Dom Joly: Confessions of a Glasto virgin

Dom Joly at Glasto 2022 with son Jackson

Dom Joly at Glasto 2022 with son Jackson - Credit: Dom Joly

The comedian with wanderlust reports from Cheltenham

I went to Glastonbury for the first time ever this year. Here are some thoughts on the whole affair.  

People waving flags on long poles are an integral part of the event. They ranged from photos of Boris kissing the King of Saudi Arabia, to more basic ones saying “TITS” to a brilliant yellow one proclaiming that “This is a work event.” My personal favourite was one that had a drawing of a piece of cheese along with the word “Gouda.” 

I was forced to tackle the public inconveniences. After 20 minutes of queueing, I managed to push a slow, stoned hippy out of the way and force myself into a green metal stable that had the words “Amber Heard shat in my tent” scrawled on the back wall. I grimly did my business while desperately thinking of my happy place, which was home. I think this might be the closest I’ll ever get to understanding daily life in a refugee camp.  

I came out and lined up again for the sink to wash my hands clean of the horror. A rather posh-looking twenty-something, clearly mashed out of her head, was trying to fill her water container but seemed entirely unable to grasp the concept of the screw top. After two desperate minutes, she looked up at me and whispered ‘help’ in such a sweet manner that I couldn’t be angry with her. I unscrewed it and then watched her pour water down the side, completely missing the hole for about a minute before she wandered off, unsteadily, into the heaving wall of humanity. 

Dom's view from the stage at Glastonbury

Dom's view from the stage at Glastonbury - Credit: Dom Joly

In the Pyramid Stage crowd, three student types in front of me were scooping vast spoonsful of cocaine out of a small leather pouch and ingesting it like it was going out of fashion. They were sitting right next to a young couple with two tiny children, both of whom were sporting ear defenders. The couple looked longingly at the carefree student-types and most probably longed for some chemical assistance themselves.  

Then, the words, nobody wants to hear.  

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‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage… Greta Thunberg.’ 

The crowd reacted as though some achingly cool band that you were too afraid to dislike had been introduced.  

The Swedish Joan of Arc of the Environment movement came on and gave us all a doom-laden, talking-to that must surely have been the inspiration for Kendrick Lamar’s Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.

Several of the surrounding drug-takers descended into their own paranoid worlds as we were told, over and over again, that we were all going to die in a fiery, famished, flooded Armageddon of our own making.  

Quite what Haim – the band of sisters following her onto the stage – must have made of her murdering the mood was unclear. They were definitely prepared for global warming, however, as they all appeared in matching black bikinis.  

Stacey, Jackson and Dom Joly at Glastonbury 2022

Stacey, Jackson and Dom Joly at Glastonbury 2022 - Credit: Dom Joly

There was a very weird moment halfway through their set when, as part of some “strong women sticking it to men” bit, the singer pretended to take a phone call from some surfer called Brad who she then told to f*ck off because she was onstage at Glastonbury. 

The phone ring they used for this bit was the Nokia tune made famous by my very own Trigger Happy TV Big Mobile character. It was totally surreal. People all round started to shout, ‘HELLO…WHAT? NO, I’M AT GLASTONBURY!’ And then spotted me and had their minds blown. I started to wonder whether I had partaken in a mushroom or ten and had forgotten that I had agreed to do a “bit” with Haim.  

It was all very confusing.  

It was all rather wonderful.

Follow Dom on Twitter: @domjoly

Dom is taking his show Holiday Snaps – Travel and Comedy In The Danger Zone to Cirencester's Barn Theatre on August 5 & 6. barntheatre.org.uk