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Glastonbury secures long-term future at Worthy Farm

Glastonbury Festival’s long-term future at Worthy Farm has been secured after it was granted permanent planning permission by the local council.

Since 2010, Glastonbury Festival Events Ltd. (GFEL) has had rolling temporary planning permission to hold the festival and other events at Worthy Farm in Pilton, which is due to expire in 2024.

Mendip District Council advised GFEL back in 2021 that a further extension to this temporary permission would not be allowed, since it was “contrary to best planning practice” as laid out by central government.

GFEL applied for the festival and other events, such as the annual Pilton Party, to have permanent planning permission, which would “provide more certainty and additional flexibility” in the years to come.

The plans were approved by the council’s planning board last Wednesday night (29 March), allowing Glastonbury Festival to be permanently hosted on Worthy Farm once a year, the hosting of the annual Pilton Party, camping events which can take place during festival fallow years, and agricultural use of the site outside of the festival period.

“The grant of planning permission will secure the future of the most iconic music and performing arts festival in Europe”

The permission also allows the festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage to be made into a permanent structure, alongside a building currently used for storage and recycling, and the allocation of land to accommodate the temporary festival workforce.

Nonetheless, the festival will still have to comply with the terms of its official licence, which sets limits on noise levels, crowd capacity and other matters.

A spokesman for Planning Sphere (representing GFEL) said: “The grant of planning permission will provide certainty and secure the future of the largest and most iconic music and performing arts festival in Europe.” The board approved the application by a margin of 11 votes to none, with one abstention.

This year’s Glastonbury is scheduled for 21-25 June. Elton John, Guns N’Roses and Arctic Monkeys will all be headlining the Pyramid Stage, while other acts on the line-up include Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, The War On Drugs, Chvrches, Lil Nas X, Christine And The Queens and Manic Street Preachers. Meanwhile, Yusuf/Cat Stevens has been booked for the coveted Legends Slot.


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Digitally detox at crowdfunded Samphire Festival

A new British festival will aim to help phone addicts kick their habit in July with three days of music, art, drama, comedy and “tech-free” activities such as tree-climbing, stargazing, den-building, yoga and stand-up paddle-boarding.

The first Samphire Festival, promoted by music journalist/DJ Flora Blathwayt and chef/engineer Josh Beauchamp and held in association with Unplugged Weekend, will take place in Exmoor national park in Somerset from 8 to 10 July and encourages festivalgoers to “disconnect to reconnect and enjoy their natural surroundings”.

“I know I’m very often guilty of this, but so often we miss out on special moments because we are too busy documenting them,” says Blathwayt. Anti-tech features at Samphire will include the Rendezvous Bandstand, a chalkboard for messages, and ‘phone police’ to encourage people to keep their phones in their pocket.

Over 40 live acts and DJs will play across two main stages, including reggae band Will and the People, BBC Introducing-backed singer-songwriter Violet Skies, dark-pop duo Ardyn, Ethiopian jazz-funk group Tezeta and 12-piece afrobeat band No Go Stop.

Blathwayt and Beauchamp raised £42,855 from a £20,000 target on Crowdfunder to fund the first festival.