Entertainment

An Aussie First-Timers Guide to Glastonbury Festival

So you've secured tickets to the biggest fiestival on the otherside of the world - now what?

Photo: Glastonbury 2022 / Getty

Tickets for the 2023 Glastonbury Festival go on sale next week. If you’re hoping to go, there’s a little more you need to know than just how to get hold of a ticket, especially if you’re a first-timer and doubly so if you’re arriving from Australia.

Billed as the first camping-in-a-field-listening-to-tunes festival, Glastonbury is the original and best music event of the year. It’s also one of the biggest, topping out at around 220,000 people on-site once staff and performers are factored in.

For comparison, Woodford Folk Festival, Australia’s biggest camping festival offering, has roughly 125,000 people in attendance.

Glastonbury offers a spectacle on a scale that we simply don’t get here in Aus. If you think your years of trekking between stages at Splendour are enough to get you through it, you’ve got another thing coming.

Here’s what you need to know.

Getting to and from the site

While it’s entirely possible to drive to Glastonbury, the festival encourages you to get a coach to and from a designated city in the UK. Depending on the type of ticket you have, this will be predetermined for you. Ensure that you’re able to get to your coach pick-up location as you will struggle to get to the site and collect your ticket if you miss it.

Alternatively, your options for travel include driving and getting the train.

Driving is one of the more straightforward options, although it involves paying for an additional car permit and sitting, potentially for hours, in traffic into and out of the site. If you’re going to drive, hiring a car will be your best bet as UK insurance, unlike Australian, covers an individual driver, not the car. This means you can’t just borrow a mates vehicle for the weekend, unless you pre-arrange the insurance.

The nearest train station to the festival is Castle Cary. It’s best to book train tickets early as they will sell out and getting on one can be a bit of a crush. Trains also won’t allow luggage trollies or other big items onto them, so you’ll have to pack a little bit lighter. There is a free shuttle bus running from the train station to the festival site.

Location, location, location

At the risk of repetition, Glastonbury is massive. It covers roughly 1,100 acres, or around 3.6 square kilometres, with a perimeter fence that runs for 13.6kms. There are 3,000 performances happening across five days at roughly 100 different stages. The map below should give a rough indication.

Photo: Glastonbury map / Getty

To make matters even more complicated, there is no distinction between the campsites and the festival grounds. You will be walking past thousands of tents on your way from one stage to another which can quickly become confusing.

Because of this, choosing exactly where you want to camp is essential. Many people arrive early on Wednesday to be there as the gates open at 8am to secure the best camping spots and, by Thursday, much of the site is reaching capacity.

It’s a bit of a free for all, but if you know the kind of festival you want to have, you can plan ahead. There are resources out there giving you the low-down on each site. Some are closer to the action than others while certain areas will grant you a bit more shut-eye.

Of course, it all depends on how willing and able you are to march your gear across the fields on the final leg of your journey to your new home for the next five days.

The land of no return

Aussie festivals are—largely—geared around the distinction between campsite and festival grounds. You fall into a natural rhythm of chilling at your tent, going to see some acts, and then returning for sustenance and supplies.

This is not the case at Glastonbury. Where you camp can and will be a 45-minute walk from wherever you are, possibly longer depending on foot traffic, terrain, and your physical state. Popping back to the tent to grab a jacket is simply not an option without losing two hours or more of party time.

Glastonbury, famously, gets cold, it gets wet, and the mud is the stuff of legends. Ensure you’ve got ponchos, spare jackets, sunscreen, and whatever else you need for a full day of activities because, chances are, you won’t be coming back to base for many hours.

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Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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