An economic report on Glastonbury Festival found the event generated around £168 million of income for UK businesses in 2023, including £32 million for local businesses in Somerset.

According to the report, the cost of putting on the 210,000-capacity event was approximately £62 million, paid across 922 organisations providing services to the festival. Of this amount, just under £12 million was paid to 258 companies in Somerset.

Last year, Glastonbury attendees were estimated to have spent £1.6 million in the wider Somerset community: a quarter of this went to businesses providing food and drink, while 50% was spent in local shops and supermarkets for provisions and supplies for the festival.

Site crew were estimated to have spent about £900,000 with local businesses outside the festival during their time spent on site. Those volunteering at the festival are estimated to have spent a further £500,000 with local businesses.

In 2023, there were more than 10,000 volunteers at the festival. Of these, 3,511 stewards raised £700,000 in total for their chosen organisations. Oxfam and Water Aid provided 2,500 and 700 volunteers on similar terms.

Social responsibility

In 2023, Glastonbury made payments of more than £3.7m to a range of charitable causes and campaigns. In addition to this sum, the festival’s raffle of Glastonbury tickets for Oxfam’s Crowdfunder DEC Appeal raised more than £1m towards the Syria-Turkey Earthquake response, while an online auction of tickets raised £116,000 for the Trussell Trust.

Last year Glastonbury sustained over 1,100 UK jobs in total, 325 of which were based in Somerset. Of these, the festival directly paid for work itself equivalent to around 255 full-time jobs. Around 80 people worked for the festival office in planning and administration (the equivalent of 55 full-time jobs), most of whom live locally to the festival.

In total, an additional 1,750 people worked directly for Glastonbury Festival in 2023, over shorter periods of time. These roles made up the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs. Those who are self-employed estimated that on average, Glastonbury Festival accounted for 16% of their annual earnings. However, some obtain a much larger part of their annual earnings from the festival.

Around 900 attendees stayed in local hotels and B&Bs during the festival, spending a total in the region of £450,000. An estimated 4,000 people stayed in privately-run, offsite campsites adjoining the festival site, spending in the region of £6.5 million.

Last year the event featured 918 trading stalls, including 56 units which provided food and drink to crew. With a handful of exceptions, all stalls were operated by independent businesses, and staffed by 9,500 people working for around 314,000 hours – the equivalent to 170 full time jobs.

The festival has also contributed to its host village of Pilton by building 52 social housing homes and upgrading the village playing fields to include a new pavilion, clubhouse, skate park and tennis courts. The Festival also helped fund the rebuilding of the Pilton Club and Village hall, as well as the restoration of the historic Tithe Barn.

The report was based on a survey of 643 festival-goers – interviewed face-to-face at the 2023 festival – plus an online survey of 354 Festival staff and 148 volunteers, as well as 30 telephone interviews with local businesses. The report was commissioned by Glastonbury and carried out by research specialists Fourth Street.