Glastonbury

How to Get Into Glastonbury Without a Ticket

So you missed out for the second time running. Here's what you can do instead to make sure you get to next year's festival.

by Patrick Heardman
08 October 2018, 11:40am

Photo by Rachel Docherty 

No one has managed to get a Glastonbury ticket, again, so we’re all going to have to sneak in aren’t we? These days, it’s very difficult to manoeuvre between the hundreds and thousands of people trying to buy their way into the festival using legitimate means. You’ve tried a few years now, unsuccessfully. In that time, you could have formed your own cOlLEcTiVe, produced two critically acclaimed records, and landed a 3pm Sunday booking on ‘BEZ’s FLYING BUS’ stage. The act who played that slot last year was called DJ WAFF.

Failing that, putting on a bit of high vis and looking reasonably officious could do the trick. But don’t chance it. No. Instead, you should study these tried and tested methods of gaining entry. Glasto 2019, here you come! First up, get ready to...

Become the foliage: complete this man’s mission to do it alone

The security operation at Glastonbury is highly professional and costs hundreds of thousands of pounds. The 8km fence alone, designed to keep knackers like you out, cost in excess of £1m. It’s also under 24 hour surveillance. To be any match for that, you need to invest in yourself – or at least in some high tech equipment.

This was the thinking of one Bristolian Glasto mega fan, who dropped over 2k on military grade night vision goggles, a ghillie suit, and a telescopic ladder for his break in attempts. Though he wouldn’t speak to me himself, according to his pal, this stealth dude believes “buying a ticket is cheating” and has “tried to get in using that getup for three or four years.”

His group of friends are local and all find more conventional ways of entry, but instead he chooses to: “just lie there, shoving things in his nostrils for days on end crawling through bushes.

“He would often go down there Monday. Each year he got closer”. By the third year, he managed to get halfway up the ladder before being wrestled to the ground, chucked in a van, and dropped off 30 miles away in the middle of nowhere. His plan this year was to bring fireworks to create a diversion. Why not try this yourself? But if that’s too expensive (and a bit much), you could always try...

Simply climbing in

It’s only a big wall, mate, just get over it. You don’t really need to spend 2k on military equipment to get into Glasto. You genuinely can just climb in if you want to. Just ask Ben, 28, who’s been going since he was 15 and claims to have “never bought a ticket”.

"The trick is, about 50% of the security isn't on site until it opens on the Wednesday” he tells me. “So if you go down on the Monday and the Tuesday, there are all sorts of ways you can get in.”

Ben and his pals struck lucky one year on their 10-mile cross country trek to the site when a "former hippie" with a village pass gave them a lift through all the roadblocks.

"He takes us round to this like, hippie commune, that's somewhere on the outskirts, but really close to the fence. All the hippies came out to bid us luck on our quest". One field of dense fern later, Ben and co bide their time in a drainage ditch to figure out the pattern of security patrols. They strike when the coast is clear, scale the fence, slide down the supportive struts on the other side like monkeys, and dive into their pop up tent to blend in perfectly. Easy. Or you could always just...

Pay a guy

There's probably not a person on the planet who's managed to have a conversation about Glastonbury without referring at some point to their mate who got in this way. You may not know the lineup yet, or what the weather might be like, but one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that 85% of the people at Glastonbury simply “paid a guy” to get in. Aside from buying a ticket legitimately, this is surely the next best thing. “But who do I pay?” Well...

There is an area “round the back”, so I’m told, where a group of hopeful punters camp out near a gate which slowly drip-feeds Chelsea Geezers and Neo-Apocalyptic Ravers every hour or so, armed with wads of wristbands and cash stuffed down their wellies.

“It's kinda like the Lord of the Rings back way into mordor” one festivalgoer tells me, “and there are loads of people outside sharing info and booze, waiting. It’s quite pleasant until one of these geezers comes out, then everyone really shows their fangs and turns on eachother to make sure they get one. It’s hours until the next bloke comes out”

These guys earn around £20k per festival apparently. Good for them. But this ‘camping out for several days to wait for a crusty Russel Brand to appear every few hours’ sounds like a truly desperate and hellish situation. Instead, you could...

Know an artist

This works in much the same way as “pay a guy”, except it’s probably a notch higher on the legitimacy scale. With this method, you can get in through a main entrance, like one punter I spoke to who was pals with a member of a “reggaeton collective”. No need for stealth. Their pal popped out, slipped wristbands on them and in they went. Failing that, there’s the option of...

Just plain old bullshiting

Short on cash, crusty post-apocalyptic sex cult pals, and a desire to scale a 4 metre fence? You could always rely on some good old bullshitting. One chap I spoke to had organised to do the usual “know someone in there” but on the train down to Worthy Farm, his man on the inside pulled out.

The poor guy was a little screwed, but having travelled all the way there he decided to chance it through the staff entrance. “I said, ‘I’m a photographer but I can’t get hold of my company’. The people manning the gates were all like Oxfam volunteers and they weren’t too fussed. I could tell the girl was about to let me in but she brought her manager over who said ‘I hope you have a lot of battery on your phone because you’re not getting in without your ticket. You’re gonna have to ring them’. And that was it”.

But when it started to rain, heavily, the manager re-emerged, taking two soaking wet and extremely miserable staff with him to fetch raincoats, crucially for our chap, leaving behind the one member of staff who hadn’t eavesdropped on his failed ruse a moment earlier.

“I followed behind them, and when I was stopped by the remaining staffer they said ‘where are you going?’ I told them ‘me and your manager are just going to sort this out I’ll be back in about two minutes’”

Our chap slipped past the checkpoint and was then faced with a line of security. But because they’d seen him stop and have a conversation with an official, they didn’t pay him head. “I just kind of walked past them slowly. At the end of that bit the manager turned left and I turned right and I just kept walking, then I just hung out in a cubicle for a while before finding my mate’s tent”. Honestly though, if none of this is palatable for you…

Just do something else

Look. Let’s just do something else. Do you really want to crawl 10 miles in the dead of night just to see Mumford and Sons bring Jordan Peterson on stage? Do you honestly feel like blagging your way through security in the shitting rain just for some squat party dude with dreads to fall off his slackline onto your tent and spill his scolding hot Yerba Mate Tea all over your face? No thanks. See you down the pub.

You can find Patrick on Twitter.

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Glastonbury 2019