Trainee nurses given 500 free tickets to Glastonbury 2019 amid staffing crisis

Offer from Michael Eavis is to encourage more into nursing profession, after NHS trust admits ‘there are no more nurses in Somerset’

Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis is to give away up to 500 tickets for the 2019 event to trainee nurses in the Mendip area, where the festival is based.

Speaking at Shepton Mallet’s summer fete in July, Eavis said he made the decision following a conversation with the local NHS trust chairman, who had complained about a lack of trainees.

The tickets are available to Mendip-area students who are enrolled on a nursing course this year, according to a statement on the Glastonbury festival’s website. A spokesperson for the festival told the Guardian that, as well as a gesture of support for the NHS, Eavis wants the initiative to encourage more people to take up the profession.

Somerset has a shortage of registered nurses, with inpatient beds at Shepton Mallet, Chard and Dene Barton community hospitals temporarily closed last October as a result.

In February, Hayley Peters, chief nurse for the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, stated that “there are no more nurses in Somerset”. The trust unsuccessfully attempted to recruit nurses from India in 2016.

The issues in Somerset are part of a nationwide crisis, with the Royal College of Nursing finding the UK “desperately short of nurses”. In January, it was found that only one in seven nursing positions in England were filled, with some areas filling less that 1% of their positions. Agency nurses, brought in to fill the gaps in NHS provision, cost the NHS £2.4bn in 2017.

Glastonbury festival, meanwhile, is preparing for its 2019 edition, following a fallow year. The rumour mill around headline performers has begun, with co-organiser Emily Eavis saying that Paul McCartney – soon returning with new music – is “top of our list”.

Regarding the Sunday afternoon “legend” slot previously filled by Dolly Parton, Barry Gibb and others, Emily told Radio 2: “I’ll give you a clue: it’s a female. She is not British, but I can’t give you any more clues because it will get me into trouble.”

Mendip trainee nurses keen to take up Eavis’s offer should email with their Glastonbury registration number.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Glastonbury tickets for 2019 sell out in half an hour
Record numbers attempt to buy tickets for festival following its fallow year

Alexandra Heal

07, Oct, 2018 @9:09 AM

Article image
Glastonbury weather to be sunny and rain-free, forecast shows
Highs of 27C suggest the festival’s record temperature is likely to remain unbroken, but sun is set to shine with less than 5% chance of rain

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

26, Jun, 2019 @8:53 AM

Article image
Glastonbury founders to celebrate 50 years in behind-the-scenes book
Glastonbury 50 also features contributions from stars including Adele, Jay-Z, Dolly Parton and Noel Gallagher. Plus, read an exclusive excerpt

Laura Snapes

05, Jun, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
'Michael Eavis didn't know what dance music is': a history of rave at Glastonbury
At some point in the late 80s – though no one remembers exactly when – Glastonbury festival became a nexus of the traveller, free party and acid-house scenes, and the festival was never the same again

Joe Muggs

29, Jun, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
Hidden gems on the 2019 Glastonbury lineup
Bewildered by the hundreds of acts at Glastonbury? The Guardian’s music editors pick the best names from lower down the bill

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes

26, Jun, 2019 @1:47 PM

Article image
Stormzy announced as first headliner of Glastonbury 2019
Grime MC will headline Friday night in his most prestigious live show yet

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

15, Nov, 2018 @4:27 PM

Article image
Glastonbury 2019: Friday with Stormzy, George Ezra and Sheryl Crow – as it happened
Crow rocked the main stage, Ezra blasted us with charisma and Stormzy made Glastonbury history – all on the first big night of this year’s festival

Tim Jonze (now); Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes (earlier)

28, Jun, 2019 @10:45 PM

Article image
Glastonbury 2019: Sunday with the Cure, Kylie and Miley Cyrus – as it happened
The festival’s closing day brought Kylie gold, while Cyrus rocked out and David Attenborough made a surprise appearance. Plus, Christine and the Queens, the Streets and Vampire Weekend

Michael Hann (now); Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Laura Snapes and Gwilym Mumford (earlier)

30, Jun, 2019 @11:59 PM

Article image
Glastonbury festival 2019: full lineup and stage times announced
Lewis Capaldi, rappers Dave and Octavian and the Proclaimers among the acts joining headliners Stormzy, the Killers and the Cure

Laura Snapes

29, May, 2019 @11:09 AM

Article image
Kylie Minogue to play 'legend' slot at Glastonbury 2019
It will be the singer’s first full set at the festival, after she had to cancel a headlining performance in 2005 to undergo cancer treatment

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

19, Dec, 2018 @9:00 AM