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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 12:38 GMT
Eavis looks to Glastonbury future
Michael Eavis is 66 - and says he could go on past 70
Michael Eavis is 66 - and says he could go on past 70
Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has said he hopes to host the music festival for at least another four years after this year's event was given the go-ahead despite safety fears.

Mr Eavis, 66, whose Somerset farmland is transformed into the site for Europe's largest music event, told BBC News Online he will keep hosting the legendary event until he is 70 - and possibly beyond.

You can't take it down, you can't get over it, you can't get under it

Michael Eavis on the new Glastonbury fence
This year's festival was given the green light after councillors endorsed his 2m safety plans on Thursday.

But Mr Eavis's long-term plan could still be scuppered if gate-crashers marr this year's event.

Glastonbury 2002 would have a "formidable" line-up of bands, he said - although he refused to announce any names.

But he did say The Who, who had been tipped to play, would definitely not be appearing.

New 2m security measures
3.6m fence
663 security staff
12 CCTV cameras
Six watchtowers
'No ticket, no entry'
Car park surveillance
Free bus to take gatecrashers away
"We hope to run until I'm 70 - that's the idea," he said. "Who knows, I may be keen to carry on."

"Some of these old 'uns go on - look at Rupert Murdoch. So there's no reason to stop when you're 70. And I'm feeling incredibly fit."

Council licence

Members of Mendip District Council's Regulatory Board approved an entertainment licence for the festival by 10 votes to three after a debate that lasted until late on Thursday night.

If the council decision had gone the other way, that would have also signalled the end for Glastonbury, Mr Eavis said.

Thousands of people have crashed the party in previous years
Thousands of people have crashed the party in previous years
"It would have been curtains, I think," he said. "One year off is one thing, but two years off is too much."

Last year's event was cancelled in 2001 due to safety fears raised by police.

And if this year's safety measures do not work, it is likely to be the last festival ever held.

Councillors were convinced by his plans for a new 1m "super fence" and another 1m for extra security staff and other measures.

The fence was "a different ballgame" to previous years, with interlocking sections meaning it could not be taken apart, he said, as well a sloping top section making it impossible to get over.

We've got a formidable line-up - we can't go wrong

Michael Eavis
"You can't take it down, you can't get over it, you can't get under it because you've got a metal road around the outside," Mr Eavis said.

Some of the biggest names in rock are expected to play, with names like Rod Stewart and former Pink Floyd songwriter Roger Waters reportedly keen.

"Everyone's playing here, really, in some way or another," Mr Eavis said.

"We've got a formidable line-up. We can't go wrong really."

But The Who were "gutted" because they will be in the United States at the time of the festival and will not be able to appear, he said.

Aerial view, 2000
The last event was held in 2000
The festival, which will issue 140,000 tickets, will take place over the weekend of 28-30 June.

Police said they still had reservations over safety and crime this year - but did not block the licence application.

Glastonbury is seen by many as the highlight of the UK festival season, and is held on Mr Eavis's farmland, where the first festival took place in 1970.

The event also raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities such as Greenpeace and Water Aid.

Michael Eavis
talks to BBC News Online about festival security and plans
The BBC's Jane Warr
"A six-mile ring of steel will surround the site"

Has the spirit of the festival changed forever?
See also:

25 Jan 02 | Talking Point
Will Glastonbury ever be the same?
25 Jan 02 | Music
Green light for Glastonbury
22 Jan 02 | Music
Gatecrashers threaten festival
21 Jan 02 | England
Way cleared for Glastonbury
12 Dec 01 | England
Internet campaign backs festival
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The Glastonbury legend
28 Jun 99 | Glastonbury 1999
Eavis' labour of love
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