Glastonbury obsessive with 10 years’ experience shares survival tips

Glastonbury Festival 2015 - Day 1

First time at Glastonbury? You might want to read this (Picture: Tabatha Fireman/Redferns via Getty Images)

What shoes should you pack for Glastonbury Festival 2024? Should I try and see everything, or go with the flow? Can I even shower? How do I avoid spending too much money on food?

These are all the burning questions I have a few weeks before my first ever Glastonbury Festival – so I drafted in one of the biggest Worthy Farm fanatics on the internet, the man behind X’s @TheGlastoThingy, to help out.

If you’re not familiar, @TheGlastoThingy is a one-stop shop for all things Glastonbury, including rumours, line up news, and announcements.

Steve (not his real name) posts daily updates from his hometown Merseyside about his favourite event of the year – which he’s attended an enviable 11 times.

‘My boss wouldn’t be too happy about the amount of time I spend doing this,’ Steve tells me, explaining his anonymity. Yep, he really is obsessed.

So if you’re a Glastonbury first-timer for 2024 then get settled in, because Metro.co.uk has picked Steve’s pyramid-shaped brains for his top tips to make the most out of the festival.

Glastonbury Festival 2022 image from crowd looking at stage

Having spent £360 on tickets for Glastonbury, here is how to make the most of it (Picture: Harry Durrant/Getty Images)

His most important morsel of wisdom?

‘See as much as you can but don’t get stressed out about it. You’ve got to be prepared to go with the flow,’ he says.

‘I don’t like to tell people how to do Glastonbury though – everyone does it differently. There’s no wrong way to do it.’

But there are a few things you can do that will allow you to make the most of the legendary festival, which will kick off for another weekend of madness on Wednesday 26 June.

Don’t sit at the Pyramid Stage all day (but you can if you want)

First thing is first: understand the lie of the land. On arrival, Steve suggests you scope out the site, so you can get your bearings.

‘Get yourself acclimatised to the distances,’ he says. That way, you won’t find yourself rushing around assuming you can get to a stage in time, when actually you are wasting half an hour wading through mud only to miss most of a set.

‘Go and see the more unusual stuff on the Wednesday and Thursday,’ Steve advises. It’s not all about the main stages, people – although headliners Coldplay, SZA, Dua Lipa and Shania Twain are bound to draw crowds.

Glastonbury Festival 2022 Pyramid Stage

Don’t spend all day sitting at the Pyramid Stage (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

From comedy to circus to crafts tents and vegetable growing – yes, really – there’s so much on offer, even outside the music acts.

‘It’s really chilled and quiet and you can’t believe you’re at Glastonbury there,’ Steve says of the green-fingered permaculture area.

Obviously, it’s your Glastonbury so you have to do what makes you happy.

‘If you come away happy that’s fine, if you want to spend your time sitting at the Pyramid Stage all weekend and that makes you happy that’s okay,’ Steve says.

‘But do try and get out to the smaller venues.’

Most underrated thing to do at Glastonbury?

‘Glasto Latino,’ Steve responds, having hit up the Latin music, dance and culture area of the festival last year on the Thursday evening.

‘There was a big Latino band with a brass section, loads of singers, everyone was trying to follow the dance moves and failing,’ Steve explains.

‘It was just such a big laugh.’

Do your Glastonbury research

‘Before I went the first time I did a load of research about what I wanted to see, but some people just go along and find out for themselves when they get there,’ Steve says.

However, doing a bit of research – even if you don’t go in with a solid plan – is key.

‘There’s a lot of different things and it’s not all about the big bands,’ he reiterates.

‘Depending on your tastes, you might want to find a place to go for a night out with dance music, or you might want to find a little tent with a couple of folk musicians.

‘That’s why I’d say do a bit of research, because you might find out about them when you get home and it’s too late.’

Make sure you know where your tent is… (Picture: Tabatha Fireman/Redferns)

Take a note of where your tent is

When you set up your tent, Steve advises you take note of exactly where it is.

It sounds silly, but especially if you arrive early you could get back to your tent after a day or night exploring, and everything has changed.

‘It will look very different when you come back. You will return and it will be surrounded by another 50 tents,’ he says.

Even if you use a Welsh flag as a marker, there might be another 30 Welsh flags that pop up in your field in the time you’ve been gone.

The best sunset spot at Glastonbury

If you want a good vantage point to enjoy a beer and a sunset, then look no further than the Glastonbury sign hill.

‘It gets really busy on the Wednesday evening now, so if you don’t like a big crowd maybe save it for later in the week or go earlier in the day,’ Steve says.

Hopefully you will get some gorgeous sunsets from this spot (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

‘But sitting on that hill by the sign overlooking the site is one of the best places.

‘You realise just how big it is and think how just a month ago it was a farm.’

If you really want a peaceful experience, then you can also get a great view from the field next door.

Nearby, the crow’s nest is also worth a visit with sweeping views over the grounds.

What shoes to wear at Glastonbury 2024?

In short, it depends on the weather (which is so far set to be wet this year – eek). But there is one failsafe option Steve really champions: the humble walking boot.

‘When it starts turning clay mud – like it does at Glastonbury – it pulls on your shoes with every step, so wellies come off all the time but with walking boots you can just plough through,’ he says.

‘Unless it’s so deep it will go over the top of the boots, then definitely walking boots.

If it’s been like the last few years of dry weather then trainers will be fine. But generally comfort is key – as you really will walk miles.

Glastonbury day bag essentials

If it’s muddy you won’t be able to sit down anywhere… That’s unless you’ve packed a roll of bin bags to sit on. Or a small stool, if you don’t mind carrying it around.

Make sure you bring your alcohol supply for the day too (which you’ve packed from home to bring to the festival).

Person sleeping in hammock

Try to nap if you can (Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Glastonbury is unique in that it allows you to take your own bottles into the grounds, so make the most of it.

Depending on the weather, you might want to pack a fleece and a raincoat, as well as sun cream, prescription glasses (so you can see the acts) and sunglasses.

How to avoid stage FOMO

‘You just have to accept you’re going to miss things. It’s going to happen. You can’t see everything,’ says Steve for those people who get decision paralysis on where to be at what time.

‘There are people who will tell you, “Plan to see one or two definite sets a day and anything else is a bonus,” but one of my friends has his whole weekend planned to the minute,’ he says, stressing that it varies from person to person.

‘Many others go with the flow. It’s easy to get distracted and that’s just how it is,’ he adds.

So work to live in the present and don’t rush off if you’re enjoying something – but make sure you’ve done your research so you can make informed decisions.

There’s so much to see aside from music (Picture: Anna Barclay/Getty Images)

Don’t follow people, follow the music

Steve doesn’t believe in sacrificing your own experience in order to stick with a big group.

‘Make your own plans and don’t worry about losing friends and going to see the same thing as them,’ he says. ‘Just go and do your own thing.’

It also helps that over the years it’s become easier to meet up with people as phone signal has improved.

Use Clashfinder for Glastonbury 2024

Of all the Glastonbury tech to know about, Steve recommends using Clashfinder to download your personalised itinerary.

‘You can highlight the acts you want to see and it converts into an itinerary,’ Steve says.

‘I screenshot that, in case I don’t have signal to use it.’

How to enjoy food and drink at Glastonbury on a budget

‘As with all festivals, the food is getting a bit more pricey,’ Steve says.

With almost 800 vendors and traders in total, Glastonbury is as much a food festival as it is a music one. But buying from many of the stalls can get expensive – especially when paying for three meals a day.

Luckily, there’s a way of finding the best meal deals on Worthy Farm.

‘They do some cheaper meals – look out for £6 meal deals – where you can buy smaller meals at some of the stalls.

‘It’s on the website, it will show you the emblem to look out for which will show you which ones offer this.’

Glastonbury Music Festival

Head up to the sign to watch the sun go down (Picture: Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Also, if you really want to make it cheap there is a Co-op supermarket on site, where you can grab yourself a classic sandwich meal deal.

If you can’t think of anything worse than warm beer, don’t be tempted to buy pints from bars – but get yourself a bag of ice from the Co-op instead. Genius.

Steve says lots of people bring spirits into the festival and head to the supermarket to buy mixers.

To avoid beers being stolen in tents, Steve advises you take them out of their box and spread them around, as 10 items are harder to take than one big one.

Can I shower at Glastonbury?

‘Oh god no,’ was Steve’s automatic response.

‘I have a bucket and some flannels,’ he says, preferring this over environmentally-damaging wet wipes.

‘The bucket will wake you up in the morning,’ he laughs.

But if you’re intent on a shower, the best option is to go when the stages are busy in the evening.

How to keep your stamina up…

‘Just keep going,’ Steve says.

‘A quick five minute afternoon nap does wonders. If you’re at a stage early, just have a five minute lie down.’

But make sure you set an alarm, or have a friend to wake you up – because you don’t want to sleep through your favourite band.

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