Live Music

Glastonbury told to improve crowd control and noise levels in 2023

UK flagship festival Glastonbury has been asked to reduce noise and improve crowd control ahead of the 2023 event.

Organisers have been told by Mendip District Council, which is responsible for issuing the licence for the festival, that there were concerns over the way the festival is managed. 

In a report published by the council, it said that this year’s festival was seen as well-planned and well-managed, but that there was still room for improvements. 

The report comes after some festival-goers complained about the crowds being unsafe, while some residents in the local area have said the noise from the 2022 festival was the worst noise they have experienced. 

At a recent council scrutiny meeting, Pilton (where Glastonbury is held) resident Nick Hall said the noise levels this year were much worse than during previous editions. 

As reported by ITV News, he said: “Loud amplified music continued until 1am on Friday morning. Over the weekend period, there were multiple complaints about noise going on until 4am.”

The council said that more work was needed to “address excessive loudness and low-frequency noise” through monitoring and restrictions on time. Mendip council also said that work was needed to achieve “improvements to crowd distribution across the site” to prevent injuries and crowd crushes. 

During the meeting, a new strategy was outlined and included the need to control the number of tents and festival-goers at campsites, in order to reduce fire risk. 

Two representatives from Glastonbury Festival Events, which organises the event, were present with a further member joining via phone. The organisers are set to provide a response to the criticisms in writing within the next few months. 

“This year I had constituents contact me about the noise of the festival – even the local MP did the same,” said Councillor Chris Inchley, who chaired the meeting. “Talking to people who actually went to the festival, one comment made by many people was about the actual number of people on the site, especially on the Sunday.

“They said they felt rather unsafe with the volume of people.”

Councillor Heather Shearer added that the festival site was large enough for all ticket-holders, but more needed to be done by organisers to control crowds in particular areas. 

“It is recognised as something that the festival organisers need to be thinking about,” Shearer said. “Because it’s such a massive site, it’s clearly big enough for the people if it goes to the pinnacle of its numbers. The issue is really about crowd dynamics – about the pinch points when they move.”

Earlier this month, ticket and coach packages for Glastonbury sold out in 22 minutes, while its general sale was marred by technical issues. 

It was also revealed earlier this year that ticket prices were increased to £340 ($410/€396) with a £5 booking fee.