Beyond the Festivals: The people and companies that make them possible

Glastonbury

When attending festivals year after year, it is unlikely that around 95% of people will even think about the incredible planning and organisation that goes into each and every one of their experiences. People may moan and complain about having to travel a few hours here or there to get to their particular festival experience, but when you think of the man hours, the footwork, and the general effort that the festival organisers go to in order to put on these annually-held, densely-populated, and hectic events, then any personal anguish seems to pale in comparison. While many may think that it can't be that difficult to secure an area of land, erect a miniature village full of stages, accommodation, and amenities, the work that goes into every aspect of these festivals is quite astounding. Organisers have to worry about permission for the land, blowback from the surrounding community, liaising with many branches of the media, securing acts that people will want to see and balancing these with up-and-coming acts as well as underground acts, maintaining the safety of the festival goers; the list goes on and on. Documented below are just a few summaries of information about the people and/or organisations that go through all of this trouble each year to bring us an experience that we will likely never forget.

Glastonbury

Crowd at a glastonbury festival

Behind the grandness and splendour of Glastonbury festival - the largest and most widely-recognised of all UK festivals - is one family name: Eavis. Michael Eavis was once exclusively a dairy farmer, and back in 1970 with an attendance of 1,500, the first Glastonbury festival was held at Worthy Farm. Entry cost £1, which was inclusive of free milk as fresh as you could hope for and from the farm. Since then, Glastonbury has of course grown on an almost exponential scale with today's attendance in the 120,000+ region making it the largest in the UK. Both Michael and his youngest daughter Emily Eavis organise the festival each year, making it a wholesome experienced driven by the bond of family over all.

Both Emily and Michael are advocates of green and sustainable living, and these are beliefs that are evident in the running and organisation of the festival. Attendees are encouraged to recycle all of their rubbish and even bring biodegradable wet-wipes failing a showering situation. The festival donates substantial sums of money to charities each year, with contributions reaching the £1 million mark. A chronological summary of the festival can be viewed at the official history of Glastonbury festival page on the festival's website.

Download

Download

Download began in 2003 when piracy was a pretty hot topic in the music industry. In true defiant form typical of the heavy metal genre, tickets for the festival came printed with a code which could be used to redeem tracks from the bands playing at the festival that year. Even though this practice was dropped after a while, the festival is still going strong to this very day. Stuart Galbraith is the man responsible for the creation of Download festival, and his company Kilimanjaro Live (of which he is the founder) is one of the UK's largest music promoters.

Wakestock

Wakestock

Wakestock festival is the festival to attend if you're a fan of water-based sports as it is an incredible experience in North Wales that involves both music and wakeboarding. Along with Sonisphere and the (European leg of the) Vans Warped Tour, Stuart Galbraith and Kilimanjaro Live promotions company own and operate these festivals. You can find our more information on the website's festivals page.

Reading and Leeds Festivals

Leeds Festival

As some of the most recognised festivals in the UK, Reading and Leeds draw in diverse crowds each year and pull in a great deal of incredible headline acts. The festivals saw a disastrous attempt at moving to the mainstream in the late 1980s, but today UK music promoter Festival Republic run a tight ship and have ensured Reading and Leeds festivals book some of the best acts around, with Blink 182 headlining the 2015 festivals.