This weekend, 200,000 people flocked to Worthy Farm for perhaps the biggest festival in the calendar: Glastonbury.
The coverage was inescapable, with lots of sets broadcast for us less fortunate music enthusiasts who didn’t manage to bag a ticket this year.
And as we took in the breadth and depth of music on offer through our TV screens this weekend, it got us thinking: what could event organisers learn from Glastonbury?
Now, Glastonbury is massive. A lot of the things on offer at the festival are possible due to the size, but festival promoters across the country can take inspiration.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few points of inspiration in our article below.
Providing a greener experience
In the week leading up to Glastonbury 2023, the organisers sent out a message via social media.
In this message? The announcement that sustainable energy would power the festival this year. The festival also announced that it would be banning single-use plastic drink bottles and disposable vapes.
The scale and budget of the festival obviously play a part, but sustainability efforts are a place event organisers can take inspiration from.
For example, take a look at your single-use plastic usage and the fuel you use for generators, look at where you can make a change and go from there. Is there a cost-effective way of switching to a more sustainable type of fuel? Can you make deals with transport companies to provide pick-up points to take people to the festival?
Sustainability is something we can all contribute to. Click here to read our article for more inspiration.
Bold line up choices
Glastonbury is famed for its eclectic lineup. This year was no different, with current, upcoming and legacy artists each delivering performances.
You can take inspiration from this approach. Is there an opportunity to book a well-known name that people might not associate with your event at first glance? We’re not saying try and bring a Blue-eyed soul artist to a techno festival, but if they put on a great show and fit into the ethos of your event, it’s worth considering.
Similarly, if there are some upcoming artists who genuinely deserve a push, bring them to your festival. Glastonbury’s depth of artists shows that people like to use events like this as discovery tools, so why not take a leaf out of the Eavis’s book and expose your audience to new things?
Delivering exciting areas
New experiences don’t just come in the form of headline acts and DJs.
The many areas of Glastonbury are well known, with things like Block9 attracting loads of electronic music heads over the weekend. Now, we’re not advising you to build a whole nightclub at your festival. Glastonbury can do that due to the sheer size.
However, there are some ways you can take inspiration from the many attractions at Worthy Farm. Take Glasto Latino, a dedicated area to Latin music and culture. Here, you can watch bands, take dance lessons and immerse yourself in the culture.
At your next festival, why not set up an area dedicated to a specific culture, booking authentic acts that play the music and bringing in tutors so attendees can learn dance styles or traditional instruments?
The art of surprise
Surprise sets have been a fixture of Glastonbury Festival for a while, with some of the world’s biggest acts popping up unexpectedly to perform.
An experience like this can’t be recreated. Sometimes, there’s scope to deliver a performance people wouldn’t normally expect from a surprise act.
It’s also exciting. While there are lots of things to be discovered across the weekend of a festival, by the time attendees are on site, they know who is playing thanks to the programme and line-up information.
With a surprise act, you can drum up some hype and give your attendees a truly unforgettable experience.
Crystal clear values
When you think about Glastonbury, what comes to mind?
For us, it’s a feeling of freedom. A place where great music, progressive politics and creativity come together.
Glastonbury has become successful thanks to its amazing acts and operations, that’s true, but they’ve also stuck fiercely to their values. That has helped the festival grow.
When they ink brand partnerships, they make sense. For example, their deal with EE means that attendees can charge their mobile devices across the weekend. That’s an example of two brands delivering value.
Making your festival a safe space
This year’s festival saw Diverse UK return to Glastonbury. At the festival, they run Sensory Calm Spaces, aimed at providing a safe space for neurodivergent festival attendees.
They are run by a mixture of Autism specialists and neurodiverse volunteers, offering weighted blankets and a relaxing space created using adjustable lighting, textures and sounds.
It’s crucial to ensure that your festival caters to make everyone feel safe, and there are companies that can help you bring this to your event.
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