Every year in June, more than two hundred thousand people head to the sleepy Southwest England Somerset to witness Glastonbury.
Putting up a show befitting Glastonbury’s reputation takes much time, planning, and money. But to be fair, there are various challenges organisers face to do this year and out. Here are a few challenges organisers have with Glastonbury.
Betway recently investigated the challenges organisers face in delivering a magical Glastonbury.
Talking with Sally Howel, showrunner for the Croissant Neuf stage, Betway’s investigations revealed that the festival’s “planning was an all year round job” that never stops. But some things can’t be solved even with the most rigorous planning. The festival has had a fair share of bad moments.
According to Sally, 2016 was the most challenging year, with heavy rains before the festival and during setup leaving the level grounds with muddy bogs from vehicle tires. Many of the festival goers also prefer to have tents up the hill to avoid flood situations.
Glastonbury’s Worthy Farm festival site spans nine hundred acres. Reports indicate that the festival features about a hundred stages every year. And apart from the majestic Pyramid Stage, none of these stages are permanent.
Organisers have assembled stages on the festival grounds even though other parts are brought in pre-fabricated. According to seasoned patrons, some stages are extensive enough to be mini-festivals.
Take the festival’s Block 9 nightlife area, for example. The flagship ICON stage takes three months to build and demands 100 tons of building materials. Technical challenges like a light going off or a gigantic installation slanting when it’s not supposed to are common. However, some episodes, like the festival’s streaming delays last year, can be show-threatening. That notwithstanding, the festival holds itself to the highest standards and apologises for all mishaps that mar the show’s experience.
Toilet facilities on the festival site have been a mainstay in complaints coming from many festival goers. In 2009, the festival had only five toilets on site. That was how bad it was. But this is gradually becoming a thing of the past. In recent editions since 2019, the number of toilets on site has jumped to over a thousand.
The increasing number of toilets is not the only thing to be proud of. But Glastonbury’s new toilets are modern compost loos, and waste can be easily converted into nutrients to be fed back into the ecosystem.
Temperature inconsistencies can make it hard to predict the festival’s water supply needs.
For instance, 850 taps on-site and the free water refills from all the bars could suffice. However, Worthy Farm endures higher temperatures during the summer, increasing the water demand.
The heatwave can trigger a water shortage like it did in 2019. According to the festival’s organisers, they were caught off guard by the forecast. “It was looking like a wet festival,” they said. In times like these, they have to ration water, limiting staff and public showers, which can make things a little unbearable, as if the heatwave is not uncomfortable enough.
Generally, Glastonbury Festival prides itself on how quickly it jumps on solutions to edge over these challenges. Unsurprisingly, the festival returned with a banging 50th birthday celebration after folding its plans for two years due to the pandemic.