Whether it’ll be your first time at Glasto or your first festival altogether, these tips from Worthy Farm regulars will help you navigate the city of Bath-sized event without losing your tent and belongings to a mud swamp, and have a great time.
1. Arrive very early
Get there as early as possible.
If you don’t arrive on Wednesday or early on Thursday, you’ll struggle to find a camping space where your tent door won’t open directly on to someone else’s. It really is that packed.
2. Camp on high ground
Especially important at Glasto where the site is in a valley and of course the mud is legendary.
3. Don’t camp anywhere near the toilets
Apart from the smell, the slamming doors will keep you awake all night and make sure you’re a safe distance from a fence or bush – people pee against them, or around them.
Probably on your tent if you’re too close.
4. Pace yourself
Music starts at about 12 noon each day and there are tents open (mostly dance) all night. So don’t put pressure on yourself to be up and dressed and out watching bands at noon – you definitely won’t last the night.
5. Be selective about the artists you see
Don’t kill yourself trying to see everything. It won’t happen. You just have to pick your key acts and resign yourself to the fact that you will have to see the bands before and after as well.
6. Be a free spirit
You’re more likely to see the best gig of your life if you wander somewhere unplanned. Musicians and comedians rock up everywhere doing brilliant unannounced stuff.
7. If you're going to bring alcohol bring spirits
Cider and beer gets warm, so save your arms and don’t overdo how much you carry in. Concentrate your alcohol efforts on spirits and just buy cold pints there, which are a normal price anyway.
8. Watch out for the hot tubs
Expensive, and might be a nudist area. Check first if that’s not your thing.
9. Branch out
Don’t just stick to the Pyramid, Other, and John Peel stages.
The Park is awesome, as is Avalon and West Holts. Look for the secret spots too; the actual rabbit hole in the Rabbit Hole pub has a little stage in it, and even the Kids Field is worth a visit for the circus (and Stephen Hawking will be there this year).
10. Be prepared to walk
Glasto is massive. One end of the site to the other is roughly three miles, so be prepared for it to take at least 30 mins to get anywhere.
11. Beware the rain
Don’t assume that it will take huge amounts of rain to turn the site into the cliched mudbath.
There’s that much foot traffic that a 20-minute shower will soften the place up enough for it to get messy and you’ll be in wellies for the rest of the weekend whether it rains again or not.
Once there is mud, moving from one stage to another becomes a lot slower in crowds.
12. Ignore your FOMO
Don’t be disheartened if it sounds like others have seen more of the sights than you.
Again, it’s massive.
Glasto takes at least two/three visits to see most of it. The music is really only about 30% of the experience.
The food is one of the best parts of the whole festival. Avoid the obvious kebab vans and go hunting.
The Hari Krishna guys hand out free veggie curry (in exchange for chanting). The Tapas bar next to West Holts is incredible too.
14. Don’t try to drive on Monday morning
It’s a horror show. You’ll be sitting in the traffic coming out of the site for hours and hours. If you’re not booked on a bus, leave Sunday night or later on Monday.
15. Embrace Shangri-La
It is completely mental, and most of what you’ll see and experience will terrify you, but as set pieces go there are few more impressive sights at any festival.
16. Go to Arcadia
Make sure you go to a DJ set at the giant fire-breathing metal spider made entirely from recycled things. Ridiculous.
17. Pack sensibly
Assume that you will walk a long way with luggage.
Even if you’re getting the bus which drops you closer you’ll walk an hour to find a camp site and car parks are even further – maybe two hours’ walk – so make sure you can carry everything comfortably.
18. Bring sandwich bags
Take a sandwich bag to put your mobile in for when there is torrential rain and the rain gets everywhere, right to your bones.
19. Take a bike light
Take a flashing bike light to hold up at night so your friends can find you in a crowd. Bike lights also make good (and cheap) torches!
20. Attach your phone to your person to avoid losing it
Thousands of phones must be trodden into the mud at Worthy Farm every year so put a shoelace or ribbon through your phone case and tie securely to your bag or belt loop if it’s in your pocket. That way if it falls out when you’re dancing erratically at Arcadia, it’ll just dangle.
21. Leave spare clothes in the car
If you’re travelling by car take a spare set of clothes you can leave in it and wear in case all your belongings end up in a giant puddle.
22. Don’t even try to have a shower
Yes there are small numbers of showers but even if you go at 4am you’ll be queueing for at least an hour and you’ll be hurried through, in a naked line of people, probably a bit like prison.