IT FELT strange when, prior to last weekend, someone would ask me if I had been to Glastonbury Festival before. Initially, my response would be made with eager desire to become a valued member of the Glasto appreciation crew, “actually yes, I’ve been four times before” I would say. That sense of participation, however, soon would dissipate as I went on to explain that the last time I had been to the festival was at the age of eleven. I am now 28, and both the festival and I have changed considerably since 2007.
Yet, Glastonbury is the kind of festival that moulds you into adulthood, preparing you for a life filled with the weird and wonderful, laying the foundations for an imagination with endless possibilities. It has come to formulate pinnacle cornerstones to my memories of childhood, with my most cherished featuring the indescribable magic of the Kidzfield, dancing to rock bands in patches of squelched grass, or having early training in tactical naps so that we could watch the headline act, popcorn in hand. And so it feels important to lay claim to a different kind of appreciation crew, one that only fellow Glastonbury kids can understand.
Now that I say it, my Glastonbury 2023 experience wasn’t far off my childhood memories at all. And herein lies the magic of the festival – it is designed to be enjoyed by all ages, offering multiple festival experiences under one, albeit very large, umbrella. Your experience is entirely dependent on where you choose to spend it.
Admittedly, when planning for this year’s events, I struggled to utilise my past experiences because the majority of my festival choices were made by my parents. One avenue where I retained, and often insisted, responsibility was in my fashion choices.
Glastonbury was the perfect setting to unleash my ultimate fairy-core fantasy as a child, and now as an adult. The same energy fed into my prepping for 2023, and when comparing images from 20 years ago to now, the strength of Glastonbury’s influence in my wardrobe is clear.
Little Lily at Glastonbury 2002 [not my Stella]
This fairy dress was spotted by me on the first day of the festival and after 24 hours of begging my mum to purchase it, she did. It became a staple of my wardrobe from then on, wearing it layered over jeans, with jumper on top and sparkling tutu peeking out, or with fairy wings if I wanted to make the ultimate statement. I recycled it for my other Glastonbury festival visits too, but I’m afraid to say it fits more like a vest top on me now and therefore did not make an appearance at 2023.
Adult Lily at Glastonbury 2023
I instead opted for this glittering silver knitted two piece from Paloma Wool. I sourced this Y2K belt from EBay, along with the comfiest boots I own and viola. Available at Ssense.com.
It was clearly the year for my butterfly flip flops to sing, and on a cooler day I wore my Florence & Fred at Tesco velour trousers along with my Boden top that I starred in every colour felt tip I owned when the catalogue came through the letterbox. The ice finger I’m holding was the accessory for a 7-year-old.
The Kidzfield. This picture encapsulates the randomness of it all. To further clarify, that yellow sheet behind the human sized cherry tomato is a leek. So despite my socks and penny loafers styled with pyjama bottoms and sports top, I look relatively normal against such a backdrop.
I tried to recreate the vintage sporty vibe for 2023, accessorising with a bubble-gun to infuse a childlike spirit. The bubble gun is enough to spur a crowd of adults into screaming “bubbles” in unison, then proceed to asking for a turn. Success.
The trainers above have been a holy grail 50p find at a carboot sale last summer and were the perfect support for the 50 thousand steps that day. I styled them with Ebay sourced Adidas shorts, vintage sweatshirt tied to me for ease and two gold belts that hung at the hips and gave that little sprinkling of glam.
Lily disguised as dog. Glastonbury 2003.
Despite going to the Kidzfield this year and joining a queue of children eager for face paint, I just didn’t have it in me to endure the wait…. Hear me out. It was very hot, and I also couldn’t quite bear the fact that I would, in the process, be making children wait a minute more for their turn. Because I, of all people, understand the excitement and planning that goes on behind the daily face painted looks. In every single photograph of me as a child at Glastonbury, I am sporting a new visage.
And though Glastonbury do offer face painting tents outside of the Kidzfield, the nostalgia and environment isn’t quite the same. I’ll have to bring my own kit next year. Watch this space.
These photos are, in a way, a love letter to one of the greatest influences behind my fashion sense, a festival that has guided me from childhood to adulthood on a road of fairy dust, bubbles and face paint. Glastonbury Festival, you will forever have my heart.
I’m already counting down the days until next year.
by Lily Rimmer