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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
How Glastonbury 'beat the touts'
By Caroline Briggs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Michael Eavis
Eavis believes new photo ID has removed the threat of touts

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis explains why the photo ID scheme in place for this year's festival could mean the death of the ticket tout.

As far as I'm concerned, profiteering from a festival and its supporters is a really bad way to make a living.

We have been playing with this touting problem for two or three years now.

Last time we had a separate photo ID and personal identification system and it was all very complicated.

So the only real way of doing it was to put a photograph on every ticket.

It's very simple... because the technology is there to transfer the photograph to the ticket, and because quality of print is so good, the person can be easily identified.

Photo ID, I think, is fantastic. As far as I can see it is 100% perfect and I am thrilled with the result.

I thought there may be more teething problems, but the only real problem has been the disappointed people who pre-registered but could not get tickets.

I have only had six letters of complaint, which is not a lot out of 120,000 people. They didn't get a ticket and spent 6 on a photograph. That's rough, but there was no other way of doing it.

But people realised what we were striving for, and I was very keen to make sure they don't get sold on. The public by-and-large bought the idea and went along with it. They were as enthusiastic as I was.

Across the whole entertainment industry where you have touting problems, it is a very simple solution.

It doesn't cost more than about 1, so it's not serious money.

It's rubbish [for promoters] to say it's too expensive. Their handling charge would cover it easily.

Everyone should do it, basically. Just one single registration for the whole of the summer should cover it.

I know some promoters are keen to look at it. I was talking to one chap the other day who said he was keen to see the whole process through to find out what happens, but someone else said 'no way, we don't want as much control as that'.

The problem is it offers them too much control for some people, but we needed that control. There have always been too many people trying to get in to the festival.

This year the people who have actually bought the tickets in the first place are the ones who are coming to the show.

They won't change hands two or three times, and so the touts didn't buy them the start with.

There is nothing on eBay, but I see someone did a face transplant offer for 2,000 - that's the best thing that's come up!

It's the real festival-goer who actually buys in right from the start, so there is no scope for the touts to get in on day one.

And those people love the festival so much that they would not sell their ticket anyway. Not for all the tea in China.


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