Are you in the mood for a festival? The world-famous Glastonbury Festival takes place annually on a farm in Pilton, which is located near Glastonbury in the south of England. It is one of the biggest open-air music festivals on the planet.
The event area, Worthy Farm, is the dairy farm of Michael Eavis. Apart from musicians, there are also comedy, theater, dance, and circus performances. If you love festivals, don’t miss out on the great Glastonbury Festival in England!
The fun usually takes place on the last weekend in June and normally lasts three days. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this famous music festival. In addition, you will also learn something about the history of the festival and what you should bring with you, as well as what you need to watch out for during your visit.
History of the Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival first took place on September 19, 1970 and has since become one of the largest open-air music festivals. The year after its debut, Andrew Kerr took over the organization. In 1971, admission was still free and music legend David Bowie graced its stage.
At first, the festival was called Glastonbury Fayre, but it was renamed Glastonbury Festival in 1981. In 1985, the organizers realized that the event was outgrowing Worthy Farm due to its increasing popularity, so the site was expanded to include the nearby Cockmill Farm.
In 2004, more than 150,000 visitors attended the legendary festival, which featured performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Oasis, and James Brown – just to name a few. Back then, tickets cost the equivalent of about 131 euros. In 2019, the Glastonbury Festival had over 200,000 visitors.
A positive change was announced in 2019. Disposable plastic bottles are no longer allowed on the premises. Attendees are now asked to bring reusable metal water bottles. Free water stations are made available to help keep all party-goers hydrated.
Popularity of the event has increased despite the region’s rainy weather and the muddy festival site. It doesn’t seem to bother festival lovers at all – just bring your rubber boots and good vibes.
Michael Eavis, who originally owned the farm, is still involved in the organization of the festival. Most of his earnings are donated to charity. Thanks to many volunteers, the costs of putting on the festival are always kept relatively low.
Music and Artists
The Glastonbury Festival is often referred to as the English Woodstock. The musical spectrum of this huge event is extremely diverse and doesn’t just focus on rock music.
In addition to stars like Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, and Led Zeppelin, pop performers like Lady Gaga, Shakira, and Coldplay have also graced the stage. In the past, Metallica, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, and Beyoncé have also performed and thrilled thousands of spectators with their sets. In 2019, you would have seen Miley Cyrus, The Killers, Hozier, Tame Impala, Billie Eilish, and many other famous artists.
Since 2007, the BBC Introducing Stage allows newcomers and bands who have not yet been signed to perform. Both Two Door Cinema and Jake Bugg, well known nowadays, started out on the BBC Introducing Stage and were invited back to play on the main stage a year later.
The line-up for this great festival is incredible every year and filled with amazing, talented stars. Most of the time, the artist names are not released until a few months before the festival starts.
Explore Glastonbury Festival
There are many different sections at the festival – each with its own character. It is worth just walking around the grounds and exploring each of the areas. Sometimes you will find the most exciting venues outside the big, popular stages and away from the main acts.
There is the Cineramaggedon for example, which is a film festival at the Glastonbury Festival. Here you can rent your own car and watch a movie in comfort – just like in a drive-in cinema!
Or how about visiting the theater or a circus with over 1,500 different shows to choose from? There really is something for everyone here!
There are thousands of acts to explore on over a hundred different stages. The music is only one part of the mind-blowing, not-to-be-missed Glastonbury experience. Also good to know: all ages are welcome here!
Charities and Causes
There are many charitable organizations involved in the Glastonbury Festival. Greenpeace, Water Aid, and Oxfam provide support, raise money, and make donations every year. These organizations all have their own area at the festival where they teach visitors about environmental awareness and social commitment.
Close to a million British pounds are donated to charity every year. Furthermore, there is the Glasto Recycling Team which picks up recyclables, also resulting in a large sum of donation money.
Other Things to Know Before You Go
There is an official campsite which is included in the price of the ticket. You also have the option to sleep in a tipi or to bring your own camping van.
You will find a small packing list on their website, so you should check that out to know exactly what to bring. We also recommend that you write down your name and address on all your belongings in case something gets lost.
In addition, you will find available parking opposite the site of the festival. You can get to the festival from different cities with the National Express busses. There is also a shuttle service from Castle Cary train station where direct trains arrive from London.
When it comes to buying tickets, there are many packages to choose from, some of which include bus and train transportation. These are usually available a few days before general tickets go on sale. Festival tickets often go online in October for the following June. They sell out extremely fast so make sure to buy your tickets as soon as they go online.
The Surroundings of Glastonbury
Are you interested in extending your stay in England past the weekend? Then we recommend that you explore the surrounding areas of the Glastonbury Festival. Glastonbury itself is a small, sweet town with about 8,000 residents. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey as well as Glastonbury Tor hill are definitely worth a visit! The village is steeped in interesting myths. Bridgwater is another popular destination with some great museums.
Glastonbury is also a great starting point for trips to other towns. How about going on an adventure to Bristol – or even to the capital of Wales? If you don’t mind a slightly longer train or bus ride, you can even go all the way to London. This takes about three hours and will be rewarded with all the great places you can discover there.
Well, do you feel like going to the Glastonbury Festival yet? It is definitely an incredible experience to witness this huge festival. Every year, famous artists come here to play in front of huge crowds. Apart from the music, there are a lot of other great things to explore. Grab some friends and get ready for an unforgettable weekend!