A magical land where all your wildest dreams can come true …
You’ve probably heard of the iconic Glastonbury Festival but have you been yet? For me, it was a definite bucket-list item, one that I was hoping to tick off whilst living abroad in London. And I was lucky enough to attend the incredible festival in June 2017.
I’d never been to a music festival before, let alone a five-day camping festival, the likes of Glastonbury. But for me I just thought, go big or go home! And it was one of the best experiences of my life!
What is Glastonbury Festival?
Glastonbury Festival is an annual contemporary music festival hosted in Somerset, England. The festival spans across five days in June, playing host to performances across all arts including, music, dance, comedy, circus, cabaret and theatre. The festival features three headlining acts, as well as thousands of other performers across the site’s several stages.
Glastonbury is known for being the largest greenfield festival worldwide, with attendance exceeding 100,000. Aside from the thousands of performances, festival goers can also explore other areas of the site, including the Green Fields and the Woods.
Note: The Festival also has fallow years (a year off), usually every five years, in order to maintain the festival site. The next Glastonbury Festival will be held in 2019.
How Do I Get Tickets?
Tickets to the iconic British festival can be quite hard to come by. In order to access the ticket purchasing website you have to register online. It is completely free to register, and is essential prior to ticket sales.
Note: Unfortunately, registering does not guarantee you a ticket, so ensure you are ready when ticket sale opens.
Tickets tend to go on sale in early October, keep up to date with the Glastonbury Festival website for exact dates. Coach packages are the first to go on sale, which include the festival tickets and coach transfers to and from the festival from major UK cities. In the following days, the General Admission sale opens. If you aren’t already aware, tickets sell out almost immediately, so be ready as soon as the site goes live. Each transaction can accommodate six tickets, and a deposit of £50 is required to secure sale.
Note: All tickets are personalised to the ticket-holder and can therefore non-transferable. If purchasing a coach package, the full coach fare must be paid in addition to the £50 deposit.
Tip: Deposits for tickets cannot be placed unless you are registered, so to avoid disappointment, make sure you register before the ticket sale opens.
Festival tickets grant festival-goers access to several camping sites across Worthy Farm, however camping equipment is not provided. Later in October, accommodation packages, camper-van passes and tipis will be available for purchase.
Final ticket balances, £188, must be settled in the first week of April. Any balances unsettled by the deadline will be partially refunded and tickets released in the resale. Ticket resale occurs around April, but monitor the Glastonbury Festival website for up to date information.
Note: See Tickets is the only verified agency permitted to sell Glastonbury Festival tickets. Do not purchase from other sites!
How Much Do Tickets Cost?
In 2017 ticket prices were £238 with an additional £5 booking fee. The ticket includes:
Five nights camping onsite (camping equipment not included – you can purchase an additional package for camping equipment)
Access to free mobile phone charging
Providing support to Oxfam, Greenpeace, Wateraid and other worthy charities
Support and funding to improve and maintain the festival grounds
What Should I Pack?
Now you’re going to be camping for five days straight with little or no access to a shower and you’re going to have to carry everything you bring on your back so just keep that in mind when you’re packing. I seriously can’t stress this enough, but DON’T overpack! The campsite is seriously ginormous and you really don’t want to be lugging all your gear for miles and miles.
Alcohol (no glass – this will be confiscated)
Small backpack or bum bag
Water bottle (you can refill for free across the site, plus it’s great for filling up with your own mixers to carry around during the day)
Small snacks (muesli/breakfast bars)
Shewee (for the ladies)
Clothes to last the festival
Clean clothes to wear on the bus/car ride home
Blow up pillow
Medical Kit (remember band aids, paracetamol and hydrolyte)
Camping chair (whilst it is nice to have a seat, it ends up being more of a nuissance)
Glastonbury Festival 2017
Glastonbury Festival is a completely indescribable experience, and a festival unlike any other. At Glastonbury, you throw your cool card out, and everyone can really just be themselves with no judgement; it is truly freeing.
I embarked upon my Glasto journey with my beautiful friend, Lauren, who was also a first timer. Geared up and ready to go we jumped onto our coach buzzing with excitement for the weekend ahead. Now, we knew the coach was going to take a long time, because everyone and their dog was heading exactly where we were, to the land of dreams, Glastonbury Festival. But we really didn’t expect the usual two-and-a-half-hour drive to take seven hours! And that it is not even an exaggeration!
So, after the longest drive, with our coach driver missing the parking entrance not once, not twice but three time, we arrived at Glastonbury. No words can describe just how excited we were to get off the coach!
After having our tickets checked and a brief security check, we had entered the festival grounds and it was time to pitch our tents! Arriving on Thursday evening, thanks a lot traffic! There were slim pickings for campsites near the main stages. We managed to find ourselves a spot a mere 5-minute walk from the Pyramid Stage, which would host the three headline acts of Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran. Our campsite wasn’t exactly perfect; we ended up camping beside the path, which we had been told to avoid at all costs, but luckily, we had a rare, DRY Glastonbury, so it wasn’t a problem. We were seriously, lucky, the previous year was mud-central!
With the tents pitched, it was time to explore! Although some performances start on the Thursday, the main festival programme doesn’t start until Friday, so off we went exploring. Now if you know anyone that’s been to Glasto before, I’m sure they would have told you just how big the festival is. There is ABSOLUTELY no way that you can comprehend just how big Worthy Farm really is until you see it for yourself. We thought we had walked through the entire site on our first afternoon, but as the weekend went on we kept on discovering more and more of the festival; it is ginormous!!
Friday marked the start of Glastonbury, with some of the world’s best performers lighting up the Glastonbury stages and creating ultimate festival vibes. And that is exactly how the weekend went on. There’s really no comparison to experiencing the festival, so I’m going to stop here and just leave it up to you to journey to Glastonbury and experience the iconic festival for yourselves. I will leave some essential tips though below for those lucky enough to get their hands on an elusive Glastonbury Ticket!
Any other tips?
Getting tickets – organise your Glasto crew early, and all be ready (with everyone’s registration numbers) to try your hand at purchasing tickets as soon as the site goes live
The coach – be prepared for a really, really and I mean really long coach drive. Bring snacks and music to pass the time. And if you think the ride there is bad, just wait for the return journey. The return coach trip takes twice as long, and you will sit in traffic with the engine off for 3 hours, I kid you not. Plus, don’t forget you’re stuck on a bus with 50 other people who haven’t showered for the past five days, sounds just delightful doesn’t it – NOT. But its all part of the Glasto experience
Pitching your tent – if it’s a wet Glastonbury, avoid camping near the path at all costs. We were lucky that this wasn’t a problem for us, but in past years, people camping in these spots have ended up with their tent sliding and sinking deep into the mud.
Toilets – Well you know straight off the bat that the toilet situation isn’t going to be great, it is a festival after all. The festival has three different types of toilets:
1. Long drop – The most predominant toilet option and it starts smelling bad pretty quickly.
2. Compost – Not as many as the long drops but they are more private and don’t smell so bad, as quickly. Be prepared to wait longer for these, but for the first few days of the festival, they are well worth the wait.
3. Portaloo – Rare and tend to be reserved for the disabled. If you can use one of these in the first two days, you are one lucky duck. But DON'T try and use these on the final days, these end up being worse than even the long drops.
Showers – There are free showers available on the site but they tend to be far away from the major campsites and waiting times can be really long. Friends of ours tried it and spent three quarters of the day there. If you can’t be bothered, try some shower wipes, they do a pretty good job. And hey, you’re at Glastonbury, everyone is in the same boat.
Headline Acts – If there is an act that you really want to see, make sure that you go to the stage early. For us it was Ed Sheeran, headlining Sunday night. We sat through the two performances prior to his gig and still ended up quite far away from the stage. If you’re really dedicated, you’ll likely have to sit at the stage all day.
ATMs – There are multiple ATM locations across the festival site. Some charge whilst others don’t, so make sure you check on the site map where you can find your nearest and fee free cash point.
Food – There are plenty of options for food, so many that I would challenge anyone to try all of the food venders within the one weekend. A collection of the venders run a food for a fiver campaign where you can get a meal for a mere £5, pretty good for festival prices I’d say.
Hair – Girls, if you really want you can get your hair braided, or washed and styled at a pop up salon for a fee.
Glastonbury Sign – Have you really been to Glastonbury if you haven’t had a picture with the iconic sign? Make sure you head there and see the epic view over the festival site too.
Most of all, just embrace everything that Glastonbury is and have the most incredible experience, who knows when you’ll be lucky enough to return!