I liked chatting to people who’d never heard of Bhopal before…

This year’s Glastonbury was a very different experience from my past three years of going, for many reasons, not just the mud. I usually work for a site sevices company, working outside the main site, and leave my work exactly where it is, as soon as I finish. I have never been part of a project in the centre of Glastonbury, and seen the evolution of it over the course of months, from my home in Brighton, and never had a vested interest in the smooth running of the festival, apart from to have fun.

Since I started vounteering with the BMA in November last year, Glastonbury has been on my mind: planning, organising, creating and exploring ideas for our area and recruiting our 80-strong litterpicking team. This has made me realise exactly how much effort goes into creating a fun and relaxed, exciting and crazy, creative and LOUD festival for people to enjoy. All this, just for a few days.

This year was strange to me because I had a role that I couldn’t just leave behind when I finished my shift, because I actually cared about the outcome: I cared thatour  scupltures would look beautiful when they were eventually finished, I cared that our litterpickers knew about Bhopal and finished their shifts (because GF would then make a donation to our charity) and I care about Bhopal: the ongoing fight for justice.

Arriving at Glasto on the Sunday before the festival started, I felt exhausted by…Monday, after putting up about a million tents and lugging box after box of stuff from the car park toour  campsite, but I kept getting these little energising boosts throughout the week that kept me going.

It was awesome to ride in the back of a van to collect stuff, it felt a bit like being in India actually, bumpy journeys, chaos all around, people shouting and generally getting in your way and us getting in theirs. But I liked it, I got a sense of being rather important for some reason, dunno why, I was just in the back of a van.

I liked chatting to people who’d never heard of Bhopal before, and showing people how to make the parts for the sculptures. I liked getting to know our Bhopal team better, and drinking elderflower champagne at  the end of the day.  I love that Lee Scratch Perry is the proud owner of a Bhopal t-shirt, perhaps unwittingly, he accepted the gift with an almost regal shake of the hand, and I love that our area looked the best place to be at the end. I didn’t like the wind or the rain or especially the mud (I lost count of how many times I fell over).

Overall though, the energy we created in our sculpture garden and the time we put in paid off – I had a wicked time and I think that our efforts did something to create more awareness about Bhopal, which I am proud of. I’m looking forward to 2013 – and to an even better Glastonbury – with much less mud!

Spread the word. Share this post!

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.