Glastonbury Festival size in comparison to Liverpool and other places

Until you've spent a day trekking from the Pyramid stage back to your Worthy View campsite, it's hard to grasp the size of Glastonbury Festival.

Some of the world's biggest music stars are preparing to descend on the fields of the diary farm near Pilton, in Somerset. But just how big is Glastonbury Festival?

While it's hard to get an exact size, the main festival site can be measured at anywhere between 900 acres and 1,100 acres. That is the equivalent of more than 500 full-size football pitches.

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Across the site there are more than 100 stages, plenty of toilets, including more than 2,000 long drops, more than 1,300 compost loos and more than 700 metres of urinals. There are more than 100 bars and more than 500 food stalls.

When it's up and running, many compare Glastonbury to a large city. To put the festival site into perspective, a special map allows you to overlay the Glastonbury site on your location of choice.

You can use this website to compare the size of the main festival site to where you live. Search for a village, town or city and the website will overlay an outline of the festival site on top of your desired location.

Glastonbury 2024 festival site map
Glastonbury 2024 festival site map -Credit:Glastonbury

The official capacity of Glastonbury Festival is a huge 210,000 people. This is the equivalent of more than two full Wembley Stadium's worth of music fans.

To put that into perspective, for five days in June the festival becomes the largest city in Somerset, dwarfing neighbouring Bath (101,000), Weston-super-Mare (82,000) and Taunton (68,000). It also becomes the fourth largest city in the South West, behind Bristol (467,000), Plymouth (264,000) and Swindon (233,000).

Is it the biggest music festival in the world?

Many people argue that Glastonbury Festival is the largest music festival in the world, but this is a hard claim to accurately corroborate. A number of other festivals claim to be bigger, but some of them grant free access, making it difficult to determine a total number, some events are spread out over multiple venues, and other festivals sell single-day tickets and add together the total number of attendees over a week, swelling the total capacity.

An aerial view of the festival site on the second day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset
An aerial view of the festival site on the second day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset -Credit:PA

However, there are a number of music festivals across the globe that lay claim to being larger in both size and/or attendance. These include Donauinselfest in Austria, Mawazine in Morocco and Montreal International Jazz Festival in Canada.

Number of attendees was higher in the 1990s

The number of attendees at Glastonbury Festival has been higher in the past. Before the "superfence" was erected around the perimeter twenty years ago, many people gate-crashed the event, reportedly swelling the capacity to more than 300,000 in the '90s.

Coming off a wave of "wild" festivals during that period, residents in the surrounding villages said they'd had enough and attacked Glastonbury Festival at a council meeting in 2002. They branded the event "a war-zone" and "a very real threat to public order".

This led to Mendip District Council refusing a new licence for festival organiser Michael Eavis, leaving the future of the event hanging in the balance. However, Mr Eavis appealed the decision, and a new licence was eventually granted, paving the way for 20 more years of world-class music in Pilton.

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