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A Guide to Glastonbury 2019’s Festival Areas

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Image © Martin Perry via The NYC Downlow on Facebook

Glastonbury is one of the biggest festivals, and without a doubt one of the world’s most popular. This may be due to its legendary line ups- the festival of contemporary and performing arts strives to represent multiple genres of artist and every musician is desperate to play there. Surprisingly, the live music only makes up a part of this remarkable festival, and it boasts a whole range of other fields and areas for you to enjoy in your five-day stay. Seasoned Glasto goers will insist that it’s possible to enjoy the entire weekend without even seeing any of the main acts, so have a look at our round-up of what else there is to do at Worthy Farm this June…

Image credit: Glastonbury Festival (official) via Facebook

The Stages

As easy as it is to spend the entire weekend at the festival without seeing any music, why wouldn’t you take a look at what the line-up has to offer? At the Pyramid Stage you’ll find all the acts at the top of the bill, the big names, the Sunday ‘legends slot’ and the three main headliners. Just one field over you’ll find The Other Stage, a slightly smaller stage which still hosts some huge names, and presents an alternative headline act each night. The huge canopy of the John Peel stage is a place to see newer bands and catch performances from musicians who are seriously about to hit the big time. A trek up-hill to The Park stage is where you’ll find the legendary illuminated ribbon tower (which you can walk up for a view of all 900+ acres of the festival grounds), and a stage which puts on legendary artists and amazing secret acts, which have included Pulp, Mumford & Sons and even Lady Gaga. An ideal opportunity to see a huge act in a relatively small space, The Park area is always teeming with people when there’s a gap in the stage’s schedule. Heading over to the West Holts stage you’ll find an amazing curation of world music, which fuses world beats, pop, rock, soul and disco in order to explore international music with a wide range of people. Finally, Williams Green is a mock village green with a stage that showcases truly new bands, primarily of the indie genre, as well as a few intimate performances from bands also playing at the Other and John Peel stages.

Image credit: Theatre and Circus Fields via Facebook

Stuff to See and Do

If some of the world’s biggest music acts isn’t really your bag, then you should definitely check out the Theatre & Circus fields. No prize for guessing what goes on here! You’ll find amazing troupes of acrobats and performers bounding across stages and art installations in a wonderous show of talent that will stun viewers of all ages. With tents and stages that offer an organised timetable of shows, to random people walking around with a trick up their sleeve, there’s an unbelievable range of astonishing stuff to see and do.

Head over to Left Field to re-awaken your activist spirit, where you’ll find a wide selection of speakers embarking on lectures, discussions and debates, with cultural and societal issues at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The field was introduced to the festival by Michael Eavis in the mid-80s, outraged by the effect of Margaret Thatcher’s policies on mining communities. Almost 40-years since then, political issues show no sign of waning, and Left Field lives on as a rallying place for left wing causes. The festival never shies away from identifying itself as having left wing ideals, something which was demonstrated by thousands crowding round to see Jeremy Corbyn speak on the Pyramid Stage in 2017.

With kids under 12 getting into Glastonbury for free it’d be rude not to have a dedicated Kidzfield. All the activities and shows are completely free of charge, and its Big Top stage has seen performers such as Basil Brush, Rastamouse and Dynamo! All adults must be supervised at the Kidzfield, where children rule supreme. Here you’ll find face-painting, arts and crafts, sandpits, workshops and so much more, and the of course the mighty helter skelter. The Kidzfield also has changing facilities and kids-only compost toilets, which will no doubt come in handy for mums and dads across the site.

Image credit: Glastonbury Festival (official) via Facebook

The Hippy Bit

As modern society evolves faster and faster every year we return to the festival, the Greenfields offer you the opportunity to return to a more natural state, clearing your mind of modernity and making room for more positive thought. Here you’ll find fields upon fields of spiritual healing and peaceful activities, including arts and crafts, music and performances. During a long, amazing, intoxicating and often overwhelming weekend, take a break to discover this alternative side to the festival whilst also getting to know yourself. The Healing Field is are a must-visit location for the morning after the night before, where you can get a massage, do some Thai Chi or partake in some yoga… that’ll eradicate the 10 Jägerbombs you downed last night! The Greenfields are largely solar powered, running on renewable energy to encourage a much more loving attitude to our planet. The fields are also meat-free and NOS-free zones, so please respect that by sticking to plant-based foods and leaving the NOS at home.

For more relaxation check out The Wood. This magical area of Worthy Farm is worth an explore, and here you’ll find wonderful light installations, art work, amazing treetop views and a nightly camp fire. Head up to Strummerville to honour the late Joe Strummer, by listening to some amazing music by an engulfing fire or taking a break at Strummerville café. Or, head to the Acoustic Field for unplugged musicians on the Acoustic Stage or to catch a film at the Pilton Palais cinema tent, the perfect opportunity to rewind and take a break from the consuming festival atmosphere.

Image credit: Glastonbury Festival (official) via Facebook

Late Night Fun

Glastonbury is the festival that never sleeps, and it has a huge amount of dedicated late-night areas for a weekend of wonky nights. Start your night at the legendary Arcadia field. A huge robotic spider takes over this area and thousands upon thousands of people flock to it when the sun goes down. The DJ works in the belly of the spider, and the installation shoots fire and bolts of bright light whilst people dance underneath - much like something out of an insane nightmare. Fusing cutting edge technology, sculpture, adrenaline and bass, it’s an experience like no other.

The nightmare continues up into the South East corner of the festival, which comes alive from 10.30pm each night and parties right on through till morning. Up at Shangri-La you’ll find a themed dystopian party universe, which combines off the wall art installations, sculpture and events. A full line-up on multiple stages will attract you to the area, however, be sure to bob your head round every door you see, as you’re more than likely to stumble upon a random party in a seemingly disused space. Last year’s theme was Environ-mental, an environmentally activist zone which left you raving with a conscience. Across the disused railway tracks you’ll find The Unfairground, a messed-up fair that’s definitely not for kids. Check out the sculpture, art and architecture in a creepy late-night environment.

Quite possibly the pièce de résistance of Glastonbury’s late-night offerings is the amazing spectacle that is Block 9. In 2017 Block 9 celebrated a decade of being a Glastonbury favourite. It’s a space where art, music and theatre collide. Enter the huge instillations of The NYC Downlow (Glasto’s first gay bar), Genosys or The London Underground for a party like no other. The area’s allotted space grows as the popularity of Block 9 grows, and in 2019 the team have doubled the capacity to nearly 20,000. A massive number of DJs from a huge range of genres will culminate here at Block 9 throughout the last month of June, and if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket you most definitely shouldn’t miss it. Find out more about these legendary event 'temporary alternative realities' here.

*Disclaimer - this guide barely scrapes the surface of all the activities and areas of the festival, so check out a comprehensive list here*