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Dear Michael Eavis: London is the perfect new home for Glastonbury

James Manning

Hi Mr Eavis,

How are things? Busy? We’re sure you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, what with running one of the world’s biggest music festivals later this month, but we wanted to have a word. You see, we’ve heard today that you’re planning to move Glastonbury in 2019, possibly to Longleat. We’d like to persuade you otherwise.

Look, we’ve been to Longleat. It’s fine. There’s a safari park and a decent Center Parcs. Not exactly the dynamic, dramatic setting you’d want for the next 50 years of Glasto.

London, on the other hand, is probably the most dynamic place on the planet. Glastonbury’s got its own unique energy, and so does our city. Put them both together and something very special could happen.

The Glasto site takes up about 1,100 acres. Here is its footprint, based on the 2016 site map:

‘But there just isn’t room for a festival that big in London!’, we hear you say. On the contrary: let us illustrate just a few ways that you could bring the festival to London.

Option One: The Royal Parks

Add together the five Royal Parks in central London (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, Green Park and St James’s Park) and that’s 1,134 acres right there. Put the Pyramid Stage and the Other Stage on either side of the Serpentine, whack Shangri-La and the Left Field in Green Park and the Healing Field in St James’s, squeeze 200,000 campers into Regent’s Park and you’ve got yourself a festival:

Glastonbury in Hyde Park

Option Two: Heathrow

If for some reason you don’t fancy popping Glasto right in the middle of central London (and we’ll concede that the authorities who’ve pulled the plug on concerts there in the past might not be keen either) then there are plenty of alternatives. Heathrow Airport, for instance. Plenty of festivals – from Brighton to Berlin – take place at airports and airfields. How about instead of building a fifth runway at Heathrow, we shut it down and put Glastonbury there? West Londoners would love it (even The Who make less noise than a 747), it’d easily fit into the available space (see below), and it’d fit Glasto’s eco-friendly ethos very nicely.

Glastonbury at Heathrow

Alternatively, we could go ahead with Boris Johnson’s absurd estuary airport scheme – only instead of a new hub airport, we’d build a permanent site for your festival. Glasto Island, anyone?

Option Three: Richmond Park

Finally, if the idea of shutting down one of Europe’s biggest airports doesn’t pitch your tipi, there are plenty of other sites in and around the city. Richmond Park, for instance, is a surprisingly perfect fit:

Glastonbury in Richmond Park

Spooky, isn’t it?

To conclude: we hope you’re convinced that London is the ideal place to relocate Glastonbury once Worthy Farm has been, er, put out to pasture. The world’s greatest festival in the world’s greatest city? Sod Longleat – bring on Londonbury!


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