Emmy the Great at Glastonbury with WaterAid - Wednesday

Singer-songwriter Emmy the Great blogs and tweets live from #Glasto2011 for WaterAid, fearlessly bringing you all the latest action from a bunch of muddy fields in Somerset... For the latest updates during the day follow the #waglasto tag.

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  1. GLASTONBURY 2011 IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC...Here's what we're getting so far from the festival...


    I was at Glastonbury 2007, widely accepted as the inspiration for the movie Waterworld, and so I know that when the five day forecast is in, and part of it is formed by the words 'unsettled' and 'showers', there is cause to start rooting around for materials for an ark.

    Fortunately for us arriving tomorrow, the current forecast (I've pressed 'refresh' eight times this morning) sees temperatures getting better as the festival progresses, with a few tentative sunshine icons on Thursday and Sunday. That's what I'm getting from the Internet. From our onsite medic Nat Roberts, I'm getting photos of damp tents and soft ground. Still, we will soldier on. If only for Beyonce, we will soldier on.

    By the way, that was really good weather reporting. You're welcome. And also, yes, I do know that Glastonbury is not strictly just a weather event. I'm getting to the next bit.

    Just one...last...link...(from Rosie Swash at the Guardian):  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/21/glastonbury-2011-weather-update 


    As you may know, Glastonbury is a vast event that approaches the idea of festival merriment from every angle and then twice again. I got in touch with some of the thousands of people involved with setting up, to ask them what to expect from their particular corner of Worthy Farm. 



    A group of medics, via our insider, Nat Roberts, sent us this statement about how to stay safe and have fun. If you're about to give birth, please don't go to Nat.

    "At Glasto this year I am working for Festival Medical Services, helping to provide a medical service for everyone at the festival (the clue's in the name really).

    This isn't my first Glastonbury, I was a ticket-buying punter for some years, more recently I've worked for my ticket. It's pretty fun and we get warm showers. It's worth it.

    Anecdotes in the 8 hours on site so far include my friends Zoe & Simon literally bringing the kitchen sink and cooking us a 3 course dinner (my first home-cooked meal in weeks), forgetting my tent pegs (luckily the shops are open already) and my buddy Rich having to buy girls' wellies because he couldn't find any boys' ones. He also says he saw Bill Oddie but I think he's lying. The anecdotes will HOPEFULLY improve during this weekend.

    I am looking forward to the poetry tent, John Grant, the Summer Camp/Emmy the Great/Guillemots combo on Friday, sitting by the Strummerville campfire, checking out the MSF stage (they've got a whole Haitian hospital set up), dancing to a bit of Beyonce on Sunday night. I'll probably go to the circus fields on Sunday when I'm really tired - they get the little kids up to do tricks and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Generally I recommend just wandering aimlessly and stopping wherever looks good.

    My dreaded ailments at the festival are: 1. women in labour. I'm not a big fan of trying to deliver a baby in a dusty medical tent and 2. It's pretty grim when there's a bout of gastroenteritis on site.

    The main health advice I'd give WASH YOUR HANDS about 3000 times a day. The toilets are grim already, if you get the squits and have to spend all day in one it's a real downer. And stay hydrated. It's surprisingly warm & sunny right now..."


    I also spoke to Trish Whelan, from the charity Strummerville, a charity set up by Joe Strummer's family and friends to promote and support new music and aspiring musicians. The Strummerville Campfire has been a regular fixture at Glastonbury since the charity began, and serves as a tribute to JS's much-missed, totemic presence at the festival.

    Trish, also qualified shaman, travelled down on Monday to begin setting up. 

    What are you doing at Glastonbury this year?

    Strummerville be burning our traditional Glastonbury campfire, by the Joe Strummer memory stone in the Unfair ground. On our tiny stage we will be presenting some of the great bands that have been supported by the charity, alongside some special campfire session from Glastonburys bigger stages. 

    We will be bringing  warmth, nice vibes, great music and lots of Love. 

    How many times have you been? Does it have any special significance to you?

    This will be my 13th Glastonbury, it is with out fail the highlight of my year. Always. 

    What's your best Glastonbury story?

    Ending up at midnight on the Sunday with the red rose that Al Green was holding when he sang Love and Happiness. 

    What's a favourite gig you saw at Glastonbury?

    Blur in 2009 - Tender being a magical musical highlight of my life. 

    What are you looking forward to seeing/ doing this year, event-wise?

    OMG I might self implode at the thought of seeing U2 at Glastonbury this year, although I'm so gutted that this means I won't catch Emmy on our stage this year as they clash. 

    Other bands I'm excited to see are; Noah and the Whale, The Vaccines, Jenny and Johnny, Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, the chemical bros and my old buddy Beans on Toast. 

    I'm also looking forward to all our Strummerville shows and feel very blessed and honoured to have such good stuff going on. 

    And i of course I'm looking forward to me own DJ set at club dawn by the fire. 

    Any tips for a first timer?

    Be prepared to have your life changed. 

    What's in your festivals essentials kit?

    Sacred sage from California and a suitably banging wardrobe. 

    Which area would you recommend, and why?

    Our own of course, and also Chai Wallah and the healing fields, and sunset from the stone circle. 


    From Shangri-La, we spoke to the legendary Gaz Mayall from Gaz's Rockin' Blues. Gaz is a Glastonbury regular, veteran of the aforementioned Joe Strummer campfire, and has in recent years been running the entertainment in the Rockett Lounge in Shangri-La. He's curated Trojan compilations, and his record collection is probably one of the best in the world, so if you get a chance to see him DJ, don't miss it. He's also playing with his band the Trojans, and Kitty, Daisy and Lewis will be his special guests on Sunday night.

    This is what he said on Tuesday: 

    "Already Shangri-La is looking a little wet & windy. The men are all looking like action men & the girls are all looking like Cindy. In the sun or in the Somme, we'll have lots of fun in your wellies and finest swimsuit. 

    Don't forget a plastic bottle of top notch top shelf. You're in for a mad mud, mud time and all will be fine with some champagne in a thin flute.

    Don't be a grass and hide in the grass and do come and let the mad dogs loose....xxx Gaz"


    We're yet to hear anything today from our Worthy FM contact Sarah Bennetto, who is running a show on the Glastonbury radio, but the last thing she said was: "Fun will be had. When my toes dry out and I have a cardigan on."

    She'll be fine.


    And from those about to perform, I caught up with Joe Dunthorne, Faber poet, Submarine author and Glastonbury-reveller-to-be, and asked him what his plans were for the weekend. Joe will be performing with his poetry troupe Aisle 16 every morning at 11.20 at the Cabaret Stage. "Getting steadily worse from Friday to Sunday," said Joe. Catch him early...

    More stories and chats coming. I'm about to go to see Jazz Domino Holly, Queen of Crafts, to beg her for a festival makeover where a binbag is acceptable headwear.