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Glastonbury 2023: Fun Facts and Figures

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Find out more about the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.

Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival | Wikipedia

Ticket sales for Glastonbury 2023 went up on 3 November 2022. After 61 minutes, all of the standard tickets had been sold out. In all, 210,000 tickets were sold.

The first festival at Worthy Farm - where Glastonbury is staged - was the Pop, Blues & Folk Festival on Saturday 19 September 1970, and attended by 1,500 people. Admission was only £1, which included free camping and free milk. Ticket prices in 2023 started at £335 for what is now a five day festival.

Glastonbury is now the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.

Sir Elton John became the most-watched Glastonbury headliner in history this year as 7.6 million people tuned in to the BBC broadcast (easily breaking the 4.1 million record set by Ed Sheeran in 2017) and an estimated 120,000 fans watched in person.

This year’s festival was a triumph for older artists, with many of the best-received performances given by the over-70s. Sunday’s line-up featured Cat Stevens, 75, Blondie (Debbie Harry), 77, and 83-year-old Candi Staton. Elton John is 76, and his band included guitarist Davey Johnstone, 72, drummer Nigel Olsson, 74, and percussionist Ray Cooper, 75.

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders performed on Saturday, aged 71, and the highlight for many viewers on Friday night was the performance by Sparks, aka brothers Ron and Russell Mael, aged 77 and 74 respectively.

Sir Paul McCartney remains the oldest act to headline the festival, performing last year at the age of 80.

Van Morrison, the veteran Northern Irish star, tops the list for the most frequently performing Glastonbury singer, headlining an impressive eight times in 1982, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 2005. Elvis Costello comes in second with six appearances, followed by Primal Scream with five.

Glastonbury is home to over 100 stages - hosting every genre of music imaginable and at least 3,000 performers - and spread out across 1,100 acres - which is bigger than both Monaco and Vatican City, combined. It's also bigger than 500 football pitches! The length of the fence around the festival site is 8 miles.

Luckily, there are over 3,300 toilets and over 700 metres of urinals across the site.

The spot where the main stage is sited - known as the Pyramid Stage - is where two ley lines meet. Pagans believe the meeting of ley lines creates amazing energy.

There are over 100 bars and more than 500 food stalls. Keeping festival goers, camping in at least 76,000 tents, fed and watered .Worthy Farm is still a working farm. It produces 10,000 litres of milk a day. You can buy the milk from the trucks that go around the festival.

There are over 40,000 garbage bins - almost all of which are hand-painted. Each one is different with glasto stories and images on them. However, with over 200,000 attendees and a lot of land to cover, the clean up at the end of the festival can take up to a month.

In 2022, there were 2,000 volunteers for the Glastonbury Festival Recycling Crew made up of 26 charities. To help aid the job, the festival no longer serves single-use plastic cups. They also only serve compostable or reusable plates and cutlery. Single-serving sachets of sugar, salt and more are also not available anywhere on the site. 149 tonnes of food waste was processed into compost. And that’s just one of the initiatives the Glastonbury clean up team facilitate.

Glastonbury takes a "fallow year" (a year off) every five years so the farm land can recover.

The festival site at Glastonbury becomes the 7th biggest city in the south of England for a weekend.

Next year's festival will take place from 26 - 30 June 2024.


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