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Friday, 30 March, 2001, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Glastonbury fined over gatecrashers
The Glastonbury festival
The Glastonbury festival: Held on Eavis's farm
Organisers of the Glastonbury Festival have been ordered to pay 15,000 fines for allowing thousands of gatecrashers to enter the event.

Michael Eavis, founder of the Glastonbury music festival, admitted two breaches of his licence at last year's event.

Magistrates in Frome, Somerset, were told an estimated 200,000 people attended the festival in June 2000 - double the number allowed under Eavis's licence.

Eavis, 65, admitted breaching the licence on behalf of his firm Glastonbury Festivals Ltd.

The prosecution was brought by Mendip District Council, who said the event was dangerously overcrowded.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis: Trying to resolve gatecrashing problem

Chairman of the bench Chris Edwards said Eavis had always gone to "an enormous amount of trouble to run an efficient and above all safe festival".

Excuses

But added the magistrates could not ignore these breaches.

He said: "It will not be sufficient for you to come back next year with the same excuses.

"You must get the security and security personnel up to date as well as try to avoid the post festival noise."

Earlier David Wood, for Glastonbury Festivals Limited, blamed the breaches on fence contractors and security staff.

He told the magistrates the contractors had secured only 50% of the perimeter properly.

Wood added that the fines would come out of the 750,000 the festival made for charitable causes last year.

After the hearing Mr Eavis said he believed he had been treated fairly and insisted the 2002 event would go on with better security.

He said: "This is the price you have to pay for people hopping over the fence.

'Living in fear'

"We have really got to persuade people to pay to get in next year."

Police were also needed on the fence, he added.

Eavis estimates the festival brings 10m into the Somerset economy every time it is held.

He has held the world-famous Glastonbury festival, which attracts high-profile bands and thousands of music fans, on his Somerset farm since 1970.

This year, however, the three-day event has been cancelled over safety concerns.

'Living in fear'

The fine follows Eavis, who is also a dairy farmer, confirming he is to hold a fundraising concert for the farming community devastated by the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Eavis said his 50-strong herd of Friesian cows has so far shown no signs of having contracted the disease.

But he said: "We are living in fear that it will happen to us."

Eavis said he had had conversations with organisers of the Royal Bath and West show about the possibility of using their site, close to his farm, as a venue for a fundraising concert.

He confirmed a date of 15 September but added he had not approached any bands about performing.

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See also:

04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The Glastonbury legend
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Glastonbury 2001 cancelled
26 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Bowie ends 'best-ever' Glastonbury
26 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Glastonbury in pictures
29 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Stars campaign for Glastonbury's return
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