In a similar way to previous festivals, tickets for the 2009 event required pre-registration (of a photograph and personal details) through the festival website. Registration opened on 1 September 2008.
Ticket lines opened on the morning of 5 October 2008, and customers were able to place deposits for tickets (£50) or buy them in full (£175). Tickets required full payment by 1 February 2009.
On 22 January 2009, at Midem 2009, Michael Eavis announced that 90% of the event's 137,500 tickets had been sold. He also stated that although headliners had not been confirmed, he was awaiting confirmation from the acts he had approached.
Reserved tickets which did not have their remaining balance paid by the deadline were put back on sale on 2 February 2009 and it was announced the next day that the event had sold out, with the majority of reservations being balanced by 1 February deadline. A re-sale of cancelled tickets was held on 5 April 2009 at 9:00 am. These tickets sold out by 10:15 am.
As with previous events, the festival had a tipi field where six people can accommodate one tipi for the shared price of £800. A new hospitality area, surrounded by a 12 feet (3.7 m) wall, was created on the old cinema field between Lower Mead and Wicker Ground fields. This area included PodPad camping. The positioning of this area restricted pedestrian access to both camping and parking sites; pathways at previous festivals have led through this area.
Helen Gregory (poet)
A Poem in Between People Hollie McNish
Derrick C. Brown
The Poetry Chicks
Porky the Poet (AKA Phill Jupitus)
DJ Cindy Pink
The Poetry Chicks
Open mic (hosted by Sophia Blackwell)
Mark Mace Smith (2008 Slam Winner)
A Poem in Between People Attila the Stockbroker
Andreattah Chuma Murray Lachlan Young
Jude Simpson Murray Lachlan Young
Adam Horovitz (Website poet in residence)
Pete Hunter John Hegley Hollie McNish
Slam (hosted by Dreadlockalien Middleman Productions)
The news of Michael Jackson's death spread unconfirmed during the night of 25 June, with DJs and bars playing his tracks during the night. Various tributes were made to him by performers throughout 26 June, including Dizzee Rascal leading a crowd rendition of Jackson's hit Thriller, and N.E.R.D frontman Pharrell Williams paying respects for Jackson in saying "It's the music, the music was so incredible", before adding that Jackson "changed music and the way people looked at music." Other performers to pay tribute to Jackson included The Streets, Hugh Cornwell, Lily Allen, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and Gabriella Cilmi. Within hours of his death, there were T-shirts for sale proclaiming "I was at Glasto 09 when Jacko died" and shops announcing "Michael Jackson has died, 10% off everything."
Several cases of swine flu were reported during the festival. Two of these were students and one a 10-year-old child. The three infected festival-goers were isolated when symptoms presented and no further cases have been reported. Festival organisers had reportedly anticipated some cases of the virus with a spokesperson saying "...the figure of three in 177,000 people is regarded as very low."