“I started going to Glastonbury Festival when I was just 7-years-old” – Katie Brandwood

“I started going to Glastonbury Festival when I was just 7-years-old. The festival is in my blood and was a solid part of my upbringing. My Mum and Dad, who were stoic CND supporters in the 80s, would take my younger sister and me out of school and write letters to the headteacher, arguing that Glastonbury offers as rich a learning experience as school could ever provide (damn straight!).

For a painfully shy and socially awkward teenager like me, going to Glastonbury was a form of release. For four days a year, I was free to let go of my worries and be true to myself, away from adolescent anxieties and judgement from my peers. We nearly always camped on Big Ground, where I would wake up to the poetry of the Pyramid Stage soundchecks (“one-two, one-two… yeeeeeah”) and go to sleep with the soothing heartbeat of the festival in my ears.

When I was 13 I started writing a daily diary. I continued for 10 years, documenting my teenage years in full and beyond into my early 20s. This, of course, covered our (almost) annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury, in often painstaking detail, starting in 2000, when I was still a regular in the Kidz Field. Even though I’d already been going to Glastonbury for a few years, I was only just starting to wake up to its energy and magic, realising just how lucky I was. My journals then follow my Glastonbury coming-of-age through to my first ‘solo’ trip without parents in the late noughties.

Amongst my festival rambling and reflections, a few mainstays would crop up multiple times over the decade. The Cider Bus, where we’d customarily meet our festival friends at 5pm on the Thursday; the strawberries and cream stall in the marketplace for our annual afternoon treat; the Avalon Cafe, which provided us with many happy and delicious lunches; the solar-powered showers, which revolutionised showering at Glastonbury; the Indian Vegetarian Curry stall on the bridge by West Holts and their “festival specials”; the Miniscule of Sound where my sister had her first clubbing experience aged 10; and the Ferris Wheel in the Circus Field for some of the best views of the festival. And of course, the infamous Glastonbury long drops always earned a special mention!”

– Check out glasto_teenage_diaries on Instagram to read more about Katie’s Glastonbury adventures in the noughties.


Name: Katie Brandwood
First Glasto: 1994 
Attended: 18 (as of 2020)
Favourite Area: Theatre & Circus (daytime) / Shangri La (nighttime) 
Favourite Stage: Pyramid
Favourite Performance: Muse (2004)
Favourite Food Stall: Indian Vegetarian Curry place on West Holts bridge 

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