It’s the largest and most popular music festival in the world, so it’s no surprise that every single available ticket for Glastonbury Festival 2020 sold out instantly. Tickets were placed on general sale on the morning of Sunday, 6th October. They were all done within a matter of hours. During that time, websites crashed, phone lines became engaged, and millions of music fans took to the internet to express their rage at failing to acquire a highly-coveted ticket.
Glastonbury sells out every year, but with each passing year, it feels like it happens faster and faster. What makes the festival so unique is that the tickets go on sale before the lineup is even announced. At the time of writing, nobody knows a single one of the headline acts who will take to the famous Pyramid Stage over the course of the three days the festival runs for, let alone who the other musicians and artists on the bill might be. Such is the reputation and legend of Glastonbury that the tickets are snapped up just because people want to have the Glastonbury experience. The bands – although they rarely disappoint – are just a bonus.
The fact that the tickets sold out is unsurprising. The number of registrations prior to the sale of tickets had strongly indicated that there was a far stronger interest in attending the festival than there were spaces available within the capacity. Anyone who wants to go to Glastonbury has to register weeks ahead of the sale date and provide photo identification in the process to prevent the tickets being picked up by scalpers, or sold on. Registering doesn’t mean you’re sure to get a ticket. It’s akin to playing UK casino slots. You’re not guaranteed a win at mobile slots just by spinning the reels. All you get is a chance, and if you come away with a win, you’ve been lucky. The people trying to buy tickets on the day were doing exactly what people on mobile slots websites do – trying over and over again until they either win, or they’re no longer able to re-roll.
In total, almost two and a half million people registered their intention to go to Worthy Farm for Glastonbury next June. Only 135,000 tickets were available as part of the sale. With demand outstripping supply so heavily, the tickets were all gone within 34 minutes. If you were even marginally late waking up to make an attempt to secure some yourself, you stood no chance whatsoever. Anyone who missed their alarm or spent a few extra minutes in bed will have been ruing their life choices the moment they attempted to access the ticket sales website.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re missing out on the party of the year. The 2020 edition of Glastonbury may be over half a year away, but each month between now and then will see hype building for the event. Artists and performers will be named one at a time. Special events will be announced for the festival. For the people who wanted to go but can’t, sitting on the sidelines and watching on can be an incredibly frustrating experience. So is there anything you can do about it if this has happened to you? Actually, yes, there is.
Inevitably, some of the people who currently hold tickets will be unable to go. Life happens, circumstances change, plans come up, and all of us know the feeling of being forced to drop out of something we really wanted to go to. There will be cancellation and returns of Glastonbury tickets between now and the weekend of the event. In addition to that, the festival seems to be holding a few tickets back for sale at a later date this time around. The full capacity of the festival is around the 200,000 mark. While the capacity has been known to change a little each year, there’s been no indication that the festival’s organizers intend to admit significantly fewer than the 203,000 who turned up for the 2019 festival.
With that in mind, here’s a date to put into your calendar. There will be a resale of Glastonbury tickets on 16th April 2020 for those planning to attend by coach. For those of you who prefer to make your own travel arrangements, a general resale will take place on Sunday, 19th April 2020. Although demand will still be high, resales tend not to attract the enormous interest that the initial sales do. It should, in theory, be easier to get tickets at the second time of asking than it is the first time around – although you’ll still need to be quick off the mark.
In the meantime, beware of any website which claims to be able to obtain tickets for you. It’s impossible to purchase a second-hand ticket to Glastonbury. Every ticket has the face of the buyer printed upon it, and festival-goers are requested to bring identification with them in the event that the picture on their ticket isn’t an accurate representation of what they really look like. Glastonbury was one of the first major music events in the world to become inaccessible to scalpers and touts, and thus far, the secondary market is yet to find a way around the security provisions. To put it simply, anybody who claims to be able to land you a ticket for Glastonbury at any time between now and next April is lying.
So, now we’ve established that you may still be able to go after all, who can you expect to see when you get there? Nobody knows for sure, but the rumors online include some of the most well-known and celebrated stars on the planet. Elton John, who is a British legend and in the midst of a retirement tour, seems like a logical choice. The Pyramid Stage would be the perfect place for him to make a grand farewell. Taylor Swift has been rumored too, and would likely relish taking her place among the pantheon of legends who have graced the Pilton-based event. Could British rock legends Blur reform to play a set? Will recent breakthrough act Lewis Capaldi have a prominent place on the bill? We’ll find out soon enough. Until then, congratulations to those readers who’ve already bagged themselves a ticket, and commiseration to those of you who’ll have to take their chances on the resale.
Also published on Medium.