With the world-famous Glastonbury Festival now just weeks away, Mendip District Council staff are hard at work behind the scenes, doing their bit to make sure the event passes off as safely as possible.
Around 200,000 people will shortly descend on Worthy Farm, Pilton, to enjoy music from some of the biggest artists on the planet.
But a huge amount of work is already under way to ensure the event, which in March this year was awarded a new 10-year licence, continues to be regarded by many as the best music festival in the world.
The district council boasts many years of Glastonbury Festival experience between the band of staff that work on all aspects of monitoring the legendary event.
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We ensure 400 food stalls on-site are inspected to make sure they are preparing and serving food safely.
Noise experts from the council monitor the output from nearly 100 stages, venues and sound systems which have a total power of 650,000 watts – the same as 13,000 home stereos. Glastonbury’s main pyramid stage has 250 speakers alone.
Our teams ensure there is enough space and facilities to house around 200,000 campers on-site.
We make sure the festival organisers have plans in place to manage the infamous Glastonbury toilets, of which there are 4,000, as well as the site’s water supplies, including three reservoirs holding an incredible 3,000,000 litres of water.
Whether it’s smell, smoke, litter, light or music, the council is on hand to monitor whether the organisers’ plans are being adhered to.
Organisers have to ensure they stick to the rules of a noise management plan, which they agree with the council before running the event.
The council’s time and effort in monitoring the festival is paid for by festival organisers through the costs of applying for and maintaining a licence.
Among the other tasks for the council are monitoring health and safety, inspecting taxi and private hire cars with the police, checking unlicensed vehicles, cracking down on unauthorised alcohol sales, monitoring temporary camp sites and food sellers and cracking down on unauthorised charity collectors.
There is also increased resource going towards monitoring the off-site campsites that have developed around the festival site, to ensure they are being organised safely and minimising the impact on neighbours.
Stuart Cave, corporate manager for regulatory services, said: “Our staff are hard at work behind the scenes all year long preparing for the Glastonbury Festival, but the final few weeks before the event and the festival weekend itself is always a particularly busy time for staff at the council.
“Ensuring that visitors to the festival have a safe and enjoyable time is our main aim and we work closely with the event organisers and partner agencies to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible.”
Councillor Nigel Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, said: “As one of the world’s premier music festivals, not only does Glastonbury put Mendip on the map globally but the thousands of festival goers who visit the area spend millions of pounds both on and off-site, leading to a huge boost for the local economy.
“But while thousands of revellers are enjoying themselves at the festival our staff are hard at work behind the scenes, monitoring everything from food and noise to litter and unlicensed vehicles, and working to reduce the impact the festival can have on residents living in the immediate area.
“We have an excellent 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.”