Didn't get Glastonbury tickets? Here are other routes into the festival

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Everybody who's ever tried to get Glastonbury tickets knows it's one of the most stressful experiences known to man. This year's tickets were snapped up in record time, selling out in under an hour when they went live on November 19.

"Tickets for Glastonbury 2024 have now Sold Out," tweeted the festival at 9:57am. "Our thanks to everyone who bought one and we're sorry to those of you who missed out, on a morning when demand greatly exceeded supply."

And yes, the resale is now over, but don’t despair. For those who still want to go, there are also some other (legal) routes into the festival, from charity stewarding, to manning one of Worthy Farm's many, many bars. And as applications for volunteer positions open, we've rounded up the best options for you below.

Get lucky

Look, the resale is one thing - but you could very well strike it lucky in one of the many prize draws happening right now. Vodafone’s free to play prize draw through their VeryMe Rewards system (more info on that here) is one of the biggest, with 100 pairs of tickets up for grabs, but White Claw is running a prize draw, as is Tony’s Chocolonely in partnership with Oxfam. And if you’d rather not go out of your way, Clipper Tea is running a prize draw with special boxes of tea on offer at Co-op stores around the country. Get hunting.

Be a recycling hero

The Glastonbury recycling crew work during the festival, and their job is pretty much what you’d expect. Over the course of the weekend, you'll need to complete four six-hour shifts, either litter picking or sorting the recycling. Perks include free entry to the festival, free meals, and access to a private campsite with toilets and showers. However, you do need to have been recommended by a previous member of the team.

How to apply: check in on the Glasto Recycling Crew website here

Bar work

 (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Several on-site bars operate at Glastonbury, and it’s not even that hard to get on the squad. You’ll be pulling pints for thirsty festival-goers, and no prior experience is necessary: in exchange for a ticket, you'll do three eight-hour shifts over the five days of the festival. This used to be run by homelessness charity Shelter, but not this year: going forward, the bars will be staffed by Avalon Bars & Events.

How to apply: check Avalon's website to register your interest or email volunteers@avalonevents.co.uk for more information

Burger flippin’

Food at Glastonbury (Jimi Famurewa)
Food at Glastonbury (Jimi Famurewa)

Glastonbury abounds with food trucks; they all need to be staffed, right? While we can’t offer you a breakdown of all the food and drink stands, it’s always worth registering with a festival catering team or even contacting some of the stands directly – they have a limited number of free passes to give to employees, and you'll also get paid for your work.

Time to steward

Oxfam have been working at Glastonbury for around 25 years now, and with 2000-odd staff needed, they’re one of the most reliable ways to get into the festival. Roles include staffing the gates (ie. checking tickets), helping with campaigning or staffing the festival shop.

Volunteering here also comes with benefits: access to a staff campsite, free phone charging facilities, access to a marquee you can relax in and one free meal token per shift. Also, loos and hot showers: not a given at Glastonbury. Oxfam also runs a shuttle bus from Bristol Temple Meads station to the campsite, which only costs £33 – not bad.

It’s not just Oxfam, either: Oasis Carnival recruits volunteers for work (this usually means stewarding) outside the festival proper in exchange for tickets.

How to apply: check the Oxfam site here, and the Oasis Carnival site here

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Car wrangling

Another role that actually lets you earn money (hooray!), CTM employ car parking staff over the festival period (from the Sunday before until the Monday after Glastonbury), making this a nice option for anybody that doesn’t mind wrangling the huge traffic jams that come with staging a massive music event at a farm.

Staff need to work a minimum of four 12-hour shifts, but if that appeals, then all the better.

How to apply: check out CTM’s website for more details

Water Aid

 (WaterAid/ Ben Roberts)
(WaterAid/ Ben Roberts)

Those little water stands dotted around the festival site? Yep, they need people to run them, too. WaterAid runs a big operation at Glastonbury: in addition to manning the water stands, you’ll be cleaning sinks, talking with festival-goers about the charity and likely working with the Loo Crew, who are responsible for cleaning the loos and litter-picking.

Working here requires staff to complete four six-hour shifts – which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t too bad – and pay a refundable deposit of £150.

WaterAid is also running a competition offering a pair of tickets as a prize: all you need to do is design a temporary tattoo that will be shortlisted by Emily Eavis and put to a public vote. The brief is “bold, scalable, no more than three colours” and incorporates WaterAid’s key mission of championing clean water and decent toilets. Check out the WaterAid website for more info.

How to apply: WaterAid’s site is open for applications here.

Be a medical volunteer

Alright, so this one actually requires some medical knowledge… but if that applies, then consider working in the festival’s medical tent. It requires medical, paramedic or first aider qualifications, but on the plus side, the pool of applicants will be smaller.

How to apply: check here

Wristband checking

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Festaff is a volunteering-based organisation that supplies (as the name implies) festival staff to do everything from checking wristbands to stewarding crowds. In return, there’ll be access to a staff campsite and facilities, a place to charge phones and a chance to watch the action from backstage. It also claims that 90 per cent of its shifts don’t clash with headline acts, which is promising if you’re hoping to catch the big names.

Be warned, though: last year Festaff required volunteers to work at least one shift at a sister festival before qualifying to work Glastonbury.

How to apply: check here

Bin painting

What, you thought all the bins just came like that? A small team of dedicated volunteers head to Glasto every year before the festival to paint all the 17,000 (yes, seventeen thousand) bins before things kick off, spending three weeks on the farm in April and painting for eight hours a day. The result is a gorgeous rainbow of colours and designs, and you could be part of it too – there's even an annual competition called Binnies Got Talent

A small community affair, joining this mysterious and selective crew is trickier than hunting down the Rabbit Hole. From the West Country, or know somebody who is? Time to see if your childhood babysitter’s cousin's best mate has that all-important in; and who knows, you might discover another niche route into the festival in the process. Well, somebody needs to put up all the bougie celebrity tipis.