Glastonbury, the world’s biggest green-field music and performing arts festival, officially begins today with Elbow, Lily Allen, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Robert Plant, The Black Keys, Metallica, Dolly Parton, Ed Sheeran, Pixies, Kasabian, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, Blondie, Skrillex and Massive Attack among the hundreds of acts set to perform at the world famous event over the next three days. Situated on a sprawling 1,200 acre site at the Eavis family-owned Worthy Farm, near the village of Pilton, several miles outside the historic British town of Glastonbury, the festival is epic in every sense of the word. To help guide you through the mind-boggling array of stages, performers and, no doubt, muddy fields, Billboard hereby presents "Glastonbury 2014 In Numbers."
Arcade Fire, Metallica and Kasabian are this year’s headline acts, but they represent just a tiny proportion of the entertainment on offer. This year’s official line-up lists over 2,200 performances taking place throughout the festival duration, including music, poetry readings, magic, spoken word, theater, cinema, sideshow freaks, cabaret, politics, comedy, craft, circus, debate and the chance to have your hair cut while being taught philosophy by author Alain Stephen.
The maximum capacity for this year’s festival, which is made up of 135,000 ticket holders, over 35,000 passes for crew, performers, stewards, traders and staff and an additional 5,000 Sunday tickets, which are available to local residents only.
The number of heavy metal bands that have headlined Glastonbury prior to Saturday night’s performance by Metallica. The thrash band’s debut appearance has not been welcomed by everyone, however. Arctic Monkey’s singer Alex Turner called it an “out there” choice and many ticket buyers have questioned the band’s suitability. Not that Metallica are particularly bothered. "I enjoy the hoopla because I think it's comforting that 32 years into a career you can still stir it up a bit," commented drummer Lars Ulrich. This year also sees Yoko Ono (with a new incarnation of Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band) and Dolly Parton making their Glastonbury debut.
In addition to the main Pyramid and secondary Other Stage, attractions include the Silver Hayes dance village, West Holts, William’s Green, Park and John Peel stages alongside blues, Latino, acoustic, theater, circus, cabaret, world music, craft and Kidz areas, not to mention the 60-acre Green Fields, an idyllic bastion to the festival’s alternative roots full of crusty looking hippies and kaftan-wearing vegans. Alternatively, late night thrills can be found at Arcadia, a performance space built around a giant mechanical fire-breathing spider, and the twisted after-hours fantasy land that is Shangri-La – “a dystopian pleasure city dedicated to fun,” as the programme puts it. What that means in real life is a vast interactive art installation populated by zombies, deafening sound systems, cross-dressing DJs, temples, caves and its very own take on purgatory.
Number of crew and artists that it takes to build Shangri-La.
The cost of a ticket for the first ever Glastonbury Festival – or Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival, as it was then known - held on Sept. 19 1970, one day after Jimi Hendrix’s death. Approximately 1,500 people attended the one-day event, which was headlined by Marc Bolan and included the offer of free milk for everyone.
This year’s ticket price including booking fee -- nearly double the entry cost of ten years ago (£112.00/$190.00) when Paul McCartney, Muse, James Brown and Oasis were among the headliners.
The number of people who registered to buy tickets for this year’s event.
The number of minutes it took for the full allocation of 120,000 weekend tickets to sell out. An additional 15,000 coach packages sold out in 30 minutes. In line with Glastonbury tradition, no artists had been confirmed to play the festival at the time tickets went on sale with David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac among the bookies favorites to perform.
Despite its remote, rural location, festival goers will this year be able to access free Wi-Fi at various key points throughout the site thanks to a herd of life-size fibre-glass cows, which have been converted into 4G Wi-Fi hotspots.
Cost to hire a 6-man Tipi, located in the Tipi Village, for the event’s duration (festival ticket not included) -- also fully sold-out.
The number of "long-drop" toilets onsite. There’s also over 1,000 compost toilets and 700 meters of male urinals -- absolutely none of which smell or look pretty.
Number of recycling volunteers who will work on the site, most of them giving their service in exchange for a ticket.
£30 million ($50 million)
Approximate cost of staging the annual festival.
One of the wettest and muddiest Glastonbury’s ever when two months’ worth of rain fell in several hours. The forecast for this year’s event is similarly rainy, with wellies, once again, deemed a fashion essential.
£2 million ($3.4 million)
The annual sum that organizers aim to donate to charity each year with Greenpeace, WaterAid and Oxfam among the principle beneficiaries.
Much like Metallica’s Glastonbury bow this year, Jay Z’s 2008 headline slot was a controversial choice when it was first announced, but ultimately proved to be a crowd-pleasing success, boosting the rapper’s profile in Europe and helping to broaden Glastonbury’s remit away from guitar bands.
The length of the steel perimeter outer fence, which has been in place since 2002 to prevent the thousands of free-loaders who had gate-crashed in previous years and once threatened the festival’s future.
The size of the sprawling site on which Glastonbury festival takes place. At its widest point the site is more than a mile-and-a-half across. Walking it in the pissing rain is the equivalent of fighting a Spartan army with your arms tied behind your back: extremely painful and destined to end in failure.