Glastonbury Festival admits breaching environmental regulations

Representatives of the Glastonbury Festival are being prosecuted by the Environment Agency and have gone before South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates’ Court charged with breaching environmental regulations during the 2014 festival.

The Environment Agency claim that a faulty storage tank, connected to the festival’s sewerage system, had leaked a “large quantity” of human waste into the neighbouring river Whitelake. The leaked human waste triggered one of the agency’s river sensors which alerted them to an increase in ammonia levels.

The Environment Agency brought a prosecution against Glastonbury Festival 2014, as they believe the leak effected the water quality and resulted in the death of 42 fish, including protected brown trout.

Glastonbury Festival prosecuted for breaching environmental regulations

Glastonbury Festival


Michael Eavis, Glastonbury Festival founder, and Christopher Edwards, the operations director, appeared in South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates’ Court, in Yeovil, and admitted to the charge but Kerry Gwyther, representing, told the court that the festival did not “accept that it was a major incident as described by the agency.”

Kieran Martyn, prosecuting, told the court that the breach could be classed as a “category one”, which, if ruled true, could result in a fine from £300 up to £55,000. Mr Martyn blamed the tank’s failure on poor maintenance but the Glastonbury representatives said that the leakage had been described by the tank’s manufacturer as a “freak accident”.

District judge David Taylor adjourned the trial for a “Newton hearing”; the two parties will now sit with a judge in order to determine the facts of the case.