As the anticipation builds and the date of Glastonbury Festival inches ever closer, planning your journey to this iconic event becomes paramount. From navigating the queue to finding a camping sapot – we’ve got you covered!
- Getting into Glastonbury – How Does it Work?
- Arriving by Campervan
- Arriving by Coach or Shuttle Bus
- Arriving by Car – Tuesday Night
- Arriving by Car – Wednesday Morning
- Arriving By Car – Wednesday Later or Thursday Onwards
- Arriving at Worthy View, Sticklinch or other Pre-Booked Accommodation
- At The Gates
- Final Thoughts
From the hardcore Tuesday night arrival to latecomers on Thursday, every journey to Glastonbury is unique, but with a little planning and foresight, each can be a tale to remember.
So sit back, read on, and let us guide you to your perfect Glastonbury arrival.
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Getting into Glastonbury – How Does it Work?
There are 4 main pedestrian gates to Glastonbury Festival
- Pedestrian Gate A (North West – Primarily used by coach/bus arrivals but also car arrivals too)
- Pedestrian Gate B (East)
- Pedestrian Gate C (East – Primarily used by campervan ticketholders)
- Pedestrian Gate D (West)
There is also an accessible entrance next to Gate A, for those with accessibility needs pre-booked in advance, and a dedicated entrance for Worthy View and Sticklinch campsites.
Arriving by Campervan
If you’re lucky enough to have a live-in vehicle, you’ll be able to access the caravan fields from late on Tuesday afternoon, however you cannot enter the festival itself until 8am on Wednesday morning via Pedestrian Gate C.
This is to relieve traffic on the narrow local roads, to prevent them being clogged up with caravans and large live-in vans!
You’ll presumably already have your vehicle pass ticket to the relevant location:
- East Campervans
- Quiet Campervans
- Bath & West Campervans
Once you arrive, the stewards will direct you into your pitch for you to settle in and enjoy the evening.
Arriving by Coach or Shuttle Bus
Coaches and shuttle bus arrivals get a slightly better deal, as you’ll be dropped right at the queue for Gate A instead of having to trudge through the car parks.
However, you will still have to queue for 1-2 hours, depending on what time your coach arrives (earlier arrivals will be much busier than arriving later on Wednesday or Thursday)
The only time your coach may be delayed is if there’s bad traffic on the main roads leading to the festival.
The last time this happened was in 2016 when the entire site was waterlogged and very muddy before the festival began. This meant that traffic was backing up on the roads as vehicles need towing in/out of the car parks.
It was chaos, but it was an extreme example of Glastonbury’s weather and ground conditions.
In a dry year, coaches and shuttle buses will have the shortest wait times for entrance, as the queue at Gate A has a priority lane for those arriving by coach/bus.
You also have the shortest walk with all your gear to the gate, but you should expect to queue regardless.
Coaches from all over the UK drop people off at Gate A from Wednesday morning until Friday.
If you arrive after midday on Wednesday, you’re likely going to have a shorter queuing experience, but a harder time finding a suitable place to camp (many places fill up – fast!)
Arriving by Car – Tuesday Night
For the hardcore Glasto-goer, the Tuesday night arrival is part of the festival itself (even though it’s nothing more than sitting in a cold, damp and dark field in a zig-zag queuing pen with no tent and no entertainment whatsoever).
So, why do people arrive at Glastonbury 12 hours before the gates open?
The reason people do this is to make sure they get a great camping spot as soon as the gates open. Most of the popular camping locations at the festival fill up within an hour or two of the gates opening.
That means that only the Tuesday night queuers will get spots in the popular camping fields such as Big Ground or Pennard Hill.
Which Car Park Do I aim for when Arriving at Glastonbury?
You only really have two choices – East (blue/purple) or West (orange/pink).
Choose Blue or Purple for Gate B and Orange or Pink for Gate A or D.
You cannot choose which specific car park you leave your car. That part is down to luck as the stewards will direct you into a specific field that they’re filling up at that time.
Sometimes, you get lucky and are parked just a few minutes away from the queue, but other times, you have a longer walk! Just be prepared and take it easy!
What is it like queueing on Tuesday Night for Glastonbury Festival?
It’s frustrating, but not so bad. The car parks usually open at 9pm, allowing people to park up and secure their spot in the queue.
The actually queue itself is a series of 40~ish back-and-forth zig-zagging lanes, which, when it becomes full will turn into a snaking queue of bewildered and sleepy people through the various car parks.
At 9pm, spirits are high and people are excited. Some may even crack open a beer or two (or three – bad idea, don’t drink your festival supplies in the queue.)
But by midnight, people want to settle down a few hours or shut eye.
Must-have items for the Glastonbury Queue
- A camping chair – unless you want to sit on the cold, dewey ground, you’ll need a camping chair for the ultimate queuing experience.
- A warm blanket or coat – even though it’s June, this is rural England and it gets cold overnight. Expect single digit temperatures.
- A bottle of water – so you don’t get dehydrated
- Your ticket – stewards or security may ask to see your ticket as you approach the queueing pens
- An eye mask – if you want to sleep, this is around the time of the Summer solstice and it starts to get light at 4:30am. If you can’t sleep when the sunrises, an eye mask can help
- Sunscreen – it’s easy to get sunburned and crispy in the queue without any shade!
At approximately 7am, stewards will come along and condense/organise the queue in preparation for the gates to open at 8am.
When the gates do open, you’ll hear a faint cheer from the front of the queue before the desperately long stop-start trudge begins.
I usually join the queue at Gate D at about 2am and am inside the festival by 9am with my tent up in prime position in an almost empty (but quickly filling) field.
Arriving by Car – Wednesday Morning
Once you’re in the car park, expect a long walk as you’re likely to be parked in one of the outer car parks by this point.
You’ll also be greeted by an absolutely huge line of those brave enough to have queued through the night.
But don’t worry – once the gates open at 8am – this queue will be cleared by lunchtime and it is constantly moving.
Arriving By Car – Wednesday Later or Thursday Onwards
Expect no queues as 80% of ticket holders are already inside the fence by now.
However, you should also expect to be parked a significant distance from the festival gates at this point. It’ll be quite a long trek – so be prepared and take it easy!
You won’t have to queue when you arrive at the gates as most people are already inside!
Arriving at Worthy View, Sticklinch or other Pre-Booked Accommodation
These are all off-site campsites with separate car parks and entrances, so you should follow the directions given at the time of booking, as this information can vary,
The good news is that you’ll have dedicated parking and no need to worry about finding a camping spot as you’ll have a pre-pitched tent waiting for you on arrival!
At The Gates
After the torture of the zig-zag queues are over (or perhaps you skipped this by choosing pre-booked accommodation or by arriving later) you’ll get to the gates themselves.
There will be a series of narrow lanes and turnstiles where you swap your ticket for a wristband, grab a programme, lanyard and cotton bag – then you’re in!
As you wrap up your pre-festival preparations, keep in mind that the journey to Glastonbury is just as much a part of the adventure as the festival itself.
Whether you choose to arrive with the eager Tuesday night crowd, roll in comfortably in your campervan, or make a relaxed entrance on a later day, remember to embrace the spirit of camaraderie, adventure, and music that makes Glastonbury the remarkable event it is. As you face queues, navigate fields, and scout for the perfect campsite, don’t forget to soak up the exhilaration of what’s to come.
Above all, the path you take to Glastonbury is your own unique journey – so approach it with an open mind, a prepared kit, and the anticipation of incredible experiences ahead.
Here’s to a memorable Festival!
See you on the farm!