We may have missed out on the festival in 2018, but it only means big things are certainly coming for 2019. With rumours and theories being thrown from all directions on who may be performing alongside Kylie and Stormzy, we thought it was best to take a look at some hard facts about the Glastonbury’s journey until now. Find out about some of the most fascinating bits of Glasto trivia below:
Glastonbury’s Magical journey began in 1970 and tickets were only £1 and included free milk from the local farms
The very first festival took place on Saturday 19th September in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix passed away, amassing 1500 attendees at just £1 a head! Back then the festival was heavily influenced by the hippie movement of the 60’s and was joining a wave of free festivals. Glasto pioneer Michael Eavis called it the ‘Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival’, with acts like Quintessence, Stackridge and Al Stewart heading up the bill.
The first ever headliner was T Rex, who replaced The Kinks after they cancelled last minute!
Initially, The Kinks were meant to be heading up the first ever Glastonbury Festival, but after they cancelled last minute Eavis managed to get Tyrannosaurus Rex for just £500. “I couldn’t pay the band,” Eavis once said. “Marc [Bolan] did a marvellous set, with the sun going down; it was wonderful. I told him, ‘I can’t pay you, but I’ll give you £100 per month for five months.’ He got paid, but he wasn’t happy about it.“
Reportedly, the festival began as Eavis’ way to pay his overdraft
The festival founder is rumoured to have started the legendary festival that today, profits healthily, to pay off his overdraft. When hardly anyone showed up to the first shows, Eavis found himself further in debt. Clearly over time this has changed.
It wasn’t until 1981 that the festival was renamed as we know it today
For over a decade the festival carried on as the ‘Pilton Festival’ or the ‘Pilton Pop Party’, eventually getting branded as Glastonbury in 1981!
Glastonbury’s ‘Glamping’ has been known to attract the biggest celebrities around the world and their tents can cost up to £9,000 a tent, including luxury items, three bathrooms and some even come with a butler!
As the buzz around Glastonbury grew, so did the amount of celebrity attendees, and of course where ever they go it has to be in style. Now hundreds of luxury camping sites offer their exclusive services for accommodation at the festival, complete with huge tents, boho caravans, double beds, TVs and most importantly, real, flushing toilets.
Paul McCartney was once fined £1000 by the local council
The ex-Beatles member made the festival carry on past its curfew in 2004, so the local council sent him a 1k bill. Thankfully, McCartney could probably afford it after earning £175,000 for his headlining slot – although Eavis still offered to pay.
Glastonbury Festival is the equivalent size of over 500 football pitches
A fun fact about Glastonbury is that the site is over 1000 acres (and growing each year!). It has over 10 miles of security fencing built deliberately to stop gatecrashing, and there are also over 40,000 bins, 100,000 rolls of toilet paper, 40,000 tubes of sunblock and 4,500 toilets.
But it’s in the Guinness Book of Records for something else
At the 1984 festival, 826 people each juggling at least 3 objects manager to keep 2,478 objects in the air at once to cinch the world record.
40’000 tubes of sun cream were handed out in 2002
These were handed out by the welfare tent by event-goers. Make sure to protect your skin this time around
And in 2003 they went through over 400’000 pints of beer and cider!
And that’s just what was officially on the site’s bars’ official record.
The festival uses as much power as the city of Bath
At roughly 30 megawatts of electricity used throughout the weekend, Glastonbury clocks around the same as Bath, which has a population of over 84,000.
Glastonbury costs £22m a year to put on and is said to be worth £82m
The total coast to put on Glastonbury 2016 came to about 22 million pounds, although it reportedly raked in 82 million. A lovely fact about Glastonbury is that each year it donates to ‘worthy’ causes, including Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid, by setting up stalls, charity shops and more throughout the festival itself.
However in 2008 it failed to profit
Ah 2008, the tender year of the banking crisis. Everyone got hit that year, including the festival giant who failed to profit for the first time in 39 years.
There was no police presence until 1990
For nearly twenty years, Glastonbury was a lawless place.
1987 was the year of the trouserless
So it should come as no surprise that in 1987, a series of trouser-thieves set about stealing people’s clothes to pick their pockets, leading to a variety of sheepish half naked people stumbling looking for theirs – which had been left in a muddy ditch.
There are theories that the biblical Jesus visited Glastonbury
But not the festival. Some myths state that Jesus visited the historical town of Glastonbury with Joseph of Arimathea, who supposedly returned years later with the since crucified Jesus’ blood in a cup.
In 1978 there nearly wasn’t a festival at all…
Originally there wasn’t a plan to hold a festival at Worthy Farm that year, but when people began appearing in droves anyway they put together a makeshift stage powered by a caravan and went along with it anyway!
But in 1994, the pyramid stage burned down
Ten days before the festival was due to take place, Glastonbury’s central stage unfortunately burned down. Thankfully, they manage to find a replacement and the festival went ahead.
Have these surprising Glastonbury facts got you in the mood for a festival? Check out which festivals are coming up and compare available tickets.