As the rota is called out it seems that I'm missing from it. Maybe they'll forget all about me, and I'll be afforded the possibility to enjoy Glastonbury at my leisure, I think to myself. An idea which gains momentum in my mind with every passing second, until I'm approached by my boss, who rather unpleasantly bestows a task upon me.
"Andrew, you'll be with Rochelle," he informs me.
Rochelle for those of you who read part 1 of this tale, was my truly blonde companion of yesterday, whose lack of intelligence was matched only by her lack of motivation. Somehow she holds an advanced security badge which means that he puts her in charge of our one walkie talkie. I'm unsure whether it's her constant reluctance to answer it that's most baffling to me, or the fact that there seems to be no consequences for her lack of communication. In any case her inability to push the button and talk back to our boss is to my benefit.
"You and Rochelle are going to patrol the inter-stage section," he instructs me.
Until I arrive in the inter-stage section I have no clue what he's talking about, and indeed it takes me a further few days to work out the exact borders of my area. You see, Glastonbury is made up of hundreds of stages, tents, and venues, and I say this with no exaggeration. However, there are two main stages, the Pyramid Stage, and the Other Stage. You've guessed it, my area of patrol was between these two stages. But I was in for an even bigger surprise.
"Can you and Rochelle patrol around the hospitality section?" my boss asks me. "Just walk around making yourself visible, and work it out amongst yourselves when you want to take breaks."
I can almost hear the angels playing their harps. Hallelujah! We've just been placed in the most interesting area of the whole 900 acre site. This is where the A-list stars can walk around relatively unbothered by the general public. I mean, it's not just for them! You can pay a shit ton of money to be allowed the privilege of potentially meeting your idol, but in general, this is a place for the rich and famous. Furthermore I'm wearing a luminous green security outfit, and have all the right bands on my wrists, which means that I can access all areas. Not only have I gotten into Glastonbury for free, but I'm getting paid to mingle with the stars. I couldn't have written the script.
The area in question is a small field surrounded by bars and restaurants, and populated by pretty much life size models of jungle animals, which are randomly positioned around the place. Amongst these animals is is a rather fragile looking zebra, which looks as if it could fall to pieces at any minute. Indeed the extremely irritating radio broadcaster Chris Evans had to be thrown off the zebra (by our security guys) in his early morning broadcast in case it collapsed under his weight. An action which he vocalised on his breakfast show to anybody that had the patience to listen to him.
There's not much going on in the field of dreams, so when we're asked if we can help move some furniture around we willingly oblige. This chore takes us about 30 minutes, and rewards us with free meals and drinks for the next 4 days. The chore complete I sit down to my free VIP breakfast which should have retailed at £10 (bloody rip off if you ask me). In the words of the late great George Formby - "its turned out nice again!"
Once I've finished my posh meal I decide to go for a wander around the field, more to walk off the breakfast than to instil fear into any potential terrorist. As I wander around the VIP area I periodically encounter other security team members who are generally hidden behind trees, or barriers whilst indulging in the pleasures of a cigarette.
The weather is most convivial and would lend itself to a pleasurable stroll if my feet were not in such agony. To help combat this pain I strike up a conversation with everybody I encounter. This has a twofold effect, 1, It takes my mind off my feet. 2, It means that I can stand in one position, thus not irritating my feet even further. It's whilst engaging in conversation with one of the festival goers that I'm alerted to the fact that some of the Game of Thrones people are walking around my patch. Not being one to watch Game of Thrones I couldn't confirm whether this was true or not, but one of the ladies in question (a skinny blonde) wanders around with such an air of self importance that I suppose it could be.
To one side of the hospitality field there is an opening in the fence that is guarded at all times. I beeline for this opening, and realise that beyond it is a field full of teepees. Three people guard this entrance at any one time, two people from a different security firm, and one from ours. Well in theory one person from ours, but in reality our whole crew seem to congregate here. For the next 4 days I spend practically my whole time around this entrance conversing with whoever else is there. Whilst young (highly privileged) kids wander in and out in various states of fucked-up-ness.
Being the gatekeeper to this privileged den of iniquity does not come without its benefits. The biggest benefit of all however is the fact that I have access to super clean toilets, which are practically always unoccupied. For as long as I remember I've heard only bad press about the Glastonbury toilets, but here I am getting paid to take a shit, whilst sat in silence, on the throne of the rich and famous.
Suitably lessened of my load it became routine for me to have a wander over to my mate Matty's domain, where he was guarding even more famous people's winnebagos.
"Alright there And!" Matty would welcome me. Before launching into a list of who he had just been chatting to.
"Just bumped to David Beckham there la," he'd casually throw into the conversation, or "You'll never guess who I've just seen?" Followed by yet another A-list celebrity such as Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. Oh yeah, I'm not kidding, they were all there. Meanwhile I had to make do with giving directions to Jules Holland's daughter, who introduced herself by informing me that she was the daughter of Jules Holland. When noticing the look of "I don't give a shit if you're Mahatma Ghandi's daughter" upon my countenance, she added "not that it makes a difference that I'm Jules Holland's daughter." Needless to say, I sent her in the wrong direction.
Matty would then leave me in control of the winnebago entrance whilst he went off for a 2 hour shit. During in which time I wouldn't meet anybody of any interest apart from Hooray Henry's with far more money than brain cells. Inevitably when Matty returned he would have just been having a chat to Michael Eavis (Glastonbury owner), or some other equally prominent figure. Although I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the deputy labour leader Tommy Watson, who Matty was engaged in conversation with about his autistic niece. The aforementioned politician even gave Matty his personal email address.
On one of the rare occasions that my boss managed to get a message through to Rochelle that was actually passed on to me, I was told to go to one of the gates to relieve somebody so that they could go to the toilet. When I arrived at the said gate I took up my position and checked with one of the other two ladies there to see which wrist bands I should be letting through the gate.
"It's complicated," she whispered to me, with a wry little smile upon her face.
Intrigued by this comment I pushed her for more information. Until she could take no more of my interrogation, and took me to one side.
"This is the top of the A-list chain," she informed me. "David Beckham just came through the gate, and Brad Pitt before him," she whispered in my ear.
Right! I thought, this should make things more interesting. Not two seconds later somebody attempted to walk through my gate, and I jumped into action to fulfil my role.
"Can I see your wrist bands please?" I asked the guy. An oldish fella donned in a panama hat, and surrounded by an aura of confusion.
He promptly pulled up his shirt cuffs and let me examine his bands, which unfortunately for him were not the correct ones.
"Sorry, you can't come in with those ones," I informed him. "You're got to have a silver one with blue stars."
The fella, although a little disgruntled, was compliant. He walked away fifteen paces and whipped out his smart phone. For the next ten minutes I kept him in the periphery of my vision as he attempted to ring his friend. Eventually he gave up this task, and once again approached me.
"Can you just ask my friend Sarah to come out and let me in?" he pleaded with me.
"Of course!" I responded. "And who should I say is asking for her?"
"Angus Deayton," came his response.
Well, I almost exploded with excitement. Many people may not know Angus Deayton. But back in the 90s he hosted a news quiz show called Have I got news for you! Only he was thrown off the show for engaging in wild (cocaine fuelled) parties. By the look of him now he'd engaged in a little too much of the old Bolivian marching powder.
Not 5 minutes later I spotted Lilly Allen walking past sporting a pink wig, and holding the hands of her two children. Having a massive crush on Lilly Allen, I found it hard not to spontaneously combust. "Lilly Allen just walked past," I yelled out, "look, look over there," I pointed - quite unable to contain myself. This prompted my boss to take me to one side to remind me that Lilly was in fact wearing a pink wig so that she would not get recognised, and it was highly inappropriate of me to be yelling out to all and sundry that she was in our proximity - especially when I was myself wearing a fluorescent green security outfit.
When the person I was relieving came back from his marathon toilet session I returned to the hospitality section to see which celebs had passed by in my absence. "Bradley Cooper just came through," I was informed by my co-worker, and "Emma Willis is over there." I looked across at where she pointed, and was confronted by a short dark haired girl, whom I didn't recognise from Eve. These were no good, who I really wanted to see was Liam Gallagher. At least he'd be good for entertainment value.
The next day my dreams were almost to come true. Liam had played the previous day, and I'd actually managed to see his act. Indeed he was one of the only acts of the whole festival that I got to see. I'd made sure of that. Well, it seemed that Liam had spent the whole night partying, and when I came to do my morning shift I was informed by the night crew that Liam was in one of the teepees with Johnny Depp. This I had to witness for myself. And to enable me to do this I positioned myself by the teepee encampment entrance and refused to leave. I waited, and I waited, until eventually his road manager came out, a lovely fella by the name of Spooner. Spooner and I engaged in a wonderful conversation about Manchester music, and got on so well that I thought that it would definitely lead to me meeting Liam.
Five minutes later, and there's a huge surge of people heading for the teepees. The object of their attention is a bloke that appears to be Liam Gallagher. I use my security status to push my way through the crowd, fully expecting to come face to face with the former Oasis frontman. Only it's not Liam at all - it's an impostor to the throne. This fella has the swagger, the clothes and the sunglasses, but it's definitely not Liam. I strike up a conversation with him to find out exactly who he is, and discover that he's the keyboard player with Scottish band The View. A band that I partied with back in 2007 at a Primal Scream after-party in Liverpool. I jog his memory about this particular evening, and to my delight he remembers it well.
"You were all off your heads on acid," I remind him.
"Aye, aye, we were, we were all fucked up that night," he replies.
"Do you remember having a discussion about Enid Blyton (children's author)?" I ask him.
I take his blank expression as a negative. But that's OK, at least it's given me a lead in to chat to him. And he seems very eager to chat to me, probably down to the fact that he's just consumed a large quantity of high grade cocaine. A subject he is not shy to discuss with me.
"I'm totally wired," he informs me, "been on it all night in there."
I choose this moment to ask him if Liam is still in the teepee with Johnny Depp. I figure that he'll spill the beans if he's totally wired. But he has no need to answer this question, for at moment, in the periphery of my vision I see a guy in a large hat and a fur white jacket. I'm standing a distance of around 30 ft away, but I'm pretty convinced that this is Johnny Depp. As I stand and stare, my new friend tells me that he's off to the bar to get some more mojitos. As he walks off he sticks his hand out behind him for me to give him a high five. But I'm stuck in two minds whether to shake his hand or to give it a slap. So I lunge forward as if to slap it, but then decide to shake it halfway through the manoeuvre. Which results in me falling to my knees, whilst holding his hand as he drags me along. Not that he seems to notice.
I'm attempting to recover my posture when Spooner comes walking past and gives me a nod, before heading towards the teepee where all the action is taking place. And for a brief moment I decide that I'm going to follow him into the teepee to introduce myself to Liam, Johnny, and anybody else that may be in there. I mean, what is the worst thing that can happen to me? I won't get paid? I'll get thrown off site? - fuck it! I'm going in! - and with these thoughts in my head I set off after Spooner as I half heartedly call his name. By the time I reach the party teepee Spooner has disappeared inside, and my bravery has dissipated. I turn and walk back to where I just came from. For one moment I thought I was going to do it. I even had the script in my head.
"Hey Liam, I love your music man! I've only seen one act this weekend, and that was you - and you were brilliant. I don't care if I don't see another act."
And in my head, he replied.
"What's your name man? Yeah nice one Andy, why don't you come in here and share some high grade cocaine with me and Johnny?"
I'm lost in thoughts of our imaginary encounter when I'm tapped on the shoulder and told that Jeremy Corbin has just finished giving his speech and there is a mass crush at the hospitality entrance. They require my assistance to help with crowd control. Reluctantly I leave the teepees and head to the gate.
They weren't joking about the rush of people. It's madness out there. Thousands of people trying to cram though a narrow entrance. To many, their only way of escaping the mayhem is by entering the hospitality compound, but they are denied this luxury because they are not in possession of the correct wrist bands.
"This is fucking crazy! It's madness! We'll have another Hillsborough on our hands!" Are just some of the comments that are directed my way. All I can do is shrug my shoulders whilst I deny them access to the compound of the rich and famous. But then another drama unfolds. A lady has a panic attack, and I'm left with no option than to abandon my role to tend to her. A task that I astound myself in sorting out.
Once the crowds have diminished somewhat, I walk back over to the teepees to see what the latest is in the Gallagher/Depp corner.
"You've missed him Andy lad,"I'm told. "He's been out for 2 rounds of mojitos while you were gone," I'm informed by Winston, a super cool black fella from bristol. "
"And do you know what he said to me?" Winston asks.
"No, go on tell me," I reply.
"He said, have you been on the magic mushrooms you, you cunt. You were white last time I saw you,"
And that was it. I never did get to even lay eyes on Liam Gallagher. A recurring theme throughout my whole Glastonbury week. Everybody kept spotting stars, whilst I had to make do with a washed out old TV presenter from the 90s. At one point I thought I saw David Beckham, alhthough he appeared to look young. It was only upon closer scrutiny that I realised that it was in fact his son Brooklyn. Another time I was told by Jack Whitehall's (acid casualty) mates that they would introduce me to Jack himself. But guiding them through the site was like herding cats, and I managed to totally lose them on our way across the field. I did get a glimpse of soul singer Rag' n' Bone Man who was sat chilling on a model pirate ship. And yes, he is only human after all! I also inadvertently managed to give Huey Morgan from the Fun Lovin Criminals the knock back when he asked me for directions when I was busy. But apart from that I was only the recipient of other people's stories of their chance encounters with A-list celebrities.
The best of which I'll reserve for last.
On day 2 news came through to me that one of the security guards by the name of Dennis had just been battered by the DJ Goldie, and his daughter. I'd been chatting to Dennis (a nice South African fella) the previous day, so as you can imagine I was intrigued to find out the details straight from the horses mouth. I went in search of Dennis, and found him guarding one of the gates. It only took a glance at him to realise that the rumours that he'd been battered were in fact true. His nose looked a little skew-whiff, his eyes blackened, and a face a little worse for wear.
Upon questioning him I was to learn that he'd tried to prevent Goldie from entering his area, because Goldie was not in possession of the correct wrist bands. Now Goldie, not being one to be told what to do, did not take lightly to Dennis's refusal of entry. Our golden toothed protagonist swiftly punched Dennis in the face, which resulted in Dennis grappling him, and taking him down. Before he knew it Goldie's daughter was booting Dennis in the face. It was in fact Goldie's daughter that delivered the nose breaking blow.
Halfway through telling me this story Dennis suddenly pushed me out of the way and sprinted across the field in front of us. Where he grabbed a young lad and threw him on the floor. I was still trying to assimilate what had just happened, when Dennis shouted "SIT ON HIM!" An instruction which I followed. Within seconds we were surrounded by security guards, and the young lad whose rib cage I was crushing was getting arrested for possessing a large bag of pills. I'd reluctantly just ruined someones whole experience.
So that was it, my first Glastonbury experience, I was only 30 years too late to the party, and whilst I was there I'd ruined it for people. I intend to go back next time as a paying guest, and when I do, my inside knowledge will help me to evade the powers that be.