Enticing 210,000 festival-goers over 5 days of non-stop music, fun, frivolity, performing arts, and partying hard, check out what happens at Glastonbury Festival…
A deluge of activities and everything imaginable takes place over 5 days of 24/7 festival entertainment at Glastonbury Festival (Glasto), the festival that never sleeps!
Ready to marvel at the gigantic scale of iconic Glasto?
Spanning 900-plus acres over 14 working farms near the tiny village of Pilton in England’s gorgeous Somerset County, this drone footage puts Glasto’s size into perspective.
First, a little on backstages as these are definitely worth mentioning.
Although Glasto has over 100 stages throughout the festival grounds, many also have a backstage. As the name suggests, these are only accessible if you can secure special wristbands.
Backstages are where volunteers, crew, and musicians chill out and relax. Other perks include shorter queues for slightly cleaner long drops than the punter areas, comfortable lounges, more music of course, and a chance to meet celebrities if that’s your bag. This year, hand sanitiser and toilet paper were amiss in some backstages.
What is Glasto really like?
Brilliant. Atmospheric. Fantastic. Outlandish. Marvellous.
I could go on but you’ll be bored so I’ll just say that it’s an experience you really can’t miss!
I’m always in awe of how 200,000-plus people from all walks of life, across all ages, come together to form a community to absorb 5 days of pure music and art mania, without many incidents.
If you’re anything like me, then be prepared to walk an average of 20-plus kilometres each day as there really is so much to see and experience – you definitely don’t want to miss anything.
The famous Sonic venue in Silver Hayes village was replaced with The Levels this year – “a new open-air nightclub inspired by the crossover of architecture, lighting and experimental musical art-forms”.
An area where festival-goers party hard to high decibels of drum and bass music until 3:30 am, before continuing onto Shangri-la for non-stop partying until 8am.
Block9’s IICON Stage, and Shangri-la
Block9’s mammoth and stunning 65-foot high sculpture IICON is awe-inspiring!
Bild Studios created this wonderfully innovative futuristic stage. From Block9’s co-founder, Gideon Berger: IICON is “a sinister monument to the terrifying realities of this digital, post-truth age that we find ourselves in”.
A fabulous 180 Fact short video on IICON from 2022 for you…
From the underground clubs of NYC Downlow to the “post-apocalyptic hedonism” of Shangri-la, Glasto’s party scene’s unforgettable and wild nightlife is where…
…boundaries of creativity and self-expression are pushed to the limits.
Pennard Hill Ground
Surveying across Pennard Hill Ground in the fading light, waiting for the sweltering sun to subside, delivers respite and cooling relief.
The new and eclectic Car Henge…
Catching the fantastic Mongolian band The Hu at the West Holts stage…
…and another excellent performance by The Tesky Brothers a Melbourne (Australia) band at the Other Stage.
A profusion of stages scattered throughout Glasto creates fabulous hubs for music and performing arts – nonstop partying.
Previous three Glastonbury Festivals
This sultry 2023 Glastonbury Festival is my 4th festival but also the 4th time volunteering as a steward for the Silver Hayes area.
No longer a Glastonbury Virgin as lost this during 2016’s mud-fest, my second festival was during the sun-fest of 2017, then back again for another festival onslaught sweltering in 2019, before COVID-19 hit.
The Glasto 2023 festival was manic and a blast! In my humble opinion, the Other Stage holds much better music than the Pyramid Stage.
Queens of the Stone Age were absolutely brilliant live! The atmosphere was electrifying with a slick and memorable performance.
Mind-blowing festival rundown
- The festival spans between 900 to 1,000 acres – around 500 football pitches in size – and spreads over 14 farms
- It takes the best part of an hour to walk between the two furthest corners of the site but add another half an hour if it’s muddy
- Festival capacity 210,000 – not including officials, police, and children under 13
- Over 3,000 performances across 100-plus stages
- 135,000 tickets sold in 22 minutes with the last batch in 6 minutes
- Around 300 volunteers as Silver Hayes Fire Stewards but around 2,000 volunteer Stewards in total
- Around 50 people are employed full time
- Glasto “costs about £40 million to hold of which about £2 million a year goes to charities” – Emily Eavis
- £335 entry fee + £5 booking fee to camp for 5 nights but more for a motorhome, caravan, or campervan – what you get for your money
- The sale of single-use plastic and glass is banned
- Free water points throughout the festival grounds
- Posh off-site glamping costs up to £24,000
- 6 weeks to dismantle the festival site and return the grounds to working farms
More than 1,300 volunteers clean up the astonishing mess left behind by partygoers.
Typically, the cleaning starts on Monday morning straight after the final Sunday, although this year, the clean-up started almost as soon as Elton John’s performance finished on Sunday night.
Literally, tons of rubbish must be cleared, Worthy Farm be left as it was, and everyone out of the farm by Tuesday. It’s a monumental task involving over 1,000 volunteer rubbish “pickers” this year.
Although I’ve read that since 2019, 99% of tents are taken home by festival-goers. I’m not sure how accurate this is or how anyone can calculate the figure. At least the leftover tents are donated to the Scouts and charity, not just thrown away.
One of the Silver Hayes Fire Stewards crew at 03:30 am after our last shift for Glastonbury Festival 2023!
Of course, Glasto wouldn’t be Glasto without the fantastic RAF Red Arrows cruising over the festival grounds -take a peek…
On shift and missed Yusuf/Cat Stevens. Wild World – a blast from the past for you…
Where is the Glasto festival?
The festival is held in fields not far from the village of Pilton, which is some 6 miles from Glastonbury in Somerset’s mythical Vale of Avalon.
This tiny village is home to just over 1,000 residents, although explodes to a city of 210,000 during the Glasto festival.
Thought I’d create this little taste of a few actual scenes from Glasto – enjoy!
Now that Glasto is over for another year, check back next week for continuing travel tips about Japan’s amazing and vibrant city of Osaka.
Note: All photos by Nilla’s Photography unless otherwise mentioned. No part of this post was composed with the help of ChatGPT or AI.