Yeah, we were off to the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 to see Paloma Faith, our third time attending and camping, AND the weather was going to be gorgeous!
The Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza is held every year, performed in the Glastonbury Abbey grounds and organised by Michael Eavis. This year it was a sell-out, and so was the camping ground. It was speculated this was because there was no Glastonbury Festival and that a few Glastonbury regulars had decided on this event. Yes, most of the campers we spoke with were Glastonbury Festival regulars.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Friday
We set off at 8.30am, forgetting about the roadworks in Bicester which delayed us considerably. We aimed for Pilton Farm office where we arrived at 11.32 for me to buy a couple of tickets for the Pilton Party. The tickets had gone on sale the week before and had sold well, but there were still a few available. Yippy! I was able to show Rosemary the carpark where we would be camping on the 31st after the party!
We drove on to Glastonbury and parked the van at the campsite. We parked at the top of the hill, sideways on to the slope. Then we walked into the town down the main A361 road. You do take your life in your hands on that road, large trucks, sometimes one of the trucks has to pull over to let one passing in the other direction pass by. The pavements are also very narrow, with poorly cut back hedges. W e made it alive! Looked at a few charity shops, bought a few CDs and headed for ‘The Who’d A Thought It’ pub. I’ve always had a reasonable pint and something nice to eat there, BUT it does seem to have gone downhill this year. Should have noticed the lack of people in the garden where it has always been busy before. Ah well, won’t be eating there again, everything seemed to have been cooked in old oil, and the craft beer was past it.
Lovely walk back by the back roads and up to The Tor before descending to the Campsite. The views were not quite as good as a couple of years ago, considerable haze, though you could still see Hinkley point. Interestingly, the fields were far greener than at home where they all look scorched. At the campsite we were asked to move our van to face up and down the hill so more vans could park. No idea why we weren’t told how to park when we arrived. We moved in the morning. At these events it is interesting walking around and checking on the other vans, seeing how they had been converted and h are being used.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Saturday
Morning, breakfast and a lovely day as we walked into town. Today we drank at the George Hotel and Pilgrims Inn. We had rejected this several years ago as it looked dirty and insalubrious. I don’t know why, it very quaint and interesting place to be in. It also had a very good selection of craft beers. We didn’t eat there, we had decided to eat at a Vegan restaurant called the Excalibur Café.
The Excalibur was very busy. We ate well, though Rosemary didn’t like the ‘fermented cabbage smelling’ shot; I did! After lunch I walked to Tesco to buy some camping chairs; . Yes, we’d forgotten they are needed at the venue. Then it was more wandering around shops before joining the queue for the show. We parked ourselves just behind the walk way from one side of the arena to the other. It’s reasonably close, and because of the walk way, you don’t get people standing right in front of you.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Glastonbury Town Band
First was the Glastonbury Town Band, recently reformed. Rosemary and I agree they chose the wrong music for the occasion, a more upbeat programme would have been better.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Yazzy
Next on there was an 19 year old solo singer, Yazzy, she had performed at the Pilton Working Mens Club and Michael Eavis had given her this slot at the festival. She was accompanied by a keyboard player and made many references as to how proud she was to be supporting Paloma Faith, and thanking Michael Eavis for the chance to perform.
Then came the bad news, Paloma Faith was not going to perform, she had laryngitis and apparently pulled out at the last moment. Yazzy implied she had been speaking with her only minutes before she had gone on stage. Were we going to be leaving early? Instead Michael Eavis had managed to contact Tom Odell. He was dragged out of a family BBQ and helicoptered into Glastonbury as a replacement. While we waited we sat, ate, drank and amused ourselves to a DJ Jason Bryant, ace photographer of Glastonbury Festival.
A performance from Yazzy, from Glastonbury Extravaganza 2018. This is her promotional video from the event..
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Rodney Branigan
The helicopter arrived in a nearby field, and then we were entertained for 20 minutes by blue grass guitarist Rodney Branigan, a Texan now living in Norfolk. He played Blue Grass, two guitars at the same time and had the crowd on edge. Fantastic performance.
A performance from Rodney Branigan, again not from the festival
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Tom Odell
On came Tom Odell playing piano and singing. He’s an English songwriter who won the Brits Award in 2013. He has a new album, Jubilee Road, out in October 2018. Tom, and Rodney before, were admirable replacements for Paloma Faith. Some and I won’t say whom, believe there were a much better substitute. The crowd, or at least those around us, were very pleased with the replacement. Well let’s face it, most of us had booked before we even new Paloma Faith was the headline. It’s a lovely event with lovely people and a great atmosphere.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 Fireworks
Finally, there was the usual fabulous firework display. Then it was back to the campsite on the free coach.
Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2018 – Sunday
Away early so we could pop in to see some friends who live near by for coffee. The idea was to have coffee with Sue and Ken and then go on home. Plans never quite go that way, so it was lunch in the pub across the road, from them, and then home. Good to see them both.