Voices: Forget the apps – the place for dating is Glastonbury

Every year, when I descend onto Glastonbury’s muddy fields, sweating, sore, and dragged down by a million bags, there’s only ever one thing on my mind. It isn’t how much my back is hurting. Nor is it how I’m going to manage to see all the bands on my increasingly long list. No. Amid all of the feral chaos, the main thing that’s on my mind is love.

To anyone who hasn’t been to Glastonbury, this will sound odd. After all, this is a place without showers. There are no mirrors to top up your makeup. And, after a few days, you can’t really go anywhere without the lingering scent of Portaloos. Despite all this, though, Glastonbury is one of the most romantic places I know.

Friends of mine have fallen in love on those very fields. Others have gotten engaged, lost their virginities, and one couple I know will be getting married there this year. There’s just something in the air. Maybe it’s because everyone is so grateful to have got a ticket – they famously often sell out within 20 minutes. Or perhaps it’s because the festival feels so far removed from our daily lives. It could also be the fact that Glastonbury goers are typically high on life (as well as other things)

Regardless, I find that whenever I go to Glastonbury, everyone I come across is in a good mood. Generally, it’s a lawless place – the kind where you can eat a burger at 3am and do laughter yoga five minutes later. You can get your chakras rearranged at the Healing Fields, and partake in a 5km run around the site. You can get lost down a literal rabbit hole, and dance in front of live flames. Put simply: it’s just a lot of fun.

All this means the atmosphere is ripe for romance. You’re far more likely to find strangers friendly and approachable at Glastonbury than you are at, say, your local pub on a Friday night. I’ve always felt this and, having been to the festival almost every year since I was 16, I’ve forever been hopeful that my time will come.

There have been near misses. Like the time I wasted two hours trying to find a guy I’d been dating who told me to meet him by the Park stage, only to then find out his phone had died.

There was also the time I got into the festival aged 17 so last minute that I arrived without any provisions, including a tent. My only option, I resolved, was to find someone to fall madly in love with me that would allow me to share their sleeping bag. I got in at around 2pm; this left me with several hours to play with. I nearly found someone near the Brothers tent, but after a few hours of flirting, they eventually confessed they were at the festival with their girlfriend. It was a former flame that came to my rescue in the end – one I wasn’t particularly interested in, but had a tent to himself near Stone Circle. It did the job, but I wouldn’t call it a love story.

This year, who knows what will happen? I always end up bumping into ghosts from my romantic past, which never fails to baffle me considering there are over 200,000 people on the site. On one occasion, I wound up watching Phoebe Bridgers with an ex, only for a stranger to walk past and say what a “cute” couple we were. Not ideal – but a friend once told me that running into exes is a sign that you’re about to meet someone new.

So, if that’s my fate this year, bring it on. Because frankly, I’d love for someone to ask me how I met my partner and see the look on their face when I reply, “Oh, we met at Glastonbury.”