall if you get separated. Or even, you know, text message each other. It's not clear what McNabb thinks will happen to members of your "unit" (or "your mates" as most people would call them) if they get separated - will rogue members of Kula Shaker be picking them off?

ALWAYS look after your wounded — and try not to suffer any casualties.

But what do you do if, say, you are caught by a friendly fire strike from the John Peel Stage, Andy?
Carry paracetamol with you at all times to combat recurring hangovers.

Good advice - if your system is awash with alcohol, top it up with pills.

But let's not mock - if it wasn't for Andy, who used to be in the Foreign Legion, remember, whoever would have known that headache pills can help with cases of headache?
Then, we're on to "Know your enemy":
BE alert at all times. You never know when you could become a target.

Watch out for the dodgy characters you are likely to encounter — drug dealers, dippers, rogue hawkers and muggers. Do NOT attempt to take these people out but report them to an official.

Aw, come on. I've brought my spade to the middle of the West of England, I don't need to dig a foxhole and now you're telling me I can't use it to "take out" a "rogue hawker". Where's the fun, eh?

But, seriously. It's a music festival. There should be no room for rogue hawkers - birds of prey like hawks should only be used for good.
Some final advice from Andy:
LET’S face it, you all want to get into the VIP backstage area. Well, it requires some skilful blagging.

There is no point queuing and pretending to be on the guest list. Be brassy and just bluff it.

Clearly, talking absolute bollocks is something of a talent for Andy.
It’s best to walk in acting like you should be there.

Who would I want to meet?

The Killers, of course.

So, if you see a bloke in soggy clothes, lapping water from a puddle yelling "but I'm a Mormon too" as he tries to get round the back to the Pyramid stage, that'd be Andy McNabb.


Anonymous said...

Andy McWho? Bear Grylls would snap his spine in seconds. And then eat him, raw.

Anonymous said...

Here's my favourite McNabb bit:

"AN army marches on its stomach and you will also need some decent scoff if you want to go the distance"

'An army marches on its stomach'? 'Decent scoff'? Yep, Andy McNabb out of the army definitely wrote this. The Sun certainly didn't just bung him fifty quid to use his name, then get one of their celebrity-columnist ghost-writers to transcribe 500 words from the 'Bleeding Obvious Camping Advice' section of the Milletts website after watching a few minutes of 'Carry On Sargent'.

Anonymous said...

i'm chilling & charging at the moment! not nearly as good as theyre making out. no peaches geldof for a start.

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