Glastonbury Festival 2011

How to tackle car park mud

24 June 2011

AA patrols have been in the thick of it at Glastonbury helping festival goers in the car parks.

To help those struggling to escape the mud on Sunday and Monday, the AA's Land Rover crews have compiled some driving tips – with some light-hearted music suggestions to pass the time (aside from the glam rock band 'Mud'):

  • Don't Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin): accept that it'll take a long time to get out of the car parks – up to several hours – and especially on mud, you won't be going anywhere in a hurry, so be patient and offer help to those who need it.
  • Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi album): don't drive wearing muddy wellies as your feet could slip on the pedals – put on some clean shoes.
  • Spinning Around (Kylie): pull away in second, not first, gear where possible to aid traction (lower revs help prevent wheel spin) – or in larger automatics, select 'D2' – and just use the accelerator very gently.
  • Losing Grip (Avril Lavigne): cardboard placed in front of the driven wheels will help aid traction (car mats can be used as a last resort!).
  • Moving On Up (M People): when moving, try to maintain momentum, especially if on an incline (easier said than done at Glastonbury).
  • Groove Is in the Heart (Deee-Lite): try to stay out of the 'tramlines' if they're full of mud.
  • Hook It Up (Vanessa Hudgens): if you need a tow, check the towing eye for corrosion or weakness (it is often hidden behind a small plastic panel on the bumper).
  • Communication (INXS): work out a plan with the person towing you: know where they intend to go and keep a close eye on them; and good communication is vital – agree on hand signals etc.
  • Slow Hands (Interpol): keep it slow and smooth when towing, avoiding sudden movements: the person towing should ease away slowly bringing the rope under tension before proceeding.
  • Fix You (Coldplay): if you get into difficulty or your car breaks down, call the AA's dedicated Glastonbury helpline for service: 0800 072 3642 (AA members and non-members)


According to Darron Burness of the AA's Special Operations Land Rover team, "Things are never rushed at Glastonbury, none more so when you're sliding around in the mud!

"But, there are a few tricks that will help drivers get to grips with the conditions. First of all, put on some clean shoes – no driving in muddy wellies – and take it easy with the right foot. Try pulling away in second gear to reduce wheel spin and, if you get stuck, placing some cardboard in front of the driven wheels can help regain grip or even car mats can be used as a last resort!

"It will take a long time, though, so be patient and switch off your engine when appropriate to save fuel."

The AA has a dedicated assistance line for all festival goers (AA members and non-members) which is printed on the cards handed out in the car parks and marked on the AA car park signs: 0800 072 3642.

Worst and best time to leave

According to the festival organisers the worst times to leave by car are on Monday (27 June) between 12 midnight and 1am and then between 9am and 5pm when there can be long delays of up to 9 hours to leave the car parks.

Organisers recommend beating the queues by leaving between 2am and 7am on Monday morning.