The Ultimate Guide to Glastonbury Festival

Words by Le Chameau

May 21, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Glastonbury Festival

The Ultimate Guide to Glastonbury Festival

Lucky enough to score yourself tickets to Glasto? Welcome to our ultimate guide, where we'll help you decipher travel, packing essentials, and how to get the most out of your experience. Now one of the biggest music festivals in the UK, Worthy Farm has been the place to be every summer since 1970, growing from just 1500 attendees that first year to over 200,000 in 2022. With a myriad of A-list performers, mouth-watering food stalls, and 24/7 party vibes to enjoy, we'll help you be prepared to fit in as much fun as possible.

Getting Glastonbury Tickets

The first hurdle to attending the iconic Glastonbury is acquiring tickets. In 2022, coach tickets sold out in just 22 minutes, which means that speed really is of the essence here.

Here are some of our top tips for not leaving empty-handed:

  • Register your details ahead of time
  • Gather a group to increase your chances
  • Know what you want: To coach or not to coach?
  • Use multiple devices
  • Have your funds ready
  • Try again at the re-sale

Where To Stay: Camp, Glamp, or Hotel?

Many people will say there is no other way to do Glastonbury Festival than camp, and there are plenty of great options for those who love it. However, let's explore all of your accommodation choices, so you can decide what's right for you.

  • Camping: Glastonbury is known for its camping experience, and it's a great way to fully immerse yourself in the festival's atmosphere. There are several camping options available, including general camping, family camping, and accessible camping. It's important to note that camping spots fill up quickly, so it's best to book in advance.
  • Glamping: For those who prefer a more comfortable camping experience, Glastonbury offers several glamping options, such as pre-erected tents, tipis, yurts, and even luxury caravans. These options provide additional amenities such as comfortable beds, bedding, and even private bathrooms.
  • Hotels and B&Bs: If camping isn't for you and you prefer modern conveniences for a comfortable stay, there are several hotels and B&Bs located near the festival site. Although these tend to book up fast and can be quite expensive, you may have to take a chance and book your stay before you even get tickets.
  • Caravans and Motorhomes: Glastonbury also provides an area for caravans and motorhomes, which offer a convenient and comfortable option for those who prefer to have their own space.

When deciding how to stay at Glastonbury, you should consider logistics like your mode of transport, how easily you can get to and around the campsite, as well as what it is you're there to see.

The Glastonbury Packing List

Almost as difficult as procuring tickets is deciding what to pack. Between camping essentials, avoiding fashion faux pas, and anticipating the unpredictable British summer weather, it can be a tricky one to get right. Let's break down what you need, and just as importantly, what you don't.

The Essentials

Let's go through the absolute essentials to bring with you and some extra tips on how to make things more comfortable:

  1. A good quality tent is essential for camping at Glastonbury. Look for a tent that is waterproof, easy to set up, and large enough to accommodate your group
  2. A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is important to ensure you get a good night's sleep, especially as temperatures can drop at night. A camping mat will provide extra cushioning and insulation from the ground
  3. Accessories for all weather: sunglasses, sun hat, sun cream, raincoat, and lots of extra layers
  4. Bring essential toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes, and hand sanitiser
  5. Staying hydrated is crucial for your health and safety, so bring your own water bottle e and use the refilling stations as there is no single-use plastic allowed
  6. A portable phone charger is essential to keep your phone and other devices charged throughout the festival, as there may not be a reliable source of electricity available
  7. A camping stove and cookware will allow you to cook your own food and save money on buying food from vendors. Just be mindful of the rules around this kind of equipment
  8. Pack non-perishable foods such as canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits and nuts. You want things that are easy to eat on the go and can be safely stored in your tent for a few days without going bad
  9. A camping chair or portable seating will provide a comfortable place to relax and rest your feet while enjoying the campsite atmosphere
  10. Earplugs can help you get a good night's sleep, especially if you're camping near a noisy area. If you're planning to be near speakers or in louder areas, it's also a good idea to use your earplugs during the day – your hearing will thank you
  11. A small medical kit with lots of plasters for small grazes and blisters, bandages, antihistamines, painkillers, and other necessities will help patch up small health issues. There will be medical staff on-site to help with anything more serious
  12. A small bag that can hold your daily essentials safely with you wherever you go

What To Wear

Almost as important as the music is the fashion. Glasto is the place to be seen for celebrities and influencers, so lots of people like to put their best foot forward and dress up for the occasion. Even if you're not a fashionista, it can be difficult to know exactly what to bring to ensure you look and feel good for the entire festival.

Layers: Something everyone will recommend is that you bring lots of layers. Think vests, long sleeve t-shirts, and jackets, so you can be ready to change with the weather. It may be scorching during the day but temperatures will drop at night, so remember to bring cosy sleepwear. Plus, you don't want to be exposed to the sun all day every day, make sure you bring something to cover up and give your skin a rest.

Optimal footwear: Comfortable and sturdy footwear is essential for Glastonbury Festival. You'll be on your feet most of the time, dancing and exploring the site, so you don't want bad shoes to slow you down. The organisers recommend some good quality festival boots, which will serve you well should it be wet and muddy. Pair your practical footwear with some stand-out socks for comfort and style.

Embrace the festival vibes: While being comfortable is key to making through the entire 5-day experience, we highly recommend you have fun and take part in the festival fashion. Think lots of body glitter (biodegradable, of course!), bright colours, and fun silhouettes, all paired with iconic tall wellington boots or sleek rubber Chelsea boots.

What Not To Bring

The organisers have a helpful official Glastonbury packing list that includes all of their recommendations on what to bring, but more importantly what not to. Pay close attention to the prohibited list to make sure that you don't have any personal items confiscated or get evicted from the site. Here are a few of the things you cannot take with you to Glastonbury Festival:

  • No animals (except guide dogs)
  • No fireworks, flares, or lanterns
  • Nothing made of glass – this includes mirrors and perfume
  • No sound systems
  • No environmentally harmful products such as non-biodegradable glitter or wet wipes

Our biggest tip is to minimise how much you bring with you. The more belongings you bring, the more you may worry about their security and you probably will not use most of it – so pack light and make the most of your festival time.

Arriving at Glastonbury

The big day will fast approach, so it's important to figure out your game plan nice and early. There are lots of decisions to make: when should you arrive? How should you arrive? Here are the different options and the advantages and disadvantages of each:

When To Arrive

While none of the entertainment or amenities open until Wednesday morning, the site opens at 4pm on Tuesday to allow people to get set up early and ease traffic. The majority of people arrive during the night and morning on Wednesday, which is when it will be the busiest getting into the site.

If you want a particular camping spot, then it's best to get there as early as possible because spaces fill up quickly. Even if you arrive on Thursday or Friday, there will be camping places but they may be in areas that are further away from the main stages or not the best. Therefore, when you arrive really depends on how invested you are in premium spots and scoping out the festival before it actually begins.

How To Get There

When it comes to getting to Worthy Farm, there are a few options for transportation. The most obvious one is to drive. There are car parks available and you will need to buy a car pass beforehand, or pay £60 on the day. However, they do encourage you to use public transport to lower carbon emissions and reduce the amount of traffic around the area.

One of the most popular travel options is the coach and ticket packages that Glastonbury Festival offers. With this, you can catch a coach from a major city that will take you and fellow festival-goers to your destination. This is a great way to start the party early and be more environmentally conscious.

There is a train station 8 miles from the festival site, from which there is a free shuttle bus for the duration of the festival, so the train is a very convenient way to travel to and from Glastonbury. However, train tickets do sell out extremely quickly and can be very expensive, therefore, you'll have to be prepared to secure your spot.

Other Entertainment

  • Theatre and circus fields – Check this out for some spectacular circus skills performances
  • Cineramageddon – An old-fashioned, American-themed drive-in cinema that's projected onto a huge screen while you watch from classic cars
  • Arcadia – This is where they host a huge pyrotechnics display and late-night drum and bass
  • South East Corner – With venues open until 5-6am, there's a reason this area is known as "Naughty Corner"

And that's just a few of the hundreds of things on over the five-day festival. Wherever you wander, you'll find something new and exciting from up-and-coming acts, spoken word performances, art installations, and so much more – your favourite part may be something completely unexpected.

Food and Drink Options

When it comes to food and drink, you are absolutely spoilt for choice with over 400 vendors selling street food from all different cuisines, great bars, and more. With the focus on eco-friendly practices, there are tons of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as delicious junk food for late-night cravings. Check out social media before you go to get a heads up on the vendor list and try as much as possible.

If you prefer to make your own food, you can bring some with you. There is now a Co-Op on site, which is perfect for picking up fresh food and stocking up on snacks and other essentials while you're there, so you don't have to pack as much.

Kids at Glastonbury

Despite being a music festival, Glastonbury is actually very family friendly and has made huge improvements to the facilities for kids and families over the years. The festival offers dedicated family camping areas that are located in quieter parts of the site, away from the noise and crowds of the main camping areas. The family camping areas are also closer to the Kidz Field and other family-friendly activities.

To access, you will need to purchase a family camping ticket. These tickets are sold separately from standard camping tickets and are only available to families with children under the age of 12. Each adult ticket holder can bring up to two children, and children under the age of 5 are free. The family camping areas offer facilities such as showers, toilets, and water points, as well as security patrols to ensure the safety of families and children.

What Is There For Kids To Do At Glastonbury Festival?

As well as all of the major music and performance areas, there are some family and children-specific spaces that are perfect for a younger audience to enjoy.

Kidz Field: Kidz Field is the main dedicated area for children and families, featuring a range of activities such as face painting, storytelling, arts and crafts, and interactive workshops.

Circus Skills: Here you'll find workshops and performances in circus skills such as juggling, hula hooping, and acrobatics.

Green Fields: This area is a peaceful and eco-friendly space that offers a range of activities for all ages, including workshops on sustainable living, meditation, yoga, and more.

Theatre and Dance Performances: The Theatre and Circus areas feature a range of performances that are suitable for children, including puppet shows, theatre performances, and dance shows.

Nature Walks: For something different, the festival site is set in a beautiful location with plenty of opportunities for nature walks and exploration. Take your children on a guided nature walk and discover the local flora and fauna.

Going Home

One of the hardest parts of going to Glastonbury Festival is leaving. Once all the fun is done, comes the reality of packing up and getting home. Depending on how you arrived, there are a few tips for getting out as painlessly as possible:

  • If you came by train, try to leave on the first train out on Monday to avoid the crowds
  • Ensure you clean up after yourself and leave no belongings or rubbish behind
  • Ultimately, be patient. There will likely be lots of delays during the mass exodus

Tips for Health and Safety

Finally, we'll leave you with some top tips for staying safe and well during your time at Glastonbury Festival. Although it is very well organised and with plenty of provisions for your comfort and safety, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have the best time.

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Be careful of sunburn and overexposure
  3. Drink responsibly
  4. Bring a flashlight for walking around at night
  5. Keep in regular contact with your group
  6. Don't be afraid to ask for help