Just when you thought Glastonbury couldn’t get any stranger, wilder, or mind-bendingly entertaining, they go and turn it up to 11.
Trash City, the area introduced just three years ago, has come of age. This is Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome-type entertainment, interspersed with the kind of visual, aural, and interactive enjoyment that busy little minds looking for kicks and thrills can only dream of.
There’s bombed-out helicopters high above us; to the left there’s what looks like the helm of an abandoned warship, jutting into the skyline and housing one of the best little club deck areas to be found on site - as is evident by the amount of people queuing to get on board. Over there, we find the smashed-out wreckage of a New York city apartment, transvestite showgirls pirouetting and prowling over the chasm, inviting revellers to enter below and into NYC Downlow: the world’s first travelling gay disco. These are only things that hit us instantly as we walk through the gates, but there’s much, much more going on in this hive of activity and wonder.
After watching a fire-breathing display from a mammoth steel and metal sculpture, we decide to join the queue for the Drag Strip, which has the look of a gothic cathedral of sin from the outside. The outside is impressive, but it’s inside where the fun happens.
Onstage to our right is what we initially think is two girls from the crowd, dragged up to do karaoke, complete with cute and furry costumes. How wrong could we be?! The beats kicks in and the two fluffy creatures break into a unified erotic dance, grinding their hips together to the tune of Nine Inch Nails growling, “I wanna fuck you like an animal”. “You don’t get this shit in the Healing Fields!” says the wide-eyed punter next to me, and as the bunny and bear zip off their costumes to reveal themselves I nod in agreement. From then on it is general sleazy cabaret mayhem, dancers taking turns to delight the crowds, flicking the middle digit at any fool that dares cross their spiked heels.
Throughout the weekend there are performances and sets by well-known and underground names – on the Drag Strip stage on Saturday we witness a climatic performance by Ebony Bones, whose madcap electronic funk and colourful costumes provide a perfect soundtrack for the surroundings. She climbs the framework of the tent as the crowd scream its adoration, pulling everyone into her hypnotic spell, including the Clash team.
When we finally give up the ghost and decide to reluctantly move on, we stagger outside into the early morning sunlight, blinking and sweating, but with huge, satisfied grins on our dirty, mixed-up faces.
If you were dumb enough, too inexperienced, or too out of your skull and you somehow managed to miss Trash City this year, be a wise one and make it your first port of call in 2010.
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