How much does a day at Glastonbury cost? Tickets, 2023 festival food and drink prices - and coach travel costs
A day of music, arts, and positive vibes can cost you an arm and a leg, including ticket, travel, food, and drinks
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Festivals are expensive undertakings. What may seem like a long weekend of musical bliss, often actually has to be bankrolled by anxiety inducing levels of bank account abuse. There's the cost of the ticket itself, which for larger events can be comparable to a last-minute package holiday, then there's getting to the festival site itself.
While many events throw on shuttle buses to and from nearby towns and cities, driving is often the easiest way to access many festivals' rural estate sites. And parking charges have been infamously high for almost as long as festivals have been around.
But even once you're through the gates and the tent has been excitedly pitched, there's still the task of keeping yourself fed and watered. You could try to sustain yourself through a well-stocked kit bag, nipping back to base camp between sets for a tin of cold beans.
But on the drinks front, although you've no doubt managed to smuggle more than the permitted amount of alcohol into the campsite, most festivals don't allow you to take your own booze into the areas where music is actually taking place. Sun-warmed lager also gets less appealing as the days wear on, and you'll often be left craving a crisp, draught cider.
With a captive audience ensconced in impenetrable border fences, food and drinks prices are often eye-wateringly high. Where else are you going to go for a stomach lining festival delicacy?
One of the biggest festivals on the planet, Glastonbury takes place this weekend, a multi-day bender of music, arts and positive vibes, that is generally considered to be one of the more expensive music festivals in the UK thanks to its large scale, diverse lineup of artists and extensive infrastructure, which contributes to its higher cost.
The festival typically spans five days from Wednesday to Sunday, which means attendees will need to budget for accommodation, food, transportation, and potentially other expenses throughout their stay.
But just how much money could you be looking to fork out per day at the UK's most famous festival? We've put together a rough guide on what a day at the festival could cost you.
Tickets and travel
Tickets to the festival started at £340 (including booking fees) in 2023. While the festival does not offer single-day tickets for general attendees (instead it sells tickets for the entire duration of the event), for the sake of this article we'll divide that cost by the five days its covers to get a "daily" ticket cost of £68, which in all fairness really isn't that expensive.
(Note: Sunday tickets are made available exclusively to Central Somerset residents, as they are the people most likely to be inconvenienced during the preparations for the festival)
But let's consider getting to the festival. The festival itself seems to push a more eco-friendly coach ride to the festival as its preferred method of getting guests on site (coach package tickets go on sale ahead of regular ones and sell out in a hype-driven frenzy).
Return fees to and from Pilton Farm vary depending on which of the festival's accredited 28 locations you are travelling from, with fares ranging from £41 for the 30-mile trip from Taunton, to £140 for the 16-hour round trip to Edinburgh. We'll call it £90.50 as a median figure.
A car park pass costs £55. Campervan tickets for 2023 cost £150 for a standard pitch or £250 for a large pitch.
Food and drink
On its website, Glastonbury says it prioritises providing affordable food options to its attendees, and in 2023 more than 75 percent of all traders, totalling 300 stallholders, will be participating in the festival's £6 meal deal scheme, indicated by stickers displayed on menu boards.
You could probably get by on one hearty meal throughout the day, but if you want to stay well fed and energised during a long day of live music, it's probably best to eat at least two decent meals. £12.
Some with early access to the festival site have managed to get snaps of drinks boards within the festival site, revealing the eye-watering costs of beverages.
If you're a booze drinker and want to stay loose on - let's say - three pints throughout the day, you're looking at an overall cost of £20.40 for San Miguel. The reality is most festival goers will drink much more than that. If you prefer your spirits, a single with Red Bull will set you back £9.50. A half-pint of Coke is £3 if you prefer soft drinks.
Then you may want to pick up a t-shirt, hat, poster, or other souvenir at a merchandise tent or stand. If you're interested in buying festival memorabilia, allocate some money for these purchases. If the on site sellers follow in the footsteps of Glastonbury's website, a t-shirt will set you back £16.
It's also worth noting that some vendors may only accept cash, and so it's wise to bring some cash with you to cover small expenses. However, be mindful of ATM fees if you need to withdraw money on-site.
How much will it cost?
Overall, the specific cost of a "day" at the festival will vary depending on your personal preferences. But for this writer, hypothetically covering the festival for NationalWorld - as opposed to letting my hair down and cracking on with the scrumpies - and travelling down from East Anglia, it'd set me back around £200, assuming I could break down the cost of a weekend ticket.
With that not being the case, just attending Glastonbury for one day would actually cost me £452.40 (£468.40 if I bought a t-shirt to remember one of the oddest financial decisions I've ever made). The expenses team will be hearing from me.
At least if you're not staying the night, you can avoid splashing out on the nearby glamping option that will set you back £23,999...