Capturing the Glastonbury Festival


Over 400 feet of camera track and a large inventory of camera support equipment were fielded by The Camera Store (TCS), a Vitec Group company, for the high definition broadcast coverage of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, in Somerset, England.

“Glastonbury is one of the most popular events in the annual broadcasting calendar, comments David Fader, operations manager at TCS. “Given the festival’s rural location and the unpredictability of British weather, it can also be one of the most challenging as camera crews and their equipment have to be ready for anything from a rainstorm to a mud bath.

“The big-name stage music performances take place under cover but others are held out in the open. Precise camera movement is a vital ingredient for television directors so offering mountings that go on rail is an integral part of our business.’

Working closely with Arena Television Ltd and SIS LIVE, TCS supplied two of its own-design fixed and tracking Skquattro pedestals, 14 Vinten Osprey Elite pedestals, 15 Vinten Vision 250 pan and tilt heads 11 Vinten tracking skids and nearly 2 kilometres of SMPTE grade camera fibre.

Set-up commenced on 24 June in preparation for the event’s five-day duration at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. The 26 to 30 June festival itself attracted very high attendance, all 135,000 tickets selling in a record one hour and 40 minutes from first going on sale.

Highlights of the festival were broadcast on BBC 2, including a two-hour Glastonbury debut by the Rolling Stones which achieved an estimated peak audience of 2.6 million viewers.

Glastonbury is the largest green-field festival in the world, requiring extensive infrastructure in terms of security, transport, water and electricity supply. The majority of staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for good causes.


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