In the gospel as preached by Wild Bill Burroughs
In the path to wisdom that leads through the valley of excess
In sleepless nights
In sex, drugs, drink, dancing, dreaming, divining,
In the holy shitfaced dream.
And yet, and yet ...
It's like the first time you find out that your mum's maybe got a point about staying up all night and drinking till you throw up and fucking anything that'll let you, and getting off your face and trampling over everything and everyone around you in pursuit of your good time. The same sense of infuriation and despair: it shouldn't be this way. Who wants to drink responsibly, or only party so hard, or take carefully measured safe doses of enlightenment? Anathema. Impossible. Horrible.
But here's the kids with iron bars and the head-butting meatheads, the knife-wielding drunks and the paranoid gunmen, the chancers and the blaggers and the brain-ruined casualties, and the monsters and muggers and predators who prey on the happy people, and you can be sure that when they're singing, "I'm at a festival, I will not control myself," they mean "run, weak and pathetic excuses for humans, for I am more free than you".
So, that was Glastonbury 2002. We huddled down for a spell between Belle & Sebastian and Groove Armada and I drifted off up the hill through the sound of 100,000 people thinking, "it's a shame, but it worked". As one of the human elements of the fence (Gate Organsier 130, Ped Gate B) maybe I should have felt proud but I don't know. Knowing that every villain you're turning back at the gate is someone who won't get their tent knifed, won't get mugged in those trees off the old railway line (there was a 70% reduction in on-site crime this year) is cold comfort for being the person fencing off the fun.