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Glastonbury Festival Tips and Guide

Glastonbury is the most iconic festival in the world where festivalgoers see some of the greatest live acts and party for days. Glastonbury is my favourite place to be and is an extraordinary live event in every way. If it’s your first time at Glastonbury you will want to know what is so great about Glastonbury and get all of the info to get the best experience from the very first night! 

Ulitmte guide on things to do at Glastonbury festival pin image

All you need to know before you go in this Ultimate Guide to Glastonbury Festival.

How to experience Glastonbury and your favourite bands and not miss a thing! If you are looking to book tickets in 2024 and head off to Glastonbury next year this guide to the festival will help you make the most of it. Here we look at securing tickets, planning your trip, booking a campsite and working out the best spots to camp and what to see and what not to miss. The fabulous festival takes place every year on Worthy Farm in the month of June just after or sometimes during the Summer solstice.

Glastonbury Festival has become known for its unique atmosphere, embracing alternative culture, environmental consciousness, and social activism. The festival incorporates various art installations, theatre performances, circus acts, and workshops, creating a vibrant and immersive experience for attendees.

Glastonbury festival sign 2023 above the stage

Is it worth going to Glastonbury?

Yes, It is absolutely worth going to Glastonbury. It is almost impossible to describe the best festival to someone who has never been. I will do my best to describe Glastonbury and what you can expect if you bag some tickets. 

Glastonbury festival Flowers photo op

How to get tickets to Glastonbury Festival 2024

If you missed out on Glastonbury tickets this year this is the best way to get tickets for 2024. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are registered. You can do this online at Glastonbury See Tickets which is the only official website. You will need a passport-sized Photo and you need to check your registration has gone through before booking tickets. Complete your registration in advance of attempting to book a ticket. Registration closes several weeks before the ticket sale, and you will need to allow time to re-submit your registration if there is a problem. You will need your registration number to book!

Then all you need to do is wait for the ticket sale day. Tickets for Glastonbury in 2023 were priced at £355 plus £5 booking fee, however, it may increase for 2024. Hospitality tickets were £675 plus vat ( that’s if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some )

You may book up to 6 tickets per transaction by paying a deposit of £50 per person when tickets go on sale plus the coach fare if you are doing the coach travel option).

Now comes the hard part! When the ticket sales open you’ll be taken to a holding page. This will refresh and keep refreshing while you wait after entering your details. 

The first tickets to go on sale are the Glastonbury festival tickets with coach travel. Then you will have the release of the general admission tickets. There is normally a re-sale around early April for people that have returned tickets who can not go so check for this too.

Tickets for Locals in the Somerset area.

If you live in Somerset the local ticket sale allows local residents to secure general admission tickets. 

Glastonbury Festival Sunday tickets for the last day are available exclusively to Central Somerset residents. The residents are the people most likely to have been inconvenienced during the preparations for the Festival. 

Hospitality tickets 

Hospitality tickets are for the music industry but some camping at Glastonbury offers hospitality tickets at face value as part of their packages. If you haven’t secured tickets you can book one of the Glamping at Glastonbury options but they are very costly and can run into the thousands. Not all offer this only a select few. Glastonbury does not recommend booking outside of the Glastonbury site; we have however booked Hospitality this way.

Glastonbury Festival History

The history of the Glastonbury Festival dates back to 1970 when the inaugural event occurred at Worthy Farm, near the village of Pilton in Somerset, England. The festival was organized by Michael Eavis, a dairy farmer, and his wife, Jean Eavis. Inspired by other music festivals such as the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music, they aimed to create a unique event that combined music, arts, and countercultural ideals.

The first Glastonbury Festival, originally called the Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival, featured a lineup of performers that included Marc Bolan, Keith Christmas, Stackridge, Al Stewart, and more. The festival attracted an audience of around 1,500 people who paid just £1 for admission and received free milk from the Eavis’ dairy farm.

First year Glastonbury festival poster Pop Folk and Blues 1970 poster 19
First year Glastonbury festival poster Pop Folk and Blues 1970 poster 19

In the following years, Glastonbury Festival grew in popularity, drawing larger crowds and expanding its musical offerings. The festival showcased various genres, from rock and pop to reggae, folk, and electronic music. Notable artists who have performed at Glastonbury over the years include David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Radiohead, Beyoncé, Adele, and Sir Elton John.

Throughout its history, Glastonbury has faced challenges, including financial difficulties, security concerns, and weather-related issues, such as heavy rain causing muddy conditions. However, it has managed to overcome these obstacles and has become one of the most iconic and influential music festivals in the world.

Old Glastonbury festival posters reprinted with straight outta Pilton in  the Glastonbury festival Museum
Old Glastonbury Free Press festival posters reprinted with straight outta Pilton in the Glastonbury festival Museum

In recent years, Glastonbury Festival has taken occasional “fallow years” to allow the farmland to recover and reduce its environmental impact. The festival has also actively supported charitable causes, with proceeds from ticket sales going towards organizations and projects focused on various issues, including poverty, human rights, and environmental sustainability.

What is it like going to Glastonbury?

Nothing can prepare you for the vibe and the size and extent of Glastonbury Festival! It can be completely overwhelming and very emotional. It may not be to everyone’s tastes and some people may find the crowds a bit too much but there is something for everyone. 

It’s highly unlikely you will see everything on your first visit. Glastonbury is so huge it’s like you are in another dimension and not in the real world but there is so much to do.

You can navigate your way around Glastonbury using the app or a map. The site is separated by an old railway line (with no railway on it). Along one side are the areas of Shangri la, the Unfair ground, Arcadia and The Park. On the other side is Block 9, Avalon, West Holts and the Other Stage leading to the main stages and areas such as Silver Hayes the Pyramid stage, the John Peel stage and even Carhenge.

The festival is divided into many different areas and is completely unique! With over 100 stages, 400 food stalls and hundreds of acts each day there is so much to see and do. Every corner you turn will be something else to see, street performers, fairground rides and discos and even a seaside pier. Try to pick a few acts and not worry about attending everything; it’s impossible! Enjoy the festival and explore all areas.

Glastonbury Festival ground is known for its expansive site, divided into various distinct areas. Each area offers a unique atmosphere, activities, and stages, catering to different interests and preferences.

Glastonbury crowd

Here are some of the main areas and main stages you can find at Glastonbury:

Pyramid Stage

The Pyramid Stage is the main stage at Glastonbury and hosts performances by some of the biggest headlining acts. It is located at the heart of the festival site and is known for its iconic pyramid structure. It has a huge open field around it and there is some space on either side that you can camp and see the stage whilst in your tent! In 2022 the Pyramid stage saw the Headline acts of Billie Eilish, Diana Ross and Paul McCartney. In 2023 the pyramid stage saw headline acts of the Artic Monkeys, Guns n Roses and Sir Elton John.

Glastonbury Festival Pyramid stage with Texas playing
Glastonbury Festival Pyramid stage with Texas playing in 2023

The Other Stage

The Other Stage is the second largest stage that features a diverse range of artists, including rock, indie, and alternative acts. It is a popular spot for music lovers seeking energetic performances and new popular bands. There is lots of viewing around this stage and it is a good stage to secure a spot at the front. There are eateries here and a shop for buying your Glastonbury merchandise nearby. In 2023 the Other stage saw headline acts such as Lana del Ray, Manic Street Preachers, Lightening Seeds and Carly Rae Jepsen.

West Holts Stage 

Formerly known as the Jazz World Stage, West Holts showcases various music genres, including jazz, funk, soul, reggae, and world music. It provides a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere for attendees. It again is a very wide open space and easy to get a good spot to watch.

Avalon

Avalon is one of the main areas at Glastonbury Festival. It is a distinct and vibrant zone that showcases a variety of performances, stages, and activities. It has the Avalon Inn with its traditional serving wenches and beer! Located in the southern part of the festival site, Avalon is known for its alternative and folk music acts, as well as its mystical and magical ambience. The area takes inspiration from the legends and folklore associated with Glastonbury and the mythical Isle of Avalon.

Glastonbury festival Avalon inn Bar
Glastonbury Festival Avalon Inn Bar

The Park

The Park offers a mix of music stages, art installations, food stalls, and stunning views from its elevated location. It is known for its diverse lineup and lively ambience, featuring established and emerging artists. You can visit the Glastonbury sign here, the Ribbon Tower and Glastonbury Pier.

Glastonbury festival Ribbon tower and Glastonbury sign
Glastonbury festival Ribbon tower and Glastonbury sign

Arcadia

Arcadia is a unique and immersive area known for its visually spectacular performances, including fire shows, acrobatics, and music. It is characterized by its huge signature spider-like structure and is a popular spot for dance music enthusiasts. DJs play within the Spider and huge lasers light up the hillside from here.

Glastonbury Festival Arcadia Spider
Glastonbury Festival Arcadia Spider

Shangri-La

Shangri-La is a vibrant and whacky immersive district that transforms into a surreal and visually stunning world at night. It features numerous stages, art installations, interactive experiences, and themed areas, offering a dynamic and alternative festival experience. There are bars and nightclubs at night including an underground train to dance on.

Glastonbury festival Shangri La sign
Glastonbury festival Shangri La sign

Green Fields

The Green Fields area focuses on sustainability, well-being, and eco-friendly initiatives. Here you will find Green Futures, The craft field and even the sacred space with a mini Stone Henge. It hosts workshops, talks, yoga and meditation sessions, and stages featuring folk, acoustic, and world music. This area is fascinating with craft classes healing and even a mini Stone Henge.

Glastonbury Festival the Healing Field
Glastonbury Festival the Healing Field

Kidzfield

As the name suggests, Kidzfield is a dedicated area for children and families. It offers a range of entertainment and activities suitable for younger attendees, including performances, workshops, and interactive play areas. Kidzfield is located near Pilton Palace Cinema and the Acoutic stage behind Carhenge. There is also a Lost Kids point in this area too.

Green Kids at Greenpeace

There is also a Green Kids Green peace area with a huge Pirate ship play area. This Is located in the Greenpeace area near the Rockclimbing wall and the Rhizosphere. You can get to the Green Kids via the railway line path and it is located in between the Glade and Avalon. There is so much for kids to do at Glastonbury. 

Theatre & Circus Fields

The Theatre and Circus Fields showcase various performing arts, including theatre, circus acts, street performances, cabaret, and comedy. It provides a lively and entertaining experience for festival-goers. There are acts all day and every day in the Circus field you will find the Juggling Tent, Circus Big Top, Circus Field, The Outside Circus and Crooners Corner.

Glastonbury Festival Circus big top tent lineup
Glastonbury Festival Circus Big Top Tent line up

Carhenge 

Carhenge Pillars of the Underground is Glastonbury’s own ‘Stonehenge’ made from American cars! It is a new installation by the founder of the Mutoid Waste Company and revolutionary underground artist Joe Rush.

Carhenge was a new installation for 2023! It is an amazing place to visit and music echoes around the circle. You can find it at the meeting point on Williams Green.

Glastonbury festival Carhenge
Glastonbury festival Carhenge

The Glade

The glade is a stage for DJs and those who love to dance. expect to see the likes of Gok Wan and Black Box playing sets. Also in the glade area are the Glade dome and the Vodaphone Connect and Charge tent for free mobile charging.

What can I eat at the Glastonbury festival?

Glastonbury Festival offers various food options for various tastes and dietary preferences. There are over 400 food stalls in the Food Markets where you can explore a range of culinary delights. These markets often feature artisanal products, local produce, and speciality food items. You can find a diverse selection of cuisines, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and international dishes. There is even a Co-Op shop onsite too.

Here are some popular food choices you can expect at the festival:

  1. Street Food: Glastonbury boasts an extensive variety of street food stalls and vendors offering a range of delicious options. You can find gourmet burgers, tacos, falafels, burritos, noodles, pizza, wraps, cheese toasties and more.
  2. Global Cuisine: The festival features a diverse array of international cuisines, allowing you to explore flavours from around the world. You might come across Indian curries, Thai stir-fries, Mexican enchiladas, Middle Eastern falafel, Japanese sushi, and other global dishes.
  3. Vegetarian and Vegan Options: Glastonbury is well-known for its vegetarian and vegan food offerings. You can enjoy plant-based burgers, falafel wraps, vegan curries, tofu dishes, vegetable stir-fries, salads, smoothies, and other meat-free options.
  4. Healthy Choices: If you’re looking for healthier food options, you’ll find plenty at Glastonbury. Fresh fruit stalls, smoothie bars, salad bars, juice stands, and organic food options are available throughout the festival site.
  5. Snacks and Treats: For quick bites or indulgent treats, there are plenty of options. You can find popcorn, crepes, churros, doughnuts, ice cream, waffles, cakes, cookies, and more to satisfy your sweet tooth or grab a snack between performances.
  6. Coffee and Beverages: Numerous coffee stands and cafes serve freshly brewed coffee, speciality teas, and hot chocolate. Additionally, bars and beer tents are offering a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including craft beers, ciders, cocktails, soft drinks, and juices.
Glastonbury festival food Thali veggie curry on a school bus
Glastonbury festival food Thali veggie curry on a school bus

Glastonbury £6 meal deal

To keep costs as low as possible they also offer a £6 meal deal incorporating a meal and drinks. Vendors around the festival will have a badge or sign on their wagon saying they participate in the meal deal.

It’s worth noting that Glastonbury Festival has made efforts in recent years to promote sustainability and reduce waste. You’ll find eco-friendly initiatives such as reusable cup systems and composting facilities.

Where can I get help and information at the Glastonbury Festival?

You can go to any info point in Glastonbury for help and information throughout the festival. 

They can provide you with lots of the following for free also;

  • Maps of the festival and travel details
  • Festival information.
  • They will even post cards home!
  • Take in lost property.
  • Free contraception
  • Free earplugs 
  • Toilet roll
  • Borrow some suncream 
  • Find a pay phone 
  • Free daily newspaper, The Glastonbury Free Press

The Info Point is beside the Meeting Point and offers a 24-hour service.

Glastonbury festival Glastonbury press free newspaper Sunday the 25th of june 2023 at the Glastonbury info point
Glastonbury festival Glastonbury press free newspaper Sunday the 25th of june 2023

What do I need to know before going to Glastonbury?

Before heading to Glastonbury Festival, there are several important things to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key Glastonbury Festival tips to consider:

  1. Tickets: Glastonbury operates on a ticketing system, and tickets usually sell out quickly. Only purchase from the official ticket provider.
  2. Festival Dates: Check the official Glastonbury Festival website or reliable sources for the exact dates of the event, as they can vary from year to year.
  3. Camping: Glastonbury is primarily a camping festival, and most attendees stay on-site in tents or campervans. Familiarize yourself with the available camping areas and plan your camping arrangements to find a great spot. Check the festival guidelines regarding tent sizes, campervan permits, and any restrictions on camping equipment.
  4. Facilities and Amenities: Glastonbury Festival provides essential facilities such as toilets, showers, water points, and first aid stations throughout the site. Locate these on your first day. Try the compost loos; they often smell much better! Try not to stay too near the toilets or a main thoroughfare.
  5. Packing Essentials: Do not forget your festival essentials and pack appropriate clothing and footwear suitable for weather conditions, which can be unpredictable. Bring camping gear, including a tent, roll mats, sleeping bag, camping mat, and any necessary personal items. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, rain gear, portable chargers and a reusable water bottle to fill up around the site. If you are a light sleeper take a sleep mask and some ear plugs.
  6. Festival Guide and Schedule: Watch for the official festival guide or app, which provides important information, stage schedules, and a site map. Plan your itinerary and highlight the performances or activities you wish to attend.
  7. Travel and Transportation: Consider the various transportation options to reach the festival site. Glastonbury offers designated car parks and shuttle services from nearby train stations. Plan your travel in advance and be prepared for potential traffic congestion around the festival area. There is a free shuttle bus to the Castle Cary station.
  8. Safety and Security: Take note of the festival’s safety guidelines and security measures. Follow instructions from festival staff and security personnel, and keep your belongings secure at all times. It’s advisable to avoid bringing valuable items or large amounts of cash. Label items that are valuable in the hope they can be returned to you.
  9. Food and Water: Glastonbury offers various food and drink options, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Familiarize yourself with the available food areas and bring cash or a card for purchases. There is an atm on site as well as a Co-op shop and Pharmacy. You can take alcohol, but you are not allowed to take it in glass bottles.
  10. Festival Etiquette: Respect fellow festival-goers and the environment by following the festival’s guidelines and rules. Be mindful of noise levels, especially early in the morning and dispose of waste responsibly, and be considerate of others’ space. “Love the farm and leave no trace.”
  11. Property lock-ups: There are free property lock-ups to store valuables or spare clothes.
  12. Plan for the weather: Check the weather forecast and be prepared for rain or shine. It can be very hot at the festival but also very wet! No one likes a festival in the rain so go with boots, and rain gear as well as plastic bags for wet clothes.
Glastonbury festival Greenpeace stage and tree
Glastonbury festival Greenpeace stage and tree

Can older people go to Glastonbury?

Glastonbury is made for all ages and walks of life. There are lots of older people there and many people have been attending the festival for years.

What day is best to go to Glastonbury?

Determining the “best” day to attend Glastonbury Festival can depend on personal preferences and what you hope to experience during your long weekend visit. 

If you are camping in your own tent then you will need to arrive as early as possible to secure your camp spot. If you have a preerected tent or you are glamping at Glastonbury then you can rock up much later in the week.

Wednesday is normally a very relaxed chilled day and perfect for exploring the festival and the different places it offers such as the craft village.

The thursday has no big acts on so it can be busy in the bars smaller stages and nightclubs. Friday, Saturday and Sunday see the headline acts so it may be very crowded. They also offer day tickets to locals on a Sunday so the last day is very busy and crowded 

Glastonbury Festival continues to attract thousands of music lovers and festival-goers from around the world, offering a diverse lineup of music, arts, and cultural experiences while maintaining its reputation as a platform for positive social change. I hope you get the chance to experience this amazing Music festival!

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