AUTHOR: Daisy Wallace

As the big event approaches, we managed to quickly squeeze in five minutes with Haggis McLeod, manager of the Theatre and Circus area.

Director of the Theatre + Circus area at Glastonbury - Haggis McLeod

Theatre and Circus offers a plethora of entertainment, some of which could be regarded as beautiful, some hilarious, and some which takes your breath away; all the acts promise to be thought provoking.

Here’s Haggis McLeod’s quick fire answers to our questions about project managing such a popular area at Glastonbury.


What year was the Theatre and Circus stage set up?

“The area was set up in 1981 by my late wife Arabella Churchill”.


How many people are involved in the running of the area?

“We have a crew of over 800, plus 370 stewards, 1,800 performers, and a another portion being volunteers.”


How far in advance do you begin team preparations?

“It's a year round job.”


To what extent are the team project managers?

“We try to keep the same team each year, some of whom are project managers

“We try to ensure that most of the team are over qualified.”


Does the team change the way they work at all?

“80% of the set up stays the same, 20% changes with one off events and additions.”


How does the team manage budget?

“I manage the overall budget, and each Stage Manager is given a budget for their personal stage crew to delegate.”


How does the team manage timescales?

“Put simply, deadlines are set and kept to.”


How is the team structured?

“Democratic autocracy.”


How many people work on the technical aspects of the area and what skills are required?

“We have over 200 skilled technicians working on the displays in the area.

“In terms of skillsets we require this ranges from pyrotechnic experts, LX and PA crews, scaffolders, carpenters, plumbers, Plant drivers, Health and Safety experts, Structural Engineers, and Artists.

“All these people are required to do whatever it takes to make the show work.”


What does the team draw inspiration from?

“Travelling the world and going to other festivals.”

Phew - we know you’re busy, so thanks Haggis!

Want access to more great content?
Subscribe below...