27 July 2023

Are You A Festival Goer?

Festivals – are you in or out? Personally, I am out (as I don’t get the opportunity to really go to them!), but I am always in awe of the scale of organisation that goes into them and what they deliver.

Glastonbury has to be number one in terms of sheer scale of the operation that is just eye-watering.  With my events head on, it is such an impressive task that it not only all comes together, but the mountains of logistics that go into creating this magical world for 210,000 people to descend on in June.

It is a year-round affair, when the winter has set in and Worthy Farm is very far from people’s minds. There is constant work being done to ensure the festival comes to life in the summer and create the magic it is known for. This includes stage planning and building, maps being drawn out and signed off, equipment ordered and, of course, bands and artists booked.

Then 6 weeks before that incredible weekend in Somerset, an army of staff descend on the 900-acre Worthy Farm and get to work! This is no easy task with many working thorough the nights and the long, hot days to erect stages, buildings, toilets, bars and all the little nooks and crannies that Glastonbury is known for. I can imagine the spreadsheets that must be happening for this to take place!

A few stats:

  • 100 stages erected
  • 2,000 long drop toilets / 1,300 compost loos / 700 metres of urinals
  • 100 bars
  • 500 food stalls
  • 40,000 painted bins

Mind blowing, isn’t it? But a little bit of me would love to be involved and be part of bringing such an iconic weekend to life.

And if you look over the water, arguably Coachella in California is doing this but on a bigger scale. With more than 125,000 visiting their magical city each day, this festival has got a life of its own and attracts the who’s who in the world of celebrity and influencer, if that’s your thing!

But it wasn’t always this way as due to its deliberate lower pricing when it launched, it didn’t actually turn a profit until its third year – now it is a very different story with around a £500 price tag for a ticket!

As an event professional, the rise of the festival has been impressive to see and the sheer love and dedication to them from millions of music lovers worldwide means they are not going anywhere. It is so encouraging to see smaller, local festivals springing up too, supporting communities, emerging artists and under-represented groups. Maybe I’ll dust off my wellies this summer – let’s see!


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