This year’s Glastonbury festival will mark its 50th Anniversary. A Golden Jubilee, if you will. And it looks like it’ll be bigger than the other years’ festivals. Last year, a total of 203,000 tickets were sold. In September, they were given approval to increase that number to 210,000 for 2020, but it looks like Worthy Farm is working with the local Mendip District council to allow for even more campers on the site. According to SomersetLive, “Options are being explored to amend camping options both on and off site, and a public consultation is set begin in the coming months.”
Exactly how many extra people would be on the table for Glastonbury this year is up in the air. Quoth a spokesman for the Mendip District Council: “Glastonbury Festival is currently reviewing plans for the camping provision both on and off site, and also the potential to increase the overall attendance number at the festival in June 2020, in line with the licence allowance. In the New Year the festival intends to hold various parish council and community meetings so that these forums are used as a mechanism for public consultation where any observations, issues or concerns can be addressed… The festival is also aware that there is the potential for some misinformation about these plans to circulate in the communities around the site, so if any member of the public has any observations, issues or concerns regarding anything we would ask that they please contact the festival.”
However, one other point remains to be seen: Noise. In addition to this potential increase in punters, the Mendip District Council also published a report on last year’s festival. While it conceded that it was, for the most part, “well-planned and -managed”, with most of the suggested changes from the 2017 report being acted upon, they included a list of 9 areas where they needed to improve.
The full list, courtesy of SomersetLive:
- Alcohol, bars and taxi provision:
The council has asked to be provided with a comprehensive list and map of all bars on the festival site two weeks in advance of the festival’s first day, and that staff at the designated taxi rank should be given “a more comprehensive briefing” ahead of the event.
- Camping capacity:
The council has ongoing concerns about how densely packed the various camping areas are on the site, in order to prevent the risk of fire. It has asked the festival to provide a breakdown of “field densities” by early-May, so it can sign off on any work which is needed to provide necessary amenities. Off-site camping will also need to be closely monitored.
- Crowd safety:
While the flow of revellers between different sections of the festival is improving, further work is needed at key “crossing points” between different stages to prevent crushes or congestion.
- Food safety and hygiene:
The council was generally pleased with the quality of food served at the 2019 festival. However, it has called on the organisers to ensure bar operators maintain current food hygiene standards, and to bar catering companies who do not comply with the agreed regulations. The festival must also review how it reports food-borne illnesses or allergic reactions to on-site medical personnel, to ensure people are treated quickly and that bugs do not spread.
- General health and safety:
More work is needed to prevent “conflict” between pedestrians and vehicles moving through the site, and to ensure “welfare arrangements” for staff and volunteers, particularly those who are working at night.
- Noise and nuisance:
A total of 37 noise complaints were made during the 2019 festival – higher than both of the two previous festivals. The council has said more must be done to prevent “low frequency noise propagation” (i.e. bass beats) from reaching intolerable levels – particularly after stage curfew. The council is considering monitoring noise levels after 3am to ensure that this is under control, and will act on residents’ complaints more swiftly.
- Toilets and sanitation:
The toilets at the Springfield site need to be serviced and cleaned more frequently, and compost toilets on site should be provided with “utensils” to allow compost to be scooped when needed. More work is also needed to prevent “cross-contamination” between drinking water taps and toilets.
- Security checks:
Staff on the festival gates should be given “a more robust briefing” to stop prohibited items from entering the site . A new limit may be introduced on the amount of alcohol that can brought in for personal use, and more funding should be made available for the police to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in “off-site hotspots”.
- Water supply:
The festival must do more to ensure sufficient water (including bottled water) is available near the stages and at times of high demand (e.g. if hot weather is forecast). The council must be informed immediately of any supply problems, and all pipes on-site must continue to be inspected to prevent contamination or pooling.