Your festival survival guide: The Glastonbury edition

Ah Glastonbury, the ultimate weekend of music, dance, comedy and making lasting memories with your mates. But there’s more to this festival than just flower crowns, portaloos and crazed fans. That’s why we’ve put together a festival survival guide, unlocking the door to Glastonbury’s best kept secrets so that you’re as prepared as possible for an experience of a lifetime (…and not left stuck in the mud, crying out for help whilst your friends are singing their hearts out to Ed Sheeran).


    Take the ‘tapas approach’ and try something new

    From getting a selfie with your favourite band in the background to covering yourself head-to-toe in glitter (heads up – the girl on Pinterest did it better), everyone has an idea about what they want to see and do before they arrive at a festival, but don’t let this restrict you! The beauty of Glastonbury is that it’s five days long, so organisers themselves recommend taking the ‘tapas approach.’ This is where you try a little bit of everything so you can savour every experience that comes your way and have a truly unforgettable festival weekend.

    Image credit: Photo © Rachel Docherty cc-by-sa/2.0

  • Get some sleep and we promise you won’t miss out

    Ok, so we know you probably won’t be getting your full eight hours’ beauty sleep

    and with so much to squeeze out of Glastonbury, we don’t blame you for wanting to party all night long! But, at some point you’re going to need to recharge (because no one wants to be caught looking grumpy in that unexpected photo your mate uploads to Instagram!). Our top tip? The most popular acts usually perform between 11am and 12pm, so if you get in at 3am, you’ve still got a reasonably big window to catch up on some much needed z’s before the party starts for another day.

  • Get there early and mark your camp site

    It’s no secret that the Glastonbury site is massive, meaning it’s ridiculously easy to get lost in. Therefore we recommend you get there early on the Wednesday (but if you are planning on rocking up on Thursday afternoon, we’ve got coaches to get you there) so you can get yourself organised. What does this mean? It means pitch a tent in a place you know you’ll be able to find when you stumble back from the Pyramid Stage at 3am. Pick a solid reference point for when your mates run off into the sunset and you can’t find them. And definitely, above all else, learn where the loos are!

  • Watch the sun rise over Stone Circle

    There’s nothing quite like waking up, or even staying up all night long to watch the sun rise, and surprisingly it’s even more unique when shared with strangers at a festival. That’s why a visit to the sacred Stone Circle has become a rite of passage for both Glastonbury regulars and festival first-timers alike. And, if you arrive on Wednesday night, you’ll also be able to join the circle early and watch a magnificent fire show. All of which sounds amazing, don’t you think?

  • Pay a visit to Shangri-La after midnight

    Step away from the main stage and you’ll soon find Shangri-La, Glastonbury’s interactive fictional world. Brought to life by a creative team of over 1,500 crew, performers and artists, Shangri-La aims to shock, inspire and engulf its audience with wrap around venues, epic-scale artwork and groundbreaking music programming.

  • Tantalise your taste buds

    Whilst filling your face with food doesn’t seem like the number one festival priority, it’s important you keep refueled throughout the day and with over 250 food stalls to choose from, Glastonbury has you covered. Whether you want to tantalise your tastebuds with seafood curry, try your hand at clean eating from one of the vegan stalls or just have a good old grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll have no problem dining like a king and all at prices to suit every pocket.

  • Arrive armed with wellies

    If there’s one thing Glastonbury is infamous for, it’s mud, mud… and, well, more mud. And, when the heavens open and unleash a biblical-esque flood, you don’t want to be donning the white vans or skyscraper high heels. So before your arrival, prepare for all sorts of weather and get yourself a good pair of wellies and, if you want to go all out, bring some walking boots for the almighty trek round the site – heads up, it’s huge!

  • Leave the headliners early

    Don’t worry, we’re not trying to stop the party before it’s even begun. We just know that there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a huge post-festival performance queue so big that you can’t move and get to where you need to be. So why not leave the big acts early, get where you need to be… and send us a thank you tweet for the helpful advice? 😉

  • Enjoy the musings of spoken word artists

    Think Glastonbury is just a music festival? Well think again! Did you know that every year the festival opens its gates to performances from hundreds of poets and spoken word artists across the UK too? Whether you’re a keen wordsmith or passionate performer, make sure you sign up in advance and, you never know, you could be on stage performing to the Glastonbury masses before you know it.

  • Go green… and take the coach while you’re at it

    Glastonbury’s ‘Love Worthy Farm…Leave No Trace’ campaign prides itself on encouraging festival-goers to be more green, and there’s plenty of ways you can do so. From taking your tent and equipment home to putting rubbish into the 40,000 well signposted and beautifully painted bins on site. The best way to go green and help the environment, you ask? Grouping together with your mates and taking the coach of course! We’re getting you direct to the festival gates in style and if there’s four or more of you, you can save 25% off our standard fares with our group travel discount – yay!

  • Make use of the information points available

    When you’re out of your normal environment and plunged into a depth of crowds, tents and limited phone signal, it’s easy for festivals to seem overwhelming. Thankfully, organisers at Glastonbury are helping you out with key information points both on and off-site. These offer all sorts of useful things like travel information, free essentials including maps, suncream and bin bags, as well as landlines for emergency calls and phone numbers for cancelling lost bank cards.

Found this helpful? Let us know at @nationalexpress and remember, our coaches will drop you and pick you up direct at the festival doors.