Why Glastonbury Festival's security checks could be tighter in 2020

13 January 2020, 21:00 | Updated: 13 January 2020, 21:01

Mendip District Council has published its latest debrief report with nine recommendations on how the Somerset festival can be improved in the future.

Glastonbury Festival has been given nine areas in which to improve by its local council including in its security checks.

As reported by Bristol Live, their local council have published its latest festival debrief report, which looked at the way the event was run in 2019 and offered various improvements organisers can make.

According to the outlet, Mendip District Council published the report before a meeting of their scrutiny board on the evening of Thursday 9 January, which tackles factors such as camping capacity, taxi provision, crowd safety and security checks, which they've suggested should be more "robust".

Glastonbury crowd gather at the Pyramid Stage to watch Ed Sheeran in 2017
Glastonbury crowd gather at the Pyramid Stage to watch Ed Sheeran in 2017. Picture: Harry Durrant/Getty Images

See the nine ways Glastonbury has been told to improve

1. Alcohol, bars and taxi provision

- As reported by Bristol Live, the council wants a comprehensive list and map of all bars on the festival site two weeks in advance of the first day of the festival. They've also added that staff at the dedicated taxi rank should be given "a more comprehensive briefing".

2. Camping capacity

The council has concerns about how densely populated the camping areas are and how this adds to the risk of fire. It has asked for a breakdown of "field densities" by early May and added that off-site camping will need to be looked at closely.

3. Crowd safety

- The council has deemed that further work is needed at "crossing points" between stages to prevent congestion.

4. Food safety and hygiene

- The council was pleased with the quality of food served in 2019 in general, but has urged organisers to ensure bar operators maintain the standards of food hygiene. It has also told organisers to review how they report "food borne" illnesses and allergic reactions on site.

5. General health and safety

- The council suggests more work needs to be put into how to prevent "conflict" between festival-goers and vehicles moving through the site as well as "well arrangements" for staff and volunteers at night.

6. Noise and nuisance

- They note that 37 noise complaints were made during the festival in 2019 and more must be done to prevent "low frequency noise propagation" from reaching intolerable levels.

7. Toilets and sanitation

- The council recommends that the toilets on the Springfield site need to be serviced and cleaned more frequently.

8. Security checks

- The council has urged that staff at festival gates should be given a "more robust briefing" in order to stop prohibited items for entering the site, and added that a new limit on personal alcohol may be introduced.

9 Water supply

The council has urged the festival to do more to ensure there are sufficient water sources (including bottled water) near the stages, and that all pipes continue to be inspected.

Claire Malcolmson, the council’s Group Manager for Community Health, said: "The Glastonbury Festival has a worldwide reputation – and as such it means that we have a huge responsibility in ensuring that it undertakes its statutory duties.

"The purpose of the licence, the licensing objectives and other legislation is to ensure event organisers provide a safe event whilst minimising disruption and nuisance to the local community."

Meanwhile, it was reported that the festival could be set to accommodate thousands more fans in time for 2020.

As Somerset Live reports, the local council has confirmed plans are underway to increase the capacity of the famous festival for its 50th anniversary.

The outlet says the huge event, which takes place this year from 24-28 June this year, could see numbers grow by an extra 7,000 people - with a local council spokesperson revealing plans are being reviewed for camping provisions.

According to Somerset Live, Mendip District Council actually gave the festival the green light to increase its capacity back in 2018, but this was not taken advantage of the following year.

If extended for 2020, it is thought the total amount of tickets available for the Worthy Farm event would be 210,000 with 142,000 now accounting for public tickets, which will join the 63,000 tickets for staff and 5,000 for local Sunday tickets.

The paper adds that it was noted in a Mendip District Council licensing board meeting that the extra 7,000 people would all have to travel by public transport "in order to avoid an increase in the ticket price".

The local consultation period is set to take place in the coming months.

Glastonbury 2020: headliners, line-up rumours and more

So far, two acts have been officially confirmed to headline the festival with The Beatles legend Paul McCartney topping the bill on the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night and Taylor Swift closing the Sunday night of the festival.