Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world and brings over 150,000 people a year for the five day festival of music, dance, performance and more music.
You would think that a festival as large and populated as Glastonbury would be raking in the profits but the publicly available accounts tell another story. According to the accounts filed with Companies House Glastonbury Festival had a turnover of £37 milllion in 2014 but only made £86,000 in profit.
This amounts to less than 50p made per ticket from the roughly 175,000 festival-goers last year. Whilst Glastonbury’s turnover went up from the year before, pre-tax profits fell from £764,000 which Glastonbury Festival made in 2013 to £86,000 last year.
The money hasn’t just disappeared though. As you would expect with such a large festival that continues to grow each year, so does the cost of upkeep. In addition to administrative costs Glastonbury Festival gave £2 million to local and larger charities, an agreement upheld since 1981 where major charities provide features and volunteers in return for donations.
Michael Eavis, the festival founder and land-owner, was paid his usual £60,000 as director of the company. Along with Eavis there are 100 permanent staff who work on Glastonbury as well as thousands of temporary workers, many who come as volunteers from charities in return for access to the festival, transport and food.
The festival’s 2014 line-up featured a range of massive acts such as Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian, Dolly Parton, Yoko Ono and more. This year saw Florence and the Machine (replacing Foo Fighters), Kanye West, The Who, Deadmau5, Lionel Richie and a host of other groups and artists that show just how massive Glastonbury Festival really is.
Tickets for 2016’s festival sold out within 30 minutes of being put on sale. It’s clear that Glastonbury Festival is highly demanded and popular, now they just need to work out how to keep some of the millions they are making without having to go into their reserves as they did for 2015’s festival.