Review: The Crate Stack Challenge, Outside Circus Stage, Glastonbury Festival 2023

It’s surprisingly addictive to just sit and watch people stacking and climbing crates, but that’s what we’re doing in the Outside Circus Tent area.

The premise is really that simple; audience members volunteer to stack and climb crates; you stack one and climb a little higher, then you get given the next crate to stack on top as you work your way higher and higher with a target of hitting twenty crates.

How high can they get? For some, not never – with one even struggling to get off the ground at all. Even when some audience members take their time (and they’re encouraged to do so to maximise their chances) the compere keeps things interesting; willing for, or against, the volunteers. It can be a little panto at times but it works, and he expertly builds the tension as the climbers work their way skywards.

At times the drama is palpable and, even better, it is hilarious when it goes wrong. No one makes it to the top today, though there is a valiant effort that foes all the way to sixteen.

The impressive crowd that grows as the performance continues, and the long line of volunteers, is a testament to doing the simple things well.

The Crate Stack Challenge is at Glastonbury Festival 2023