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Glastonbury reports £3.1m loss in latest accounts

The UK’s Glastonbury festival posted a loss of £3.1 million for the year ending March 2021, according to documents posted on Companies House.

The event was forced to cancel due to the pandemic for a second successive year in 2021. Turnover was down to £936,000, compared to £45.867m in the previous 12 months. Post-tax losses amounted to £370,330 in 2020.

“Since 2009, the company has retained profits in order to provide a float for the next festival,” says the documents. “Due to the company retaining profits in previous years to build up this float, the company was able to cover the significant loss incurred resulting from the Covid pandemic and the cancellation of the festival in 2020 as well as contribute to running costs during 2021 when the festival was cancelled for the second year.”

The documents for Glastonbury Festival Events Limited list its main business risks as “possible breaches of the licence terms leading to the licence being withdrawn and the cancellation of the festival due to forces outside the control of the company such as extremely bad weather and a global pandemic”.

There are likely to be “significant costs specifically related to necessary Covid-19 measures and related issues” for the 2022 edition

Glastonbury hosted an exclusive global livestream from its Worthy Farm festival site on 22 May last year, featuring performances from the likes of Coldplay, Jorja Smith and George Ezra, in lieu of the flagship event. However, the initial broadcast was marred by technical issues.

Glastonbury is due to return to Worthy Farm this year from 22-26 June, with Billie Eilish the first and so far only headliner to be announced. The report notes there are likely to be “significant costs specifically related to necessary Covid-19 measures and related issues” for the 2022 edition.

The event has benefited from the UK government’s Culture Recovery Fund, receiving £900,000 back in April 2021 and an extra £600,000 in November.

“The company has been fortunate enough to receive Arts Council funding since March 2021 year end, which has helped with future planning during the year to date,” adds the firm, which also organises two much smaller events, Pilton Party and Glastonbury Extravaganza.


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