Glastonbury’s capacity has grown with the festival’s size and popularity
The site is over a mile and a half wide and eight and a half miles in circumference, and you’ll likely walk every inch of it. Comfortable shoes or boots are a must.
But how big is it in terms of number of people? What is the capacity of Glastonbury and what are the biggest crowds the festival has ever seen?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What was the capacity of the early Glastonburys?
The Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival organized by Michael Eavis on Saturday 19 September 1970 drew 1,500 visitors to Worthy Farm for the first time.
Although there were again incarnations of the event in 1971 and 1979, the festival became an annual fixture, barring periodic idle years, well into the 1980s.
Large festivals have required licenses from local authorities since 1983, and as a result the festival has been subject to a number of restrictions.
These included time restrictions on the use of certain stages and a limit on the number of participants, which was initially set at 30,000 people.
The event outgrew Worthy Farm in 1985 and the adjacent Cockmill Farm was purchased to allow for the expansion of the festival.
1989 was the first year that impromptu, unofficial sound systems popped up on festival grounds, playing loud electronic acid house music 24 hours a day. The largest of these rivaled the volume of some official stages and ran non-stop throughout the event.
In 1992 an expanded festival was held and a stronger perimeter fence was built; This was the first year that New Age travelers were initially not allowed to enter the site for free.
What is the attendance record?
It’s surprisingly difficult to set a reliable attendance record for the Glastonbury Festival.
That’s because past fence breaches and instances of mass gate crashing have unlawfully inflated crowds.
In 1994, Glastonbury’s ‘official’ attendance record of 300,000 people was set when The Levellers headlined the Pyramid Stage.
But that record may have been unofficially broken the following year, when a security fence breach on the Friday of the festival saw attendance surge dramatically. It is estimated that there were enough fence jumpers to double the size of the festival.
The festival was again overcrowded in 1999 due to fence jumpers, and in 2000 an additional 100,000 people tumbled onto the site, bringing attendance to an estimated 250,000 people overall.
This raised public safety concerns, and the local district council withheld further permits until the issue was resolved.
The festival returned in 2002 with the controversial Mean Fiddler (now Festival Republic) in charge of logistics and security, and the construction of a large perimeter fence (dubbed the “Superfence”) that dropped attendances to a decade earlier.
The 2002 event was criticized for lack of atmosphere due to the lower number of participants, which reflected the smaller number of people jumping the fence.
What is the capacity of Glastonbury?
The festival grew in popularity and size and is now attended by around 200,000 people every year.
But the overcrowding problems and fence-jumping chaos of the ’90s are unlikely to be repeated anytime soon thanks to the robust security infrastructure.
Fans can arrive as early as Wednesday morning (the event runs from June 22-26), but if you have to work that day and can’t wait until Thursday, arrive while the sun is still shining… it’s impossible pitch a tent in the dark.
The BBC will provide full coverage of the festival via BBC Music, with coverage on radio, television and BBC iPlayer.
https://www.nationalworld.com/culture/music/how-many-people-are-at-glastonbury-2022-festival-capacity-attendance-record-biggest-crowd-3736826 How many people are in Glastonbury? 2022 festival capacity