Festival 2021 - your questions answered

Your quick guide to this summer’s Festival and the impact of COVID-19.

Find out what to expect at Glyndebourne this summer in this detailed Q&A.


Are you staging a full Festival this year?
  • View our revised Festival 2021 schedule here – which runs from 20 May until 29 August and includes four fully-staged operas, a semi-staged Tristan und Isolde and a concert series from our resident orchestras. Every production, whether an opera or concert, will be wrapped in the full Festival experience: indoor performances with a long dining interval and time to enjoy our gardens.
Will there be any changes to what I see on stage?
  • We’ll be working within COVID-19 guidelines to provide an exceptional artistic experience. Orchestra and chorus numbers have been adapted, as has some of the stage action. We’re confident that none of these adaptations will detract from your experience of enjoying a fully staged opera or concert.
Will the auditorium be full?
  • When we go on sale, the auditorium will be limited to 600 – 50% of our usual capacity. Most seats will be arranged in pairs. If restrictions are relaxed at a later date, we’ll aim to increase the number of seats we’re able to sell – look out for emails with updates on ticket availability.


How do I access tickets to Festival 2021?
  • Our Members have first access to tickets. Priority booking opens online and by phone to Glyndebourne Festival Society Members on Sunday 14 March (10.00am), to Associate Members on Sunday 28 March (10.00am) and to Fortissimo Members on Wednesday 31 March (10.00am). All remaining tickets will go on sale to the public later in April.
Are there any restrictions to the number of tickets I can book?
  • As we have less seating and fewer performances, we’re limiting the number of tickets that Members can access in their initial period of priority booking. Members will then have a further opportunity to buy tickets before public booking opens. Please see your Member emails for more details, or contact the Box Office via boxoffice@glyndebourne.com
Can I book for other people or bring a guest?
  • To allow for social distancing within the auditorium, most seats are arranged in pairs (with adjacent seats left vacant for your safety). Please note: Glyndebourne will follow the relevant Public Health England guidelines at the time of your visit. Currently, the advice for stage 3 (when indoor performances can resume) is that you will be able to meet indoors either as a group of six, or with one other household. This would mean that you could sit next to someone from a different household in your pair of seats in the auditorium.
Are single tickets available?
  • Yes, a number of single tickets are available for every performance, and can be booked online or by telephone.
Will there be standing tickets?
  • No. Unfortunately, due to current PHE guidelines, we are unable to offer standing places at this year’s Festival performances.
Will Under 30s tickets be available this year?
  • If we are able to offer Under 30s tickets this year we will, more information will be available in April.
Will you issue paper tickets this year?
    No. To reduce the number of touch points, we’ll ask you to display your ticket on a mobile device or, if that’s not possible, print it at home.
What happens if COVID-19 means you have to cancel performances or I cannot attend?
  • If COVID-19 affects your visit, you’ll be offered a full refund. We’ll update you by email if any performances are subject to change or cancellation. It’s your responsibility to let us know before the start time of your performance if you or a member of your party cannot attend. Our full ticketing terms and conditions are available here.

Arriving at Glyndebourne

What time will the grounds open?
  • You’ll be invited to arrive from around two hours before the performance, as usual.
Will there be an audience coach from Lewes station this year?
  • Our coach service to and from Lewes station will operate again this year but for a cost – unfortunately social distancing requirements make it prohibitively expensive to offer this for free. For £10 you can secure a return journey. Coach booking closes 48 hours before each performance. Find out more about how to book your coach journey.
How will you ensure people are distanced in the car park?
  • We have a large car park and the option of using overflow spaces if required. Our parking attendants will manage your arrival and exit from the car park to ensure your safety. We also have a number of charging points for electric cars.

Before the performance

Will I be able to enjoy the gardens this year?
  • Yes! There’ll be one-way systems in place in the more compact areas of the gardens but otherwise the grounds are unaffected and are open for your enjoyment.
Can I access any refreshments before the performance?
  • Our dining options will be available to view at diningatglyndebourne.com from 31 March, with booking opening on 16 April.
Are there any pre-performance talks or other events?
  • Not currently – for your safety, we’re minimising additional gatherings of people around the site.
Will Gallery 94, the Archive Gallery or the Organ Room be open?
  • With current restrictions and for your safety, you will not be able to access these spaces on site. However, there will be nine new sculptures in the gardens by Halima Cassell MBE. We’ll also be launching an online exhibition of visual art and rediscovered archive material. If we’re able to increase capacity this season, Gallery 94 will open with an exhibition of works from our Associate Artist, Tom Hammick. Read more about our collaboration with Tom here.
When can I visit the Glyndebourne Shop?
  • The Glyndebourne Shop will be open during your visit, pre and post performance. We’ll limit the number of shoppers at any one time – which many people preferred last year, giving you more space to browse. Don’t forget you can access our shop 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world via glyndebourneshop.com. There’s even an option to buy in advance and collect during your visit.
Where can I buy or collect my programme book?
  • As well as the Glyndebourne Shop, we’re looking at other locations for you to buy programme books from or, if you’re a Festival Society Member, collect your complimentary copy. More information will be available before your visit.

The long interval

Are there any changes to the long interval?

We will extend the long interval slightly to ease your safe return into the auditorium but otherwise the interval will continue as before.

What dining options will be available?

Our dining options will be available at diningatglyndebourne.com from 31 March, with booking opening on 16 April. In terms of the dining experience, our restaurants will be laid out differently and we’ll be carefully managing your entry and exit. There’ll be other tried-and-tested safety measures in the kitchen and with our waiting staff too.

Can I still bring a picnic?

Absolutely! Or save yourself the hassle and book one from us, for collection on your arrival. Visit diningatglyndebourne.com from 31 March to view our picnic options.

What happens if it rains?

With fewer audience members there are plenty of areas to shelter in and still keep appropriately distanced from others. We’ll share more information in our pre-performance emails, including the option to pre-book space in one of our marquees.

Festival programme book

Will there be a Festival programme book this year?
  • Yes – we’re delighted that the programme book will return for Festival 2021. Purchase it in advance or on your arrival from the Glyndebourne Shop.

COVID-19 safety measures

What additional COVID-19 safety measures will you have in place?

We’ll respond to the latest guidelines from Public Health England to ensure your safety, and that of our staff and artists, throughout your visit. These measures are likely to include:

  • masks worn in all enclosed spaces, including the auditorium
  • frequent sanitising points throughout the site
  • enhanced cleaning during the day
  • cashless shopping
  • one-way and queuing systems to manage the flow of visitors
  • additional toilet facilities
  • managed entry and exit to the car park
  • distancing and other safety measures in our restaurants
  • asking every customer or visitor (over the age of 16) to provide their name and contact details​. We will keep these records for 21 days and provide the data to NHS Test and Trace if requested. See our privacy notice.

We’ll be following guidelines from Public Health England regarding testing. Our safety information page will be updated before and during the Festival with the latest information on the measures we’re taking to keep you safe.

Other ways to enjoy Glyndebourne

I can’t attend Festival 2021. Are you offering a digital Festival this year?
  • Plans are still to be announced but the latest information will be available in the On Screen section of our website.

Supporting Glyndebourne

How can I support Glyndebourne during the pandemic?

Our essential Backstage Automation project has been on hold since the sad cancellation of the 2020 Festival. To stay at the forefront of theatre technology, we need your help. Set the spotlight back on our stage by supporting this vital upgrade.

As we begin recovery from a multimillion-pound loss caused by the pandemic, we are determined to not only survive but to thrive. Find out more.

If you would like to discuss support, we would love to hear from you. Please contact our Director of Development, Helen McCarthy, at helen.mccarthy@glyndebourne.com or call 01273 815 032.

How do I become a Member?

Join the Glyndebourne family by becoming an Associate Member or, if you’re under 40, a Fortissimo Member. Our Members enjoy priority access to tickets and a range of benefits throughout the year. We’re now taking applications for Festival 2022 membership places – find out more here.

If you can’t find the answer to your question on this page or elsewhere on our website, please contact our Box Office and Customer Service team via boxoffice@glyndebourne.com.

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Our online shop offers a great selection of exclusive and locally sourced products. Every purchase supports our work.
Become a Member
Enjoy priority booking for the Festival. Find out how you can join as an Associate Member
Donate to the Annual Fund
To stay at the forefront of theatre technology, we need your help. Set the spotlight back on our stage by supporting this vital upgrade.