"I don’t know where I am this time of the morning," burbles a man to his friend as they walk rather unsteadily past  my camping area, just as I’m coming out. Well, it’s about 5.50am at Glastonbury Festival, Friday, June 28. Those two look as if they’ve been up all night; I’ve just got up to do a walkabout of the site before most people are awake.

6am Pyramid Stage. Later today this world-famous stage will host Squeeze, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem and headliner Dua Lipa. The huge arena is empty apart from a few site workers, including a steward walking his dog around the inner area.

Heading towards the main site area, all the shops, food stalls and bars are closed, as well as all the entertainment venues. A few food vendors are working behind the scenes, getting ready to open at 8am.

6.10am West Holt Stage. Yesterday this place was packed and noisy; at this time of the morning, the flags flutter over a deserted field. Nearby a large group of litter pickers have gathered to hear their instructions for the first session of the day.

6.15am. Walking past the Green Futures area I’m greeted by a friendly man who introduces himself as Joseph. He and his wife are working at the Science Futures area, but he’s just heading off to bed after celebrating his birthday.

6.30am The Stone Circle. This is clearly where a few stay-up-all-nighters go to see in the dawn. There are small groups of people, music is playing quietly and someone has lit a fire. Some are asleep, others just about awake, but not in a state to drive or operate machinery.

6.35. At the Green Fields there’s an attractive pond with a small bridge, plants and sculptures – this is one of the countless features you tend to miss during the day with all the crowds around. Two people are just emerging from a hanging ‘cocoon’ after having curled up to sleep there for a while. ‘Looks very comfortable’ I comment. “It was!” they reply.

7am. The Glastonbury Sign. It’s up a steep hill but worth the climb as you can see the whole festival site spread out in front of you; the central area with all the stages, surrounded by fields and fields of tents. The sign itself is smaller than you expect.

So, one hour in the life of Glastonbury Festival when not many people are around. During the day, and even more so in the evening, glitter and sequins and LED lights on costumes are everywhere; at this time of the morning the dress code is high-vis yellow, pink and orange, as most of the people around are site staff, stewards, security staff, fire wardens, etc. Some are finishing their night shift, others just starting the day. The coffee and breakfast stalls are opening up now.

As a first-time visitor to Glastonbury Festival I would totally recommend getting up early to do a walkabout of the site. It’s much easier to see where you’re going and get your bearings; it’s much quicker to get around without crowds of people everywhere, and there are quirky, Glasto-typical details and decorations everywhere that you simply don’t see when you’re distracted by everything else that ‘s going on.

During my walkabout I had visited much more of the site than I managed yesterday, and felt I’d seen a very different side to the festival, one that not everyone here will experience. It was great to finish my tour as the breakfast places were opening, sit down with a coffee and toast, and watch Glastonbury gradually coming to life for the day.