Unlike previous years where tickets have sold out within seconds, this year’s Glastonbury festival has been a much slower sell, with some tickets still available three days on. Blame has been apportioned on the weather (Glastonbury’s reputation as a mud-bath limits the appeal to hardened festival-goers only), the line up (the headlining act this year is Jay-Z?!) and the price (tickets are now £155 for the weekend – £10 more than last year), but the biggest dent to Glastonbury’s crown has to be from the rise in smaller, local festivals both in the UK and in sunnier European climates. With fancy-dress festival Bestival branching out into two events this year, and niche gatherings such as Beautiful Days and venue-based Great Escape pulling in the music crowds, the founder of the festivals seems to have been overtaken by his proteges.
From the Guardian:
Frankly, blaming the bill doesn’t wash – Glastonbury’s reputation is only partly based on music; some years sold out before the line-up was even announced. More likely the lower ticket sales are due to a combination of mud fear and festival fatigue. In the last few years we have seen a boom in boutique festivals, such as Latitude and End of the Road, and non-camping city-based festivals, such as the O2 festival in London’s Hyde Park. Meanwhile, increasing numbers are heading abroad to festivals that more or less guarantee sunshine, such as Primavera and Sonar in Spain.
Let’s not forget that the last few Glastonburys have been hellishly muddy. The fact that this year’s tickets went on sale on a day that saw much of Britain coated in snow was a stark reminder of how unpredictable this country’s weather can be.