ED Sheeran played to tens of thousands of people on Glastonbury’s famous Pyramid Stage in 2017, but his festival debut was in far humbler surroundings.

Six years earlier, the Shape of You superstar played to around 500 people at Croissant Neuf, a small area with sustainability at the heart of everything it does.

The site, which is fittingly located opposite the Green Futures Field, has its own solar-powered stage, a café and a range of stalls to browse.

While waiting for the main stages to burst into life on Sunday, we had a mooch around the Croissant Neuf area – and this is what we found.

Croissant Neuf at Glastonbury Festival 2024

When you come across Croissant Neuf, the first thing you see is a series of small structures: stalls offering vintage and Fairtrade clothes, tie-dyed tees and raw honey; a lovely bandstand (which wasn’t in action when I visited); the charming stage, which is protected from the elements by blue and yellow canvas, and a bustling café.

The Croissant Neuf stage offers a chance for up-and-coming acts to perform at Glasto.The Croissant Neuf stage offers a chance for up-and-coming acts to perform at Glasto. (Image: Newsquest)

When you look more closely, you spot more and more attention to detail, such as the seating area offering shade beneath solar panels and a quaint water feature called The Flounder, seemingly made from old mechanical parts.

The eco-conscious nature of the area is reiterated by a small tent, which explains Glastonbury’s green credentials and calls for an end to nuclear power in favour of renewables (we’ll put to one side for a moment that we’re just 30 miles from Hinkley Point C, Britain’s next major power station and Europe’s biggest construction site).

When you step inside the stage tent, you’re immediately presented with a list of that day’s acts, written in chalk. When I arrived, a few dozen people were enjoying a set by Vulva Voce, “an all-female, genre-defying string quartet”.

The Vulva Voce quartet perform on the Croissant Neuf stage.The Vulva Voce quartet perform on the Croissant Neuf stage. (Image: Newsquest)

They were getting the bulk of the crowd in the middle of the tent moving with their lively, upbeat tunes, but there is ample seating space to both sides for those looking to enjoy the music in a more relaxed way.

A real bonus of heading to a smaller stage like Croissant Neuf is that you can get right to the front, without having to queue for hours and losing all sense of personal space. It was also great to hear a very supportive audience, who clapped and cheered in all the right places.

Next door is the Fat Belly Puppet Café, which offers plenty of healthy options and vegetarian and vegan options, including breakfasts, curries, enchiladas and home-made cakes. Drink options include a range of teas, coffees and cold cans.

Here's what's on the menu.Here's what's on the menu. (Image: Newsquest)

Another nice touch is that you can pick up a postcard to send to your family and friends without having to find a post box; a member of staff cycles from the festival to Pilton’s post office every day to do that for you.

Despite being located just off a busy footpath, Croissant Neuf’s a really tranquil spot to sit down and while away part of an afternoon while waiting for your chosen headliner.

Could I imagine watching Ed Sheeran perform there? No. But who knows? Crowds at Croissant Neuf may already have seen the Ed Sheeran of tomorrow.