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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Glastonbury fans back ID checks
By Tom Bishop
BBC News Online at the Glastonbury Festival

Before the rain: Fans have to carry ID this year - but most do not mind
Music fans at this weekend's Glastonbury Festival are having to carry proof of their identity around with them as part of measures to beat ticket touts at the event.

Most are backing the scheme - but they are hoping for an easing of ticket restrictions, which resulted in many being unable to take friends this year's festival.

For the first time each Glastonbury reveller was only able to buy two tickets, each personalised with the name of its user.

Visitors were required to produce proof of identification on arrival at the Somerset festival, and on request by staff during spot checks throughout the weekend. If unable to do so they faced ejection from the festival.

Before the festival began, organiser Michael Eavis asked visitors to bring a driving licence, passport or household bill with them to produce along with their ticket.

Suzanne McCusker, 31, from Cleethorpes, is on her fourth visit to Glastonbury over a period of 12 years.

"The new system is much better - it stops the touts," she said. "I carry my ID in my bag at all times."

While saying she "loves" the festival - "I would live here if they let me" - she added that she would never buy a ticket from a tout. "I would rather not go."  

Jackie Bee and Chris Burley
Missing a friend: Jackie Bee and Chris Burley
South Londoners Chris Burley, 34, and Jackie Bee, 30, support the ticket check scheme in principle.

"I've bought a bank statement but have not been carrying it around with me," Mr Burley admitted.

"We've been camping away from the centre and I assumed they would only be checking around the bigger stages."

Like many people, the couple previously bought numerous Glastonbury tickets on behalf of friends but were restricted from doing so this year.

"One friend usually comes with us but she did not get a ticket, so we are not as big a group as normal," Ms Bee said.

"We have to pretend we're not enjoying ourselves as much as usual otherwise she will become jealous."

By Friday afternoon Mr Burley was not certain that the ticket restrictions had helped keep numbers at the festival down to 112,000.

"It's funny but it feels busier to me," he said.

Tom Reynolds and Richard Stenning
The booking system was awful but I don't know what else can be done
Richard Stenning (right)
Like the majority of Glastonbury revellers, friends Richard Stenning, 19, and Tom Reynolds, 20, from Croydon, south London, have so far only been required to produce their identification documents on first entering the festival site.

"I would only show my ticket and ID to someone who looked official," said Mr Reynolds, before adding: "To be honest, I would show it to anyone."  

Mr Stenning supported tighter ticket controls, despite the fact that his Glastonbury party had dwindled from 11 people to three as a result.  

"I had to go online for 24 hours to buy our tickets," he said.

"The booking system was awful but I don't know what else can be done. At least it showed that those people who eventually got tickets were dedicated to attending the festival."  

Glastonbury security manager Brian Schofield said nobody had objected to the ID checks on entry to the festival.

"It does not seem to have delayed people getting into the festival by any significant length of time," he told BBC News Online.

Festival spokesman Crispin Aubrey said: "Even though security is higher than it used to be, festival-goers seem to be accepting that. They are happy they can leave their tents without anything being stolen or even their tents being stolen."


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