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What are the efforts being made to make Glastonbury more inclusive for Black festivalgoers?

user2024-06-29 01:10

Making Glastonbury More Inclusive: Welcoming Black Festivalgoers

Glastonbury Festival, long known for its predominantly white attendees, is actively working to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for Black festivalgoers. This year’s lineup features a diverse roster of Black artists, and organizers are taking steps to address the concerns and perspectives of Black attendees.

Increased Representation on the Lineup

One of the most notable changes is the increased number of Black artists performing at the festival. Artists like Janelle Monáe, Burna Boy, and SZA are among the headliners, while Little Simz, Michael Kiwanuka, and Olivia Dean will perform highly anticipated sets. This surge in Black representation reflects a shift in the festival’s programming and a concerted effort to appeal to a broader audience.

Expanding Black Presence in Festival Infrastructure

Beyond bookings, organizers are also focusing on increasing Black presence within the festival’s infrastructure. Loo How, a longtime Glastonbury attendee, emphasizes the importance of seeing Black people represented in various roles at the event, not just as performers but as part of the production and management teams. Such representation helps create a sense of belonging and discourages perceptions of Glastonbury as an exclusively white space.

Addressing Cultural Barriers and Discomfort

Some Black attendees have expressed feeling discomfort or experiencing ignorant attitudes at Glastonbury. Organizers are aware of these concerns and are working to create a welcoming and respectful environment. Jazpa, a Silver Hayes production team member, shares that he has sometimes been mistaken for a drug dealer or asked for directions by white attendees. Such experiences can be alienating and undermine the sense of belonging.

Creating a Supportive Community

A significant initiative this year is the Black at Glasto WhatsApp group, a valuable resource that provides a sense of community for Black attendees. The group offers festival tips, lineup recommendations, and opportunities for connection. Co-creator Elsie Ayotunde Cullen emphasizes the importance of this platform in helping members feel more comfortable and supported during the festival.

Overcoming Psychological Barriers

Yelena, a Bristol resident, highlights the need to address psychological barriers that may prevent some Black individuals from attending Glastonbury. She explains that camping and festival culture may not be familiar or accessible to many Black families. By fostering a welcoming atmosphere and providing opportunities for connection, organizers can help create a more inclusive festival experience.


While progress is being made, there is still work to be done to make Glastonbury fully inclusive for Black festivalgoers. Increased representation, community building, and awareness of cultural barriers are essential steps in creating a more welcoming and diverse event. By embracing these efforts, Glastonbury can continue to evolve as a celebration that truly reflects the richness and vibrancy of contemporary music and culture.