As passengers driving to Somerset start talking very loudly over the car radio reports of heavy rain for most of the festival, it seems a timely opportunity for a guide to this year’s Glastonbury.

Before even getting in the car, it’s crucial to ensure that the entire Facebook, Twitter and your out of office email are clear that you are AT GLASTONBURY!!! Admittedly anyone in middle management or above will dispense with the CAPS, and the optional MOTHERFUCKERS, but you can see them if you look closely enough. It’s almost a shame that admitting you’ll be drinking warm lager for breakfast, neglecting to eat for three days and coinciding your stumbling into the children’s field with realising exactly why you had stopped taking LSD, doesn’t improve your professional standing.

The most important advice if you’re there, with no hope of accessing this, is that it’s best to stay on high ground, leaving novices to the belly flops in four foot deep farm mud on the first day, before realising they have four days between them and a shower. Mind you, this year you’d probably get concussion from ground that’s harder than set concrete.

It’s the pan-company email that you’ll regret most on your return to civvy street. Colleagues slap you on the back, oblivious to it glowing like a naked flame. ‘How was Glasto?’ they ask, demonstrating their unfamiliarity with the festival by calling it ‘Glasto’. You nod with family wedding disinterest. They frown, like they’ve heard you mentally wrestling with the kind of identity issues that challenge Justin Fletcher and Mr. Tumble upon waking every day. You spend your first day back at work staring at faces in the departmental finance meeting with whom you should be familiar, and wondering why the hell you didn’t take another day, if not week, off to recover.

For those who missed out on the lottery, the prize of which was to join a refugee camp full of tents leaking in rain and roasting in the sun, the rest of us can prepare with new batteries for the TV remote.

This is the most important start to recreating Glastonbury at home. Filling your sitting room with slurry is optional, but to get the full effect of watching bands on BBC iplayer it’s advisable to  do so with your girlfriend sitting on your shoulders while she spills flat lager over your head. To improve on this, get a complete stranger to stand behind and block their view to the stage.

The anxiety created by the sense that there’s always something better happening on another stage is actually magnified at home, meaning you flick to the next band before the previous one has said ‘hello Glastonbury!’ like their career has just peaked, which it probably has.

Other ways in which to create Glastonbury at home include:

  • Not drinking water for 3 days
  • find a local community support officer, (or another surrogate security guard in a h-viz jacket) to lean on like a new best friend and exhaust the rest of your iphone battery by drunkenly boring them with pictures of your kids/cat/dog.
  • Wear flowers in your hair and cut-off denim shorts like you’ve seen in the Sunday newspaper supplements for the last 15 years.
  • Find a takeaway/ice cream van as the last surviving opportunity to hear music at 5am, and dance to it like it’s a Sasha set circa 1990, while ignoring the fact it’s Capital radio complete with ad-breaks
  • Queue up for 4 hours to charge your iphone only to realise you have no network coverage.

But, of course the most important thing to do is to write a blog post slagging off Glastonbury, implying how lucky you feel about not being there, when in fact you’d bloody love to be. Mind you, missing Jeremy Corbyn, you’ll find even the most miserable clouds have a silver lining.

My novel, The Life Assistance Agency – selected by WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017 –  is available here – – 

A farcical road trip around Europe. ‘This is what would happen if the Blues Brothers went on a search for the Holy Grail.’

http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-life-assistance-agency,thomas-hocknell-9781911129035

and on ebook here –