UK: Having worked in professional audio for a while and attended a variety of festivals, gigs, and raves, I thought I had seen most things. However, stepping onto the grounds of Glastonbury for the first time was an experience like no other. I had the privilege of being there as part of the Martin Audio team, invited by our partners at RG Jones to capture behind the scenes moments and insights. The sheer size of the festival was intimidating – it was a sprawling city of music, art, and people, all buzzing with excitement and anticipation. There was an energy there that wasn’t quite explainable, something that resonated deep within you and added to the magic of the place.

Arriving on site Monday afternoon, I was amazed by the progress at the Pyramid Stage. The crew had already flown 10 of the 11 delay hangs showcasing a pace and efficiency that belied the challenges of working in an undulating field . By Tuesday, the main hangs were up, and Wednesday was dedicated to fine-tuning and adjustments before the propagation process. Over at West Holts, a similar story unfolded: load-in took place on Wednesday, with everything ready to go to trim for propagation by Thursday morning. The stages at IICON followed in a similar manner. My magic carpet failed me in getting to all the stages for load-in, but I understand for SWG Events’ stages; The Park, Woodsies, and BBC Introducing, set up was equally efficient.

Come Friday and amidst the hustle and bustle with Glastonbury festival now in full swing, I received word from the Production team that the Sugababes were scheduled to perform at the West Holts Stage, and it was anticipated to draw an insanely large crowd. Recognising this as a perfect chance to capture photos and videos for social media, I made my way there early to secure a prime vantage point at front of house. As someone who typically listens to drum and bass and techno, I wasn’t sure what to expect from their set. In my mind, I was there for the content.

As the Sugababes took the stage, I found myself smiling ear to ear. I wasn’t a sudden convert to their repertoire but it was the palpable joy and energy radiating from the crowd. Seeing how happy everyone was gave me goosebumps and made me realise just how lucky I was to work in the industry that could help bring such joy and magical moments.

That feeling was further imbued during Coldplay’s headline slot. The overwhelming energy of the crowd created a magical atmosphere that reminded me why live music is so powerful and why we should do everything we can to ensure it continues, especially from a grass roots level. I know that some industry veterans, whether they are rental companies or press, have already realised this, but it took a festival such as Glastonbury to really bring this to the forefront of my mind. The impact of this experience will influence the rest of my career in ways that I can’t put into words.

Reflecting on my first Glastonbury, I am filled with a sense of pride. It reinforced why I love what I do and how important it is to bring exceptional audio experiences to life. While I went to Glastonbury expecting to be immersed in music of all kinds, it was experiencing the joy that the Sugababes and Coldplay’s performances gave to the crowds that truly became my festival highlight.

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