Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and a template for all the festivals that have come after it.
The festival takes place in a beautiful location – 900 acres in the Vale of Avalon, an area steeped in symbolism, mythology and religious traditions dating back many hundreds of years. It is where King Arthur may be buried, where Joseph of Arimathea is said to have walked and where ley lines converge. And the site is enormous - more than a mile and a half across, with a perimeter of about eight and a half miles.
Licensing and event management information
Glastonbury Festival’s worldwide reputation means that the council has a huge responsibility to make sure that it undertakes its statutory duties professionally. Along with other responsible authorities, it scrutinises management plans, audits and monitors the event to ensure compliance with the licence and other relevant legislation.
The purpose of the legislation is to promote the licensing objectives and ensure the event organisers provide a safe event whilst minimising any adverse impacts to the local community.
The current licence authorises one event per year which is usually held in June. There is an annual licence fee of £32,000 which is paid to the council to recover the costs incurred in undertaking the licensing processing and monitoring of the festival.
On issue of the licence, there is an expectation that the licensee, Glastonbury Festival Events Limited (GFEL), will promote the licensing objectives in the way that the event is managed. This licence comprises an operating schedule, which states the way the applicant will promote the licensing objectives (and in effect sets out the conditions of the Premises Licence).
Supporting the operating schedule is an event management plan. This describes how the event organiser will comply with the conditions of the operating schedule. The event management plan can be varied to a degree, for each event to enable continuous improvement. The event management plan is made available to the licensing authority and the other responsible authorities to review and scrutinise the proposals prior to each event. The event management plan is not a public document and is not held by the licensing authority or any responsible authority.
Glastonbury Festival has produced a public-facing event management plan for 2024.
Somerset Council has a good working relationship with the festival organisers and all of the partners involved in the running of the event, which is what helps to make it one of the best music festivals in the world.