The Big Glastonbury 2019 FAQ – every last-minute question answered

Here's everything you need to know before you head off to Worthy Farm

It’s almost time to sling tent on your bag, get your wellies on your feet, and head down to Worthy Farm for the return of the greatest festival in the world. Before you go, though, you’ve probably got a few questions. For instance, where should you camp and when should you arrive? Can you bring your own booze in or are you a slave to bar prices? Don’t worry, we’ve got all your Glastonbury questions answered below so all you have to worry about is having an amazing time.

What can (and can’t) you take into Glastonbury?

Here’s a handy list of what is absolutely banned from being brought through the gates of Worthy Farm:

  • portable laser equipment or pens
  • animals (except registered guide dogs)
  • sound systems or drums
  • generators
  • sky lanterns or kites, unauthorised fireworks, or wax flares
  • nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • anything made of glass (including perfume, makeup bottles, mirrors)
  • items that may be used in an illegal or offensive manner – you may be searched on entry and could be evicted from the festival

And here’s what Glastonbury organisers would really like you to leave at home:

  • excess packaging – recycle the plastic wrapping or cardboard boxes all your new festival goodies come in at home so it doesn’t cause more waste on the farm
  • non-biodegradable body glitter – the biodegradable stuff is available to buy from traders on site so you can still be ready to sparkle your way through Miley’s set
  • disposable wipes – even biodegradable wipes are bad for the environment so the festival recommend using a cloth and soap instead
  • gazebos – it might seem like there’s acres of space for everyone to pitch their tents at Glastonbury, but there really isn’t. Leave the gazebo at home so there’s room for everyone.

You can bring in food and alcohol, but only enough for personal consumption. Remember to decant anything in glass into plastic bottles before getting to the festival, though.

The festival also encourage you to not bring more than you need and to only bring things you’ll take home with you, including your tent.

What do you need to take to Glastonbury?

For starters, your festival ticket is probably the most important thing to double and triple check is in your bag before you set off. If you’re not treating yourself to some glamping, then you’ll also need a tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, and any other bedding items you desire. The forecast might be looking good right now, but make sure to bring your waterproofs and wellies just in case – you’ll also want comfortable walking shoes even if there’s no mud.

Bring a warm jumper for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops, a hat, and sun cream so you don’t burn beforehand. Glastonbury will automatically become 100 times less fun if you’re screaming in pain anytime someone so much as brushes against your roasted skin. Toilet roll is a must – if you don’t want to carry a big roll around then mini packs of tissues are also handy.

When packing, don’t just bring enough clothes for the amount of days you’re there and think that’s enough. Make sure you have a couple of spare outfits in case you fall in a pool of mud or get soaked to the skin by a surprise shower. If you’re planning on having an actual shower on site then come prepared with a towel and toiletries.

If you have a hospitality ticket, are planning on buying alcohol or cigarettes on site, are the lead booker for coach packages, or have Sunday tickets, you’ll need to bring ID. Standard tickets don’t require it because your photo is on the ticket. Bring enough money to last you the weekend – there are ATMs on site but there’s likely to be queues to use them. You should also pack a portable phone charger so you can make sure you’re always juiced up in case you lose your friends or need to show a mobile ticket on the coach or train on the way home.

Lastly, festival organisers recommend marking your valuables with your house number and postcode in case you lose them. That way, if they’re found they can be posted back to you or you have a better way of identifying them at the lost and found.

Glastonbury

What’s the best gate to go into Glastonbury?

If you’re being dropped off, you’ll be able to catch a bus over to Pedestrian Gate A, which gives quicker access to the site – important when you’re carrying all your camping gear across site. You can walk there from the coach drop-off point, or to Pedestrian Gate D a little further along. Gate A takes you into the festival between the John Peel Stage and Silver Hayes, while Gate D comes in behind The Park.

Gates A and D are perfect for people parking in the yellow, pink, or orange car parks too. If you’re parking in purple or blue, then you’ll want to enter via Pedestrian Gate B or C. B will bring you in above the Pyramid field, while C will put you in the thick of the Theatre field and West Holts.

Are coach tickets refundable?

It depends which type of coach ticket you selected. If you got the standard fare, you won’t be able to get a refund. If you got the fully flexible fare, however, you should be able to get your money back. Contact National Express for further details.

Can you bring alcohol?

Yes! There’s no need to spend half the weekend in lines for the bar (although we’d recommend visiting the cider bus at least once) or bankrupting yourself on drinks. Just make sure you’re only bringing in a reasonable amount of alcohol – i.e. only enough for your own personal consumption – and that anything in glass has been decanted into plastic bottles or other containers.

Is there a Glastonbury app?

Of course, and it’s got all the info you need on it, from site maps and personalisable schedules to news and handy advice for while you’re at the festival. Just search for ‘Glastonbury Festival 2019’ in the app store to download.

What’s the nearest train station?

The nearest train station to Glastonbury is Castle Cary, which is served by trains from stations including London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads. Once you’re at Castle Cary, you’ll be able to hop on a free shuttle bus that will take you right to the festival gates. There will also be an increased amount of trains running during the festival to make the journey down a little bit more comfortable.

Are there sniffer dogs?

Yep, so bear that in mind. Police dogs will be present at the gates searching for drugs and explosives and, while you may not see them yourself, there’s always the chance you will.

Are there showers at Glastonbury?

Absolutely, but be warned – there’s not that many of them. If you really need a good wash then head to the Kidz Field or the Greenpeace field. You’re likely to have a wait ahead of you though, so you might want to make like everyone else and just do your best with a wet wipe (or a cloth and soap). Or go at an odd time of day (or night).

Glastonbury

How do Glastonbury tickets work?

Your ticket has your photo on it so, unless you look remarkably different from that picture, you won’t need to show ID at the gate. Only the person named and pictured on the ticket will be allowed entry.

Keep your ticket safe for the whole weekend – even though you’ll be given on entry, you could need it again at some point. Security staff can ask to see your ticket at any time and you’ll need it if you leave the site and want to re-enter.

If you do leave the festival and want to come back in, you’ll need to get a Pass Out voucher as you exit. Show that and your ticket when you return to get past security.

Where should I camp at Glastonbury?

There’s plenty of options at Glastonbury. Use this handy interactive map of the festival site to figure out where’s best for you – from the lively campsites that will keep the party going or the areas where you can get a bit of much-needed rest.

What’s the best supermarket on the way?

There’s a Tesco Superstore and a Morrisons in the town of Glastonbury, if you fancy a quick detour for all your festival essentials. If not, there’ll be service stations on the way that you can pull off into to pick up bits, or there’ll be a pop-up Co-Op on site at the festival this year if you forget anything.

What’s the best place to stop for lunch on the way there and back?

It all depends on what sort of lunch you’re looking for. Want something quick and cheap? Stop at a service station, like Fleet – which boasts a Waitrose, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Tossed, and Pizza Express – or Strensham, which has a Costa, McDonald’s, Leon, Krispy Kreme, and a Spar.

Looking for a nice country pub lunch? Stop off in a nearby town like Cheltenham, Gloucester or Bristol, where you’ll find the likes of The Strand (real ales, global food), The Royal Oak (described as a “quintessential English country pub”), and The Clifton (a gastropub with “retro vintage decor and comfy sofas”), respectively. 

What’s the best time to arrive?

It all depends on how you’re getting there and how up for making the most of the weekend you are. If you’re coming by car, the car parks open at 9pm on June 25, but gates for the festival don’t open until 8am on June 26 so, if you’re getting down that early, be prepared to spend the night in your vehicle. There’s no camping allowed in the car parks.

Once open, the gates will be open 24/7 until the end of the festival so you can arrive at any time. Expect there to be a lot of traffic between 7am and 2pm on the Wednesday – historically the busiest time for festival arrivals. Early evening tends to be quieter, while you can minimise your wait at the gates by only bringing what you really need.

If you want to have your pick of camping spots, though, or you have your heart set on a specific field, then get down as early as possible on Wednesday. Space goes fast and there’s nothing worse than having to drag a weekend’s worth of stuff plus tent around in the rain or heat.

What should you do if you can’t find a camping spot?

Don’t panic. Find the campsite stewards, who are located in every field. They might know of a spot you’ve missed or be able to advise you on any fields that have more room. There’s a lot of space at Glastonbury and, while the sight of hundreds of thousands of tents might seem daunting, you’ll definitely find a spot to pitch up in the end.

What’s the best way to meet up with people at Glastonbury?

Just telling your mates to meet you by the bar between West Holts and Shangri-La is not going to work, trust us. Find a unique landmark – like the Oxfam tent next to the Pyramid Stage or the ribbon tower in The Park – and then stay put. Although phone signal is much better at the festival these days, it can still cut out sometimes, or, of course, your battery could be far lower than you realised.

Glastonbury flag

Where can you get flags at Glastonbury?

Your best bet is to order one before – that way you can plant it by your tent and not have to drag it all the way across site. Flags can be bought from a number of online retailers and prices range from £4.99 to £49.99 and upwards depending on size and if you want to get your own unique design printed. Just try not to bring them with you when you’re watching bands unless you want everyone behind you to hate you.

How much money should I take to Glastonbury?

How much money you should bring will vary from person to person, but the best bit is to set yourself a budget and bring that amount. Consider how many meals you’re going to be buying from stalls, how many drinks you’ll want, whether you’re likely to go shopping for clothes or other items from the traders across the site. Prices will vary drastically from stall to stall, but expect to pay around a fiver for a pint or around £5-£8 for a burger. You should also make sure you have some extra cash for emergencies, or at least have money available on your cards in case.

Worried about carrying hundreds of pounds with you or leaving it in your tent? Then make use of the free lock-ups across the farm, which are accessible 24 hours a day.

Can you buy wellies on site?

If you forget your wellies or you’re an eternal optimist brought crashing down by a deluge of rain then don’t panic. Wellies are available to buy on site should you need to. But be prepared for the possibility of paying more than you would off-site.

What happens on the Wednesday and Thursday at Glastonbury?

Don’t expect there to be any music on the Wednesday so use that day to get a proper handle on the site. Explore the bits you might not have as much time to visit once the music does start, like the Green Fields or the Theatre Field. On Thursday, there’ll be some live performances happening, mostly in Silver Hayes or the south-east corner. Check here for full stage times to see what’s going on.

When do you have to leave Glastonbury?

Gone are the days when you could just hang out for days after the festival. Prepare to be moved on on July 1, although you won’t be kicked out at the crack of dawn.

Are there any pubs near Glastonbury?

Of course. If you fancy getting back to civilisation (but still sinking a pint) for a bit, or need somewhere to stretch your legs with a soft drink just before arriving or after leaving, then you’ll find plenty of options in the local area.

If the no amplified entertainment rule on Wednesday isn’t working for you, you’ll find an open mic night at The King Arthur. The Who’d A Thought It Inn has a nice little beer garden, although they advise booking ahead if you want a meal, while The Rifleman’s Arms offers massive burgers and a range of ales and ciders.

Can you use your contactless card at Glastonbury?

Some traders might accept contactless transactions but you shouldn’t bank on being able to use it across the whole site. By all means bring your cards (the festival have confirmed you’ll be able to pay via both debit and credit cards) but the safest option at a festival is always cash – you’ll still be able to buy that much-needed burger if the payment system goes down.

Can you charge your phone at Glastonbury?

From 10am to 10pm, beginning on Thursday, EE will be running the Recharge Tent, which will bursting with chargers that are free for use to everyone regardless of what phone network they’re on. If you don’t want to sit around waiting for your phone to power up, you can grab a Juice Tube Power Bar for £20. Once it’s run out, you can swap it for a fresh one at the Recharge Tent or the EE Exchange Cabin.

In the past, some property lock-ups have offered phone charging for a nominal fee so if the queues for the EE Recharge Tent are too long, you could try your luck at one of those instead.

Is there WiFi at Glastonbury?

Yep. EE are bringing 5G WiFi to the festival for the very first time this year, promising to make it easier to share your festival highlights with the world or just stay in touch with your mates at home and on-site.