Glastonbury 2023: Emily Eavis addresses concerns over £340 ticket price

Co-organiser Emily Eavis blamed the increase on the ‘enormous rises in the costs of running this vast show’ and the continuing fallout from the pandemic

The cost of Glastonbury tickets has risen from £265 plus a £5 booking fee in 2019 – the last time tickets went on sale – to £335 plus £5 booking fee for the 2023 edition of the festival.

Anyone who put down their £50 deposit in 2019 for the 2020 festival ultimately paid £280 plus £5 booking fee to attend the 2022 festival, an increase that reflected rising costs in the interim.

As fans expressed their dismay at the 19% year-on-year rise in the ticket price, co-organiser Emily Eavis responded on Twitter.

“We have tried very hard to minimise the increase in price on the ticket but we’re facing enormous rises in the costs of running this vast show, whilst still recovering from the huge financial impact of two years without a festival because of Covid.

“The £50 deposit on ticket sales day in November will be the same as ever, with the balance not due until April.”

She said that the usual opportunities would be available for “thousands of people” to volunteer or work as part of the crew.

“In these incredibly challenging times, we want to continue to bring you the best show in the world and provide our charities with funds which are more vital than ever. We are, as always, hugely appreciative of your ongoing support.”

Comparable festivals have not been subject to such drastic ticket price rises. A 2023 ticket for the Reading and Leeds festivals is marginally cheaper than in 2022; tickets for Green Man in Wales have risen from £210 for 2022 to £235 for 2023; End of the Road has risen from £190 to £235.

Emily Eavis introducing Greta Thunberg on stage at Glastonbury 2022.
Emily Eavis introducing Greta Thunberg on stage at Glastonbury 2022. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

The Glastonbury price jump may appear starker because no event was held in 2021, when some of its competitors returned, and most of the ticket sales for the cancelled 2020 event were carried over for its return this year, meaning the rise in costs has been less incremental.

Nonetheless, every British festival is dealing with rising inflation: in 2020, the average UK rate was about 1%, and many festivals honoured their 2020 ticket sale prices for their returns in 2021 or 2022; this year it has risen in excess of 9%.

Events are also dealing with supply chain pressures, a dearth of technical and security staff – many of whom retrained in other industries when the 2020 lockdowns rendered their jobs obsolete for a period – and British touring infrastructure companies rebasing themselves in Europe to accommodate new Brexit rules around equipment transportation.

In addition, there has been a striking rise in even well-known musicians cancelling shows and admitting that touring has become unaffordable, as well as the cost of living crisis shaking audience demand in the sector as ticket purchases become luxury items.

The UK music industry also remains one-third smaller than it was prior to the pandemic. Last month, UK Music, the body representing artists, labels and the live industry, called for a package of support including tax relief, a VAT cut for struggling venues and a streamlining of restrictions affecting workers and touring between Europe and the UK.

Glastonbury coach tickets go on sale on 3 November, with standard tickets to follow on 6 November. Prospective purchasers must register in advance, part of Glastonbury’s effort to stop tickets ending up in the hands of touts.

Next year’s festival will run from 21 to 25 June. No headliners have been announced, but Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has previously said that the top-billing acts for 2023 and 2024 are already in place.

• This story was amended on 18 October 2022 to clarify the ticket price for Glastonbury 2022.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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