News and Features

Your Festival 2021 experience

Joining us this summer? Find out what to expect and how we’re keeping you safe.

COVID-19 hasn’t affected our dedication to delivering a world-class experience, both on and off stage, but the pandemic has necessitated some changes – with safety, of course, the priority, in line with the latest guidance from Public Health England.

Like live performance, there’ll be tweaks every night as we improve these systems so please bear with us if you find small changes when you get here.


Firstly, please don’t join us if you or anyone in your household has had a positive COVID-19 test or any symptoms in the last 10 days. We’ll of course refund your tickets, more details here.

Key changes for everyone, however you’re arriving:

  • NHS Test and Trace – on arrival you’ll be asked to complete one of our NHS Test and Trace cards, including a name and telephone number for every member of your party. It’s a Government requirement that every visitor comply with this tracing system and Glyndebourne is instructed to refuse entry to those who don’t supply the necessary information.
  • Temperature testing – we’ll be testing everyone before you enter the gardens, using technology that’s been recommended by Public Health England: a simple hand-held device that we’ll point towards your forehead, without touching the skin, to gain an instant reading. It takes less than a minute. In the event of a high temperature reading 38C or above, you will be asked to remain outside for 10 minutes and then be screened again. If your temperature remains high you will be asked to leave the site immediately and call 111 for further NHS advice.
  • One-way system – social distancing measures will be in place throughout your visit, including in the car park and on the audience coach. Please respect the guidance of our staff and the one-way arrows.
  • Changing rooms and cloak room – unfortunately we’re not currently able to offer either of these facilities.

Throughout your visit the Front of House team will be available to assist you. Please look for the grey Glyndebourne facemasks (with the large G on the side) or name badges.

By car, including taxi

All vehicles, including taxis, should head to the (free) main audience car park. There are a very limited number of taxi services in the local area; if you’re planning to use a taxi, please book one in advance as we’re unable to assist you on the day.

If you’re arriving early you’ll be asked to wait in your car until the gardens officially open. This is to ensure that we can complete our enhanced cleaning processes following morning rehearsals. We also ask you to wait in your vehicle if there’s a queue for the temperature testing station at the foot of the car park. Temporary toilets are available next to the temperature testing tent, including one accessible toilet.

Audience coach

Our coach service to and from Lewes train station costs £10 per person for a return trip and must be booked 48 hours before your visit. You can find the times of our coach service here, and this is the link to book your place. Social distancing will be in place, meaning more coaches – which is why we’re not able to offer this service for free this year.

Don’t forget your face mask. You’ll need to wear it at all times whilst on the audience coach.

During your visit

The Organ Room, Gallery 94 and archive are currently closed but there are plenty of other things to enjoy, including new sculpture in the gardens by Halima Cassell MBE. Find out more about our Festival 2021 visual arts programme.

The Glyndebourne Shop

The Glyndebourne Shop is open throughout your visit. In addition to the main shop (next to the Long Bar), you can also buy a small selection of Glyndebourne gifts from the shop outlet in The Hamlet, our new hospitality area situated below the Bourne Garden. If you’d prefer to maximise your time in the gardens, don’t forget you can order your Festival essentials at and checkout using our FREE click & collect service. Your order will be ready to collect from the main Glyndebourne Shop during your visit.

Food and drink

Current guidelines prohibit the sale of alcohol at a bar. The Long Bar will therefore be closed but don’t worry, there are several ways to order a glass of fizz:

  • Find a waiter. There’ll be plenty of bar staff very visibly available throughout the grounds, ready to take your order and deliver it to your picnic spot.
  • Use our new online ordering system. Scan one of the QR codes displayed around the grounds, place your order and your drinks will be ready for you at a designated collection point.
  • Collect it from the picnic hut. You can now add a bottle of Nyetimber when you collect your pre-ordered picnic.

Non-alcoholic drinks, plus an array of additions for your homemade picnics, can be purchased in The Hamlet, our new hospitality area.

Please note that, for your safety, we’re now operating a cashless site so can only accept card payments in our shop, restaurants and bars.

If you’re picnicking, please make use of the chairs and tables arranged throughout the gardens. We’re not able to reserve them for you so if you’d like to guarantee a seat, please bring your own furniture. This year it won’t be possible to picnic on the balconies around the edges of the auditorium but there are plenty of pre-bookable sheltered picnicking options in our marquees, including in our new Croquet Lawn Marquee.

Why not let us do the catering for you? Enjoy afternoon tea before the performance, pre-order a picnic for the long interval or, if you prefer to dine indoors, book a table in one of our restaurants. We have two restaurants open this year, our fine-dining Middle & Over Wallop with menus from Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin and Mildmay, which offers the traditional British classics previously found in our Nether Wallop carvery. All dining must be booked at least 48 hours in advance via

The performance

20 minutes before the performance we’ll start to manage your entry into the auditorium, one location at a time, a bit like boarding an aeroplane. Most seating is arranged in pairs. We aren’t removing the intervening seats but they’ll be clearly blocked from use.

Masks must be worn at all times in our indoor spaces, including the auditorium, unless you’re eating. Please bring your own masks with you to the performance. You can also buy them from the Glyndebourne Shop, beautifully made in silk.

Once you’ve taken your seat in the auditorium, we ask you to remain in it until the interval. At the interval and at the end of the performance an usher will direct you to leave the auditorium, one row at a time, to avoid congestion at the doors.

After the performance

Extend your visit just a little longer by joining us for a coffee in Mildmay before you head home. No need to book.

If you didn’t have an opportunity to browse earlier, don’t forget to visit when you get home.

Share your Glyndebourne Festival experience via our social media channels. @Glyndebourne #NoOrdinaryOpera

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