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 Friday, 13 December, 2002, 01:41 GMT
Council refuses Glastonbury licence
Glastonbury Festival
Organisers want a licence for 150,000 people
Organisers of the Glastonbury Festival have been refused a public entertainment licence to hold the music event next year.

Mendip District Council in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, denied permission for the festival in June 2003 following a five-hour meeting of its regulatory board.

Councillors rejected the licence application for up to 150,000 people by five votes to four, despite the fact that there were no objections from the police.

I am fairly confident the festival will go ahead

Michael Eavis
Festival organiser Michael Eavis said afterwards he was "not too bothered" by the rejection of the licence and would be appealing to magistrates.

"We lost by one vote and the unfortunate thing was that the members weren't all there and it was a poorly attended meeting," he said.

"We will go to the magistrates court and appeal. The council, police and fire service have been very supportive.

"We are not too bothered and I think it's all going to be fine."

The council's main concerns were over problems during this year's festival in villages near to the site of the music event in Pilton, Somerset.

Angry locals

A council spokesman said: "There were three main issues that dissuaded the board from granting the licence.

"The board didn't accept that Glastonbury Festival Limited would deliver security for the village of Pilton and surrounding villages.

"Secondly, the environmental damage on the area and finally the unsuitability of the site as villagers said the festival had outgrown it.

Michael Stipe
REM announced that they would headline the 2003 festival
"There were several vociferous villagers at the meeting who spoke very strongly against the festival."

Glastonbury Festival Limited now have 21 days to appeal against the decision to local magistrates.

The decision comes shortly after legendary US rock band REM announced their appearance as part of a forthcoming European tour.

They are expected to headline on the first night of the festival. Other headline bands have not yet been confirmed.

At a previous meeting of the board to discuss this year's event, members were told that a total of 1,089 crimes were attributed to the festival and 228 arrests were made.


At that meeting, Pilton residents said that more police and security measures were needed to address their concerns should another festival be held.

Other issues that needed to be addressed before a licence could be approved were unauthorised car parks, non ticket holders turning up, crowd control, the cost of the festival to the public purse, litter, toilets and the power supply.

Gatecrashers in 2000
A 1m security fence was used in 2002 to prevent gatecrashers
This year a 1m security fence was used after police and the council threatened to pull the plug for good following scenes at the 2000 festival when tens of thousands of people breached security and jumped fences.

The 3.5 metre high steel fence ran round the entire 4.5 mile perimeter of the 800-acre site.

The festival next year was set to take place from Friday 27 June to Sunday 29 June and the application was for 112,500 weekend tickets, 3,500 Sunday passes for local residents and 34,000 passes for performers, stewards and staff.

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13 Dec 02 | England
10 Dec 02 | Music
30 Jun 02 | Music
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