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Glastonbury and NASS Festivals 2019 – Arrests and Costs

Date of request: 13 May 2022
Reference: 562/22


I would like to request the data for the following festival(s) within your authority:

  • Glastonbury
  • NASS Festival
  1. I would like to request the total number of police personnel deployed to the festival(s) in part 1 in 2021 and 2019, separated by year and festival.
  2. I would like to request the total number of arrests made at the festival(s) in part 1 in 2021 and 2019, separated by year and festival.
  3. If easily available, I would like to request the nature of the offense for the arrests provided in part 3.
  4. I would like to request information on the total cost of policing the festival(s) in part 1 in 2021 and 2019, separated by year and festival, and who pays for the cost of policing these events.

If the festival(s) did not run in the years requested then I of course understand you cannot provide the data.


There was no festival for either NASS or Glastonbury in 2021 and so the below relates to 2019 only.

Question 1:

I have interpreted ‘deployed to the festival’ to mean Officers on site at the festival itself.

For Glastonbury 2019 our records indicate a total of 1,381 Officers were deployed on site over the period from Wednesday to Tuesday.

For NASS 2019, the figure is 160 Officers on site in total over the period of Thursday to Sunday.

Both figures have been calculated by adding the total Officers for each day – meaning the actual number of individual officers involved may be lower as an officer may have attended on more than one day.


Question 2:

Our records indicate that the following number of arrests were made at each festival:

Glastonbury 2019 – 25 arrests.

NASS 2019 – 4 arrests.


Question 3:

In relation to the 4 arrests at Nass 2019, three individuals were arrested for suspected drug offences; one further individual was arrested for two suspected driving offences.

In relation to the 25 arrests at Glastonbury 2019, please see the following table showing the offence type in each case (in some cases there is more than one offence type).

No Offence
1 Drugs

Wanted on Warrant

2 Drug offences
3 Drug offences
4 Theft
5 Drug offences
6 Possession with intent to supply
7 Possession with intent to supply
8 Drug offences
9 Drug offences
10 Possession with intent to supply – MDMA
11 Criminal Damage and Assault
12 Possession with intent to supply
13 Drink Drive
14 Drug offences
15 Possession with intent to supply
16 Harassment
17 Possession with intent to supply
18 Drink Drive
19 Possession Drugs
20 Public order

Drug offences

21 Drug offences
22 Drug driving
23 Assault
24 Possession with intent to supply

Criminal Damage

25 Sexual Touching


Question 4:

The total force costs recorded were as follows:

Glastonbury 2019: £518,032

NASS 2019: £43,343.95

However please note that Avon and Somerset Police were paid Special Policing Services by the organisers of each festival respectively, to recover costs.

The amount paid for the services are in line with the national guidance relating to the cost of policing a private event, on private land as part of ‘Special Police Services’.  However, I am unable to disclose the amount paid as this information is exempt under Section 43(2), relating to commercial interests. Section 43(2) is a qualified and prejudice based exemption and as such a harm or public interest test has been conducted.

Harm in Disclosure

The amount paid for these services have been competitively negotiated with suppliers, and disclosure would place the Constabulary at a commercial disadvantage as it would hinder our ability to negotiate for future tenders.  This could result in us paying a higher price for this service, which would impact on the cost to the public purse.

Public Interest Test

Favouring Disclosure

Disclosure would provide a better understanding of how public funds are spent and the decision making process, contributing to the accuracy of public debate.

Favouring Non-Disclosure

To release the amount paid for these services would allow a competitive company tendering for the same service in the future a commercial advantage as they would be aware of the cost values set out in the contract and this would therefore have a detrimental impact on the future tendering process when the contract expires.  As public funds would be expended, it is in the public’s interest that the most competitive negotiations are achieved.

Balance Test

In considering the arguments for disclosure and non-disclosure, whist the value of public debate is recognised, the ability of the constabulary to effectively negotiate in the future is in the public’s interests and outweigh the considerations favouring disclosure.  On balance the decision is that the required information will not be disclosed on this occasion.  In accordance with the Act, this represents a refusal Notice for this part of your request.

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