Council’s band of staff hard at work as Glastonbury gets ready to party

Each year, a town the size of Sunderland temporarily sets up camp in the middle of the beautiful Mendip countryside for one of the world’s most famous music festivals – Glastonbury.

A huge amount of work goes into making the festival a success and, with just a few weeks until around 203,000 people descend on Worthy Farm in Pilton, 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.

The district council boasts many years of Glastonbury Festival experience between the band of staff that work at the legendary event.

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Did you know that:

  • We ensure 400 food stalls on-site are inspected to make sure they are preparing and serving food safely.
  • Noise experts from the council ensure festival organisers 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 203,000 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 check that 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 work at 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 ensuring festival organisers adhere to health and safety regulations, 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.
  • The council also works with festival organisers to monitor 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 work year-round to prepare for the Glastonbury Festival, but from now until the event gets underway at the end of June is a particularly busy time for us.

“Our main aim is to ensure that visitors to the festival have a safe and enjoyable time and we work closely with the event organisers and partner agencies to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible.”

Councillor Nigel Taylor, Joint Portfolio Holder for Services and Corporate Finance, said: “The Glastonbury Festival has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best music festivals on the planet and means that for a few days each year the eyes of the world are on Mendip.

“To have such a high-profile event staged at the centre of the district is fantastic news for local businesses as the thousands of festival goers who visit Mendip 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, working with festival organisers to check 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.”