Hundreds of freelancers head to Glastonbury

The BBC has sent around 300 staff and freelancers in total for a weekend of coverage at Glastonbury Festival – more than the 272 it has sent to cover the month-long tournament in Brazil.

Last year the BBC changed their approach to covering the festival, with live and on-demand streaming from 6 different stages, involving over 120 artists across the three days. BBC Music Director, Bob Shennan, said that staff levels for this year were in line with those for the 2013 event as “broadcasting this amount of live programming from a field in Somerset is obviously demanding”.

By comparison, there has been a reduction in numbers for this year’s World Cup coverage from the 295 who worked on the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

A BBC spokesman said: “Broadcasting comprehensive, high-quality coverage of major cultural events requires this level of resource.

“Whilst we are working hard to ensure we are being as efficient as possible, we will not compromise the quality of our output and we have been robust in scrutinising our plans and minimising costs.”

The BBC assured that each member of staff had a “clear and accountable role” to bring hours of coverage from the festival in Somerset, but that it was trying to keep numbers down wherever possible.

They are broadcasting over 50 hours of radio across Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music; with around 30 hours of TV coverage on BBC Two, Three and Four. There will also be a special edition of The One Show and further performances on iPlayer, red button and via the BBC website.

A team of 17 presenters will be hosting for the weekend, including Jo Whiley, Fearne Cotton, Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Pete Tong, Cerys Matthews and Mark Radcliffe, with Chris Evans and Alex Jones hosting the Glasto edition of The One Show.

Being joined by these celebs is the host of freelance cameramen, vision mixers, directors, vision control engineers, producers and website techs – all of which Shennan says will be “working long hours to offer unparalleled coverage for our audiences”.

Headliners for this year’s event are Arcade Fire, Kasabian and Metallica, with acts such as Robert Plant and Dolly Parton also among those who will play.


27th June 2014

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