The line-up is lacking – so what is so special about Glastonbury Festival?
Posted by  badge Boss on May 31
Glastonbury is undeniable the biggest event in the UK’s music calendar – but why? (Picture: Getty)

It’s fair to say the 2024 – but despite this, it’s is undoubtedly the most anticipated UK music event in the calendar and often heralded as one of the best festivals in the world.

The Pyramid Stage is slowly coming together at Worthy Farm in preparation for 200,000 people arriving laden with tents, booze and wellies on the last weekend of June.

The hype is as real as ever, even with a lacklustre line-up. While last year was marred with controversy , this yearwill become the first act to top the bill five times (yawn), will be making her Pyramid Stage debut, as will .

That’s not to say these aren’t incredible acts. But as from Stevie Nicks to Kylie, some are feeling a little short-changed at forking out £360 for a golden Glastonbury ticket – which they did under the historic assurance the line-up would be the best in the business.

Yet in April organiser Emily Eavis announced that they had the highest percentage of ticket balances paid ever this year, with a verygiven back to be resold.

Clearly, the festival’s allure isn’t limited to the quality of its biggest names.

The Pyramid Stage is being built as we speak (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Why do people love Glastonbury so much?

The internet’s biggest Glastonbury obsessive – a man in his 50s behind the revered X account – chatted to about why everyone flocks back to the farm year after year.

Steve* (not his real name) isn’t a Glastonbury local, but posts daily updates from Merseyside about his favourite event of the year – which he’s attended a whopping 11 times.

(Steve will not disclose his identity, because: ‘My boss wouldn’t be too happy about the amount of time I spend doing this.’)

If you’re not familiar with @TheGlastoThingy, Steve posts breaking updates on rumours surrounding the festival, headliner announcements, and festival-goer theories.

It’s basically a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Glastonbury, and even organiser Emily Eavis has even previously admitted he’s usually bang on the money.

‘It’s just mind-blowing the size of the place,’ Steve says on why Glastonbury is so special. ‘It’s huge. You really have to plan your day. and how not to get distracted because that’s easily done.’

Many describe Glastonbury as having a certain magic (Picture: Anna Barclay/Getty Images)

Glastonbury has an incredibly diverse line-up, from the iconic Pyramid Stage headliners to the little artsy hideouts like the Wood Stage, and the 5am madness that is Shangri-La.

Even if you’ve been for the last five years, with over 100 stages set in 900 acres of the Somerset countryside, there is always something new to stumble across.

Christoph, 28, who is heading to Worthy Farm for the sixth time in June, thinks this is part of Glastonbury’s magic.

‘The sheer number of stages means you’ll always see something new, even on repeat visits,’ he said.

Entertainment doesn’t stop at music but ranges from spoken word poetry to political tents and comedians, creating more of a family vibe than other UK festivals, awash with stumbling students.

The theatre and circus field is not one to miss, Steve agrees.

‘It’s something that sets Glastonbury apart from other festivals with all the walking around entertainment that’s going on. You could spend hours in there just watching people walk by,’ he said.

Like many, Steve wasn’t totally made up with this year’s headliners, but he assures that it’s not all about the big stars.

‘This year the line-up is lower down for me. It’s all personal taste. There’s a lot of really good stuff earlier on in the day. But none of the headliners are really for me,’ he said.

Over the years, Steve has gone to the festival many times and seen no Pyramid Stage headliners, as there’s always something else going on.

Dua Lipa is set to perform at this year’s festival (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

What makes Glastonbury Festival so successful?

‘Despite what people say about it being corporate and sold-out it still has a family-run feel,’ Steve says.

The festival is known for championing local suppliers, from the food truck vendors to the sign-makers.

It also seems to have a generally forgiving atmosphere, as festival-goers can bring in their own alcohol so tend not to feel like they are being trapped into spending lots of money in over-priced bars.

This all adds to the vibe of the festival, which many repeat attendees credit as something intangible, and really quite special.

Christoph and Steve think this feeling could come from tickets being so hard to get, so everyone is automatically delighted to be there.

‘Getting a ticket is hard, but it means you go with a real sense of wanting to make the most of it,’ Christoph said.

Fans are gearing up for another year of fun (Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

‘You end up seeing and doing way more than you would at any other festival as a result.’

Steve agreed: ‘It’s so hard to get tickets everyone is so happy to be there. You can see bands are often blown away by the reactions they get.’

From an artist’s perspective, given Glastonbury is steeped in history, with the likes of The Smiths and David Bowie having graced its stages over the years, so they often jump at the chance to join such names.

This means it can usually bag legends other festivals could only dream of getting. While this year might be a blip in the road in that respect, its atmosphere is sure to endure.

Beyond all his logical reasoning, Steve summed Glastonbury up as a feeling: ‘There is something special about the atmosphere when you’re there, it’s hard to put your finger on it.’

Niki Buys, 34, who will be attending for the sixth time this year, agrees.

‘The place does something magic, looking down across the site and seeing all the people who just want to be in a good mood and be nice to one another is a truly visceral feeling,’ she said.

Okay, okay. Now we’re getting excited.