19th June 2015 at 12:22pm
With the coming of the Summer solstice also comes the legendary Glastonbury Festival.
Starting from humble roots back in 1970 with just 1500 revellers attending, it’s now reached mega status becoming the world’s biggest open air arts and music festival. So huge in fact that 2015 saw all 135,000 tickets (at a cost of £225) sell out in a staggering 25 minutes.
Festivals are big business now and massively popular. The cover price to attend one might seem a bit steep with the average festival breaking the £200 mark this year, but with many headline acts charging upwards of £50 a show, festivals can actually be a smart way to save money and see the artists you love.
Back in 1970 your £1 entrance fee got you the chance to see Marc Bolan headline and the promise of free fresh milk from the nearby farm and an ox roast feast to boot. In 2015 the fresh milk and ox may have gone, but in exchange your ticket price will now buy you access to some of the biggest bands on the planet and performances spread across over 100 stages.
At a cost of £225 it may sound expensive, but if you take into account the amount of rock you’ll get for your buck, then it works out rather good value. For example, a breakdown price to see all the headline acts this year individually would be £474.45, knock off your £225 cover price and you’re actually making a saving of £247.45 by capturing it all in one big field in Somerset over a fun filled five days.
Did you know?
With it all kicking off very soon, 24 June to be precise, and to help get you in the mood, we thought we’d bring you 11 things you maybe didn’t know about our favourite festival.
- Jimi Hendrix died the day before the first Glastonbury festival was held in September 1970. Although he wasn’t due to play, his death overshadowed the whole event.
- If selling your house in the Somerset village of Pilton, its maybe worth saying it comes with a regular free ticket for Glastonbury to help boost interest. All residents in the nearby village get a free ticket to the festival each year.
- For all its eco badges and green accreditation, the festival will still manage to consume over 30,000 megawatts of electricity, the same amount as the city of Bath would use over a similar period.
- Not even the Old Bailey can hold back Glastonbury. One year a murder trial in London was put on hold after one of the jurors was allowed time out in order to attend the festival.
- Glastonbury managed to maintain its peace and love credentials right up until 1990, when it was felt a police presence on site might be wise.
- 2004’s festival saw more football fans gathered in one place to watch England play Portugal in the European Championships than was actually present in the Stadium itself, with an estimated 65,000 glued to the big screens.Glastonbury even makes the Guinness Book of Records – in the juggling section. On 26 June 1984, 826 people – each juggling at least three objects – managed to keep 2,478 objects in the air.
- Remember your sun block. It would appear Glasto 2002 saw a significant number do exactly that, an estimated 40,000 tubes of sun block were handed out by the welfare tent.
- And don’t forget your guitarist either. On the way to play their set at the Pyramid stage in 2005, The Killers guitarist Dave Keuning was mistakenly left at a motorway service station. He almost missed the set.
- Where’s Bruce Springsteen been since 1970? The Boss had never heard of Glastonbury when asked to play the legendary festival. Organiser Michael Eavis had to send Bruce’s ‘people’ an information pack explaining what Glastonbury was all about.
- Michael Eavis has been named one of the world’s most influential men by Time magazine. His typically humble view on it? “I’ve got cows to sort out”.
The revolution will be televised
If you’re one of the lucky 135,000 who’ll be attending, we wish you fine weather and a great experience. But what if you’re like me and love the music, the vibe, the event in general but refuse to camp or even glamp, pay £8 for noodles or share your facilities with 135,000 others? Well there’s still hope, this year’s BBC coverage will be bigger and better than ever. You’ll just need to reach for the remote rather than the Rohans to still get a chance to revel in it all.
To get the rundown on what’s happening it’s worth visiting BBC Music’s Glastonbury home page. Not only will you get lots of background on the acts performing, you’ll be able to plot your Glasto journey by exploring the line-up across the six stages they’re covering, and get all TV and radio details you need to plan in your agenda. You’ll even be able to soak it all up live via their Glastonbury webcam.
So will Kanye claim sovereignty of the Pyramid Stage? Will ‘The Who’ rock a new generation? Will the crowd show faith in Paloma? Will Paul Weller be wearing his peacock suit? Who knows, but be sure to tune in and tune out.