Stewarding Glastonbury Festival

Wells Rotary has stewarding the Festival for over 35 years: not only have we raised over £100,000 for humanitarian projects but also have seen a lot of amazing artists. We all have personal memories and highlights from the experience.

Fireworks at the Festival

When Wells Rotary started the Glastonbury Festival stewarding team about 35 years ago, the Festival and the role itself were very different from today. With no effective Festival fence, and a general anti establishment atmosphere, the job of keeping marauding gatecrashers out of villagers’ houses and gardens was a full-on and sometimes risky task. The area of the village which we patrol, around the 13th century tithe barn and Michael Eavis’ house, was very tempting for those who were seeking a way into the Festival without a ticket; and we regularly found ourselves challenging dark figures crouching in bushes or about to enter someone’s garden.

The wild old days reached their climax in 2002. The gangs of Liverpool scallies and the drug dealers found themselves barred by the new steel fence. A running battle ended with the security guards holding firm; and ever since, the old days of anarchy have mellowed into the more relaxed and family friendly Festival we see today. The only stressful part of our job these days is having to decide whether the guy who says he’s Chris Martin from Coldplay and a friend of Michael’s really is him, or just some chancer trying to get past us to kip in the tithe barn.

Our earliest teams consisted mainly of Club members, but it soon became obvious that their kids were more than happy to take their place in return for a ticket. And their parents were very pleased to forego the long dark nights on patrol, with a dodgy torch and radio (the batteries supplied always run out after about the second day). 

Across this period Wells Rotary has raised more than £100,000 for humanitarian projects and seen a lot of amazing artists along the way. We all have personal memories and highlights from the sort of experiences that don’t normally come our way in sleepy Somerset.

A big thank you to the Eavis family, long may our fruitful relationship with the Festival continue!   

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Fireworks at the Festival

Wells Rotary has stewarding the Festival for over 35 years: not only have we raised over £100,000 for humanitarian projects but also have seen a lot of amazing artists. We all have personal memories and highlights from the experience.

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In commemoration of the Queens Platinum Jubilee the West and East Mendip Ways were re-launched as a single 50-mile walk branded as "The Mendip Way".

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President Angela welcomes Ray Adlam to Wells Rotary in April

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