Although most people say Glastonbury is a festival for people of any class, middle class people are more likely to want to go
Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson recently said he’d never play Glastonbury, it’s “the most bourgeois thing on the planet”. The comment prompted a number of replies: some claimed it’s not middle class to want cleaner toilets; others claimed the gentrification of Glastonbury can only be a good thing. But while it may be £215 a ticket, is it really middle class?
A new YouGov survey finds that although 60% of British people say Glastonbury is a festival for people of any class, it does seem to be more attractive to middle class people.
Firstly, they are more likely to think Glastonbury is suitable for them. Loosely defined by the standard categorisation of non-manual (ABC1) workers, 25% of middle class people say it is a festival for middle class people, compared to 17% of working class, manual workers (C2DEs) who say the same. 22% of people overall think it is a festival for middle class people.
Secondly, middle class people are more likely to want to go. 37% of ABC1s say that if getting a ticket was no object they would probably or definitely go, compared to 26% of C2DEs.
Young people are also more likely to want to go. But more interestingly, the 18-24 year old generation who are getting their first impressions of Glastonbury in its modern form are more likely to say it is a festival for middle class people. 32% say this, compared to 25% of 25-29 year olds, 22% of 40-59 year olds and 14% of over-60s.
In recent years Glastonbury has pushed its musical selection from hippiedom into hip hop (Jay-Z, controversially, in 2011) and now into heavy metal, with Metallica headlining the festival on Saturday night. Although the less traditional bookings usually attract initial criticism, the festival keeps growing: its 135,000 tickets for 2013 sold in 1 hour 40 minutes, and it is now considered the largest greenfield festival in the world.