Hate the Music Festival Traffic? More People are Opting for Coming in by Air

Back when Edgefest was at Molson Park in Barrie, it once took me more than four hours to make up the 400 to the site. Traffic was insane. In 1994, I was on a bus full of winners to the 25th anniversary of Woodstock in Saugerties, New York. We got trapped in traffic for hours. Getting out of EdenFest in 1995 left me dehydrated and angry.

Traffic to and from music festivals is one of the most disagreeable parts of the experience. And this year, the folks heading to Glastonbury–already a transportation nightmare–is extra bad this year. It’s so hot in the UK that the roads have melted and the railway tracks have buckled. In other words, ground transportation to The World’s Most Famous Music Festival™ is going to be more of a misery than usual.

This brings me to this press release from Air Charter Service. Why slog it out on the ground when you can fly it?

Leading private jet company, Air Charter Service, is seeing increased interest in helicopter flights for private clients desperate to beat the legendary traffic jams into Glastonbury this week and arrive at their glamping sites all set for their festival experience.

Andy Christie, Group Private Jets Director at ACS, said: “More and more people are looking for the ultimate Glastonbury experience nowadays, without all the usual hassle of putting up tents, cooking over their portable gas stoves and not showering for a week. Glamping has taken off so much in recent years that now you can pay upwards of £10,000 for less than a week’s stay at sites nearby or inside Glastonbury.

“We are seeing a growing number of customers that want to take the experience to a new level by flying in and skipping the hours that would have been spent in traffic jams. It’s the ultimate way to start the weekend, and to arrive stress-free and ready for the festival experience. In the wake of the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, the heightened security checks at the festival are expected to lead to traffic jams of up to 12 hours long, whereas a helicopter flight from London takes 45 minutes.”

It’s not only festival-goers that favour helicopters, performing artists have been doing it for years, Christie continues: “Last year we flew a variety of stars in for their performances and we expect this year to be no different. For the Isle of Wight festival, we booked a helicopter on the morning of the day that one of the bands was playing on to fly them in and out directly before and after their set on the main stage.”

Nice, but doesn’t this just exacerbate the gap between the haves and have-nots? When we were registering for Desert Trip last fall, we were offered the perk of flying from LA direct into Palm Springs. “Avoid 100 miles of traffic! LA to Palm Springs in 45 minutes.” Like tens of thousands of others, we left that luxury to the Beautiful People.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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