How To Survive Glastonbury Festival

What Is The Glastonbury Festival?

For anyone who doesn't know about the Glastonbury Festival, it's a family run music festival that takes place annually at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England. The first Glastonbury Festival was held on September 19th 1970, and it has since grown into a legendary event that is known worldwide. Glastonbury is considered by many to be the best music festival in the world, but it is far from being just a music festival, it can also be a spiritual adventure, albeit, a potentially messy one.

I've been to Glastonbury a fair few times over the years, I've had the Glastonbury experience, it's amazing. If you're a Glastonbury virgin and considering going, don't think that all you're going to need is a tent, a few clothes and some cash. You would be so wrong!

Glorious Glastonbury

The blue areas you can see are thousands and thousands of tents!
The blue areas you can see are thousands and thousands of tents!

Glastonbury On A Good Day

If you've never been to Glastonbury, you might be wondering why this hub is called How To Survive Glastonbury? Well you're about to find out!

Glastonbury can be the most beautiful, magical place on a good day. Some may refer to it as heaven. On a good day means, dry and sunny weather though, and this is Britain. We don't have proper seasons weatherwise, we have mad changeable weather that can have you in shorts one minute and a jumper the next. You would assume as the Glastonbury Festival takes place in the last week of June, i.e Summer, that the weather would be gloriously sunny and hot. Ha! Not always so as I myself have experienced on a few occasions.

Surviving The Glastonbury Rain

This photo has not been photoshopped!
This photo has not been photoshopped!

Glastonbury Weather

A little rain won't hurt right? Well yes, a little is ok. What I experienced on 2 occasions wasn't a little rain though, it wasn't even what would be considered a lot. It was like someone had poured the contents of the Thames River onto Worthy Farm. I didn't just get wet, I had to survive a flood.

The thing about Glastonbury is that it is held on working farmland. When us campers aren't there, cows are. The ground just isn't able to cope with lots of rain and thousands of people trudging over it. This is the first part of Glastonbury survival: The Weather.

Thing is, you've bought your ticket months in advance, you have no idea what the weather's going to be like. You would assume that it's being held in Summer so everything will be fine, but check weather reports like mad on the days leading up to the festival, be prepared!

If the weather reports say sunny and hot, don't think you've escaped. Take waterproofs and wellington boots anyway. If the reports say rain, then take extra socks as well as the waterproofs and Wellington's. If the weather report states that there will be heavy rain, panic!

The best advice that I can give anyone going to Glastonbury for the first time in heavy rain is to prepare mentally for what's about to happen. You're going to get very wet and cold, and unless you wear Wellington boots, your jeans will soak up all the moisture from the ground making them heavy and sopping. You're also going to have to go to the toilet in a mud filled portaloo, more about them later... And you're going to be sleeping in a tent with a wet and muddy floor.

I don't want to put anyone off of going to Glastonbury, it's an amazing experience regardless of the weather. I just recommend being prepared for the worst!

Glastonbury Mud

Watch Out For That Mud!

Worst Case Scenario Needs

So it's going to be muddy and wet huh? It's not going to be pleasant but you can make the Glastonbury weekend a lot better if you go prepared.

Essential items for a muddy and wet Glastonbury:

  • Wellington Boots - I made this mistake, I didn't have any and I suffered. Soaking wet feet over a potential period of 5 days is not smart.
  • Waterproofs - Who wants to be soaked to the skin?
  • Plenty of thick socks - unless you want to sleep in your wellies!
  • Plastic bags - Yes, I realise this isn't green, but it will stop items getting wet and is also great for putting wet clothes into so they are out of the way.
  • A plastic sheet for the bottom of the tent - Sleeping in a tent that has a wet floor isn't a good idea.

Unfortunately, if it's one of those years when the flood gates open, there's really nothing you can do other than get wet and muddy, this is why preparing mentally for such an event is key. Know that it's going to be pretty grim, but make the best of it anyway. Love the mud, but please, no matter how good an idea it seems at the time, don't start rolling around in it! I promise that you will regret it and you'll probably lose some friends when you start stinking.

The Verve Glastonbury 2008

Amy Winehouse Glastonbury 2007

Glastonbury Tips

Generally, you aren't going to be camping in conditions like above, but you're still camping and at Glastonbury there's a few things to remember.

Going to the toilet is a nightmarish experience, especially after the first day of the festival. It's not so bad for the guys, but for us girls, it's a grotty experience that fills me with dread. I won't go into detail, but imagine the worst where the toilets are concerned and you'll be spot on. They are filthy and disgusting, and there's no other way to put it.

If you're going to Glastonbury for the music, then plan ahead. Choose which bands and artists that you want to see and make a note of the days, times and stages. It's so easy to literally get lost (in more ways than one!) at Glastonbury. If you're there to see your favourite artist, then don't be disappointed because you've missed their set due to being swept up in a wave of jugglers and performance artists, or maybe you got carried away by the alluring vibes of the Healing Field. If you're there for the music, you've got to plan ahead.

I would highly recommend making a detailed note of where you pitch your tent! There are thousands of tents that look the same on the various campsites, you'll want to remember where your one is when it's late, you've over indulged and you're stumbling around in the dark. Ending up in the wrong tent probably isn't a good idea.

Same with your car, if you're driving to Glastonbury then you'll need to park in a designated parking site. Don't forget which one you're in! After 3 - 5 days of the Glastonbury experience, you aren't going to feel like wandering around for hours looking for a lost car.

Don't take anything valuable like an iPod or digital camera unless you are going to have it on you at all times. Don't leave anything of worth in your tent, because as much as Glastonbury can be magical, there are still some people there who just want to steal your stuff.

The Glastonbury Survivial Kit!

  • A decent tent - preferably one that's easy to put up and unlikely to fall down.
  • A sleeping bag - the cosier the better.
  • A pillow - who says you can't have a bit of luxury at Glastonbury!
  • Wet wipes - these are essential and you won't believe how many things you'll end up using them for!
  • Toilet paper - you HAVE to take toilet paper.
  • A pocket torch - this is especially useful for finding your tent in the dark.
  • Sun cream - despite what you have read about Glastonbury weather, the opposite can happen, it can be scorching and you do not want to run the risk of getting burnt.
  • A fully charged mobile phone - people can easily get separated at Glastonbury, a spare charged battery may also be a good idea.
  • Cash - for food and drinks, most stalls won't accept cards.


Glastonbury The Celebrity Way

Alternatively, if you're wanting to do what Kate Moss does when she goes to Glastonbury, then you'll be wanting the details of the company who fly people in and out of the festival by helicopter and provide them with luxury accommodation nearby.

I don't actually think that's having the real Glastonbury experience, as camping is a huge part of the whole thing. Though I do understand why some celebrities choose to be choppered in and out as you may think that the VIP area is a world away from the regular camp sites, but it isn't. Sure, you can park your Winnebago and drink the free bars dry, but if it's wet and muddy on the regular camp sites, then it's the same in the VIP one. Saying that, if you can blag your way into the VIP area then do so. If you have the right pass you'll be able to watch from side of stage and not get crushed in the crowd.

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Comments 17 comments

moonbun profile image

moonbun 6 years ago from London Author

Thanks for the comment :)


Owenyoyoyo profile image

Owenyoyoyo 6 years ago from Leeds, England

Excellent hub, thank you!


moonbun profile image

moonbun 6 years ago from London Author

Hi shazwellyn,

Lucky you to live in such a beautiful part of the country! Hope you had lots of sun cream at Glastonbury, I wasn't there this year but we were scorching here in London too.

Thanks for stopping by :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

I was there! I live there too! Good hub but 2010 was a SCORTCHER! Phew.

Thanks for writing.


moonbun profile image

moonbun 6 years ago from London Author

Hi Shinkicker, thanks for stopping by :)


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland

Really helpful Hub moonbun

I was at Donington last week and we got caught out by rain. Luckily it only arrived on the last evening.

Everything you advise is absolutely true. Wet wipes are an excellent idea.

All the best


moonbun profile image

moonbun 6 years ago from London Author

Excellent tips, thanks Chocka!


Chocka 6 years ago

My tip re the toilets - try the sheepees (if you're a girl!) for number ones. Anything else use the long drop toilets. Much less dirty. Alternatively wait for the 'poo men' to come and empty the toilets before using them - a much better experience.


moonbun profile image

moonbun 6 years ago from London Author

Hi Greenheart,

I don't think that you get the full Glastonbury experience unless you visit the healings fields. Such a wonderful place to be.

My festival wellies are currently out of action. They've had far too much fun and are in need of a rest!

To everone else going to the 40th Glastonbury, have an amazing time!

Thanks for stopping by :)


Greenheart profile image

Greenheart 6 years ago from Cambridge

Thanks moonbun for this hub.

It reminds me of my Glastonbury days.

Mud and all!.

I remember the contrast between the energy of the healing fields and the rest of the hullabaloo!

Great memories.As a Londoner,i guess you may be going this year?.

Happy 2010!


moonbun profile image

moonbun 7 years ago from London Author

The 40th anniversary of the festival too! It just keeps on growing :)


garyratz 7 years ago

Yaaaaaaaaaa Glastonbury wow the memories flood back i'll never forget. Nice Hub I love Glastonbury and so can't wait until 2010 it's gonna be amazing see you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Lady Guinevere, CJ Stone's friend Arthur Pendragon *may* be there, but if your looking for the King Arthur *experience* then don't visit GB during festival. Go well before or after and visit the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey in the nearby town of the same name. Or the Tor that overlooks it. There's also a well at the edge of town you'll want to visit. Absolutely 100% pure water you can drink right from the spiget. (Most people bring their own cup.)


moonbun profile image

moonbun 7 years ago from London Author

G-Ma: You'd be surprised at the age range, you're never too old to go to Glastonbury it seems :)

Lady Guinevere: Not too sure about King Arthur, but there's plenty to see and do other than watch the live music. It can be quite a spiritual experience.

LondonGirl: Yeah, no one wants trench foot, but I bet there's been a few cases over the years!

Thanks for the comments guys :)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

great hub! I agree, avoiding trench foot definintely adds to the fun....


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

Cool, in more ways then one Hahaha! I don't do these things though, but it sounds like much fun! Anything King Arthur there?


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

sounds like a real slushy experience and may be a lot of fun???But not at my age...nicely done and interesting...Thanks G-Ma :O) Hugs

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