What happens when 200,000 people travel to a destination normally home to around 10,000? Double-digit hour coach journeys, congested trains and queues of people thousands long, just to get to the gates. And that’s before any rail strikes happen, just like they did during 2022’s festival.
Glastonbury Festival 2023 is now a little less a month away and after last year’s car and rail chaos, more music goers are choosing to arrive in style this year by booking helicopter transfers to and from Glastonbury.
“Some see the travel as part of the experience, but after five days of partying, many see the travel as an experience to avoid,” commented Laurent Vallet at Get Heli. “We know the price tag of travelling by helicopter isn’t for everyone, but our clients group together making it the cheapest helicopter travelling option and, taking into account the almost-certain delays when leaving the festival on the Monday, they see the value in the time saved, not just the kudos of travelling by air.”
Glastonbury Festival’s Travel Guide highlights that “The worst times to leave by car are on Monday between 8am and 5pm when there can be long delays of up to 9 hours to leave the car parks.”
“If you factor in the time saved on the journey plus not having to be there early or delays on your way out, someone travelling to and from London by car can save up to 28 hours of travel or delays if they flew by helicopter,” adds Laurent Vallet.
On top of the cost and time saved, Get Heli’s scheme is also the first answer to using helicopters in a more planet-conscious way. By flying helicopters full, the heli-pooling system replicates the sharing model already familiar in other sectors, such as road travel.
To travel to Glastonbury via helicopter, Get Heli is currently offering return flights from London at the Denham aerodrome, for £995 + VAT per person (one way) based on 6 people sharing a Leonardo AW109 helicopter.
5 travel tips for land-goers
- Early birds: Get there early, get in early. This year the car parks open from 4pm Tuesday (it’s previously been 9pm) for those that want to get in the gate queues for their opening at 8am on Wednesday. Only toilets are available on Tuesday night, so come prepared with food and drink. For train travellers, the free shuttle will be in operation again from Castle Cary Station to the Festival Bus Station throughout the Festival.
- Pack light: Whilst you may have the energy to carry lots of changes of clothes on the way in, when you leave on the Monday you’ll feel every gram of weight that’s not needed. Pack light, so light that you have a spare hand free to help with the tent.
- Pray to the weather Gods: Not just for sun, per-say, but for a clear and obvious forecast. That way, you’ll be able to plan your attire accordingly. If it’s not going to be sun soaked (high factor sun cream is essential) and looks changeable in any way, dig out your wellies and prepare for the worst.
- Respect the driver: Whether it’s a shuttle bus, coach or designated driver, be nice to them and if you’re travelling by car, treat your designated driver like a king (and never let them out of your sight).
- Rain or shine, stay hydrated: During previous events medical staff see thousands of festival goers per day and when sunny, most of these cases can be heat and hydration relation. So to stay happy and in the flow, don’t forget your H2O (bottle).
5 travel tips for air-flyers
- Don’t start early: You can’t pull over for a toilet break on the M3 in a helicopter, so at all costs avoid drinking before you take your flight. In any case, passengers who are under the influence of alcohol are in danger of not being allowed to board the flight to begin with. Remember, you’ll have plenty of time for that when you get there (in record time too).
- Not the kitchen sink: Whilst helicopters do have weight limits, most flights can accommodate the normal baggage one would associate with festivals, but be sure to make sure you know your total weight limit as a group. No gas barbecues allowed, obviously. A 124-pint beer barrel per person won’t work either.
- It’s cooler: Literally. Up at 10,000 feet it can be cooler and whilst some aircraft are fully-heated, it may be cooler than normal depending on your aircraft and the time of day, so make sure you check with your flight organiser beforehand and they’ll advise you on appropriate attire.
- Keep your eyes peeled: You won’t be the only ones arriving by air. Performers, VIP guests and celebrities often also arrive via one of Glastonbury’s two helipads so be sure to keep a watch out and, if you so desire, keep your phone at the ready to ask for a quick selfie.
- Enjoy the ride: Helicopter rides are usually short and sweet, so make the most of your time in the air. Take in the breathtaking views and enjoy the unique perspective that only a helicopter can offer.