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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 09:54 GMT
Mean Fiddler gets Glastonbury stake
Many fans say Glastonbury has a
Many fans say Glastonbury has a "special" atmosphere
Glastonbury music festival has handed over its operational control to one of the UK's biggest live music promoters, Mean Fiddler, which runs other festivals including Reading, Leeds and Homelands.

Mean Fiddler has acquired a 20% stake in Glastonbury, which recently got the go-ahead to take place this summer.

The Reading Festival is run by Mean Fiddler
The Reading Festival is run by Mean Fiddler
It will be in charge of the "nuts and bolts" of making the festival run smoothly, with its managing director Melvin Benn, who began his career at Glastonbury in the 1980s, becoming operations director.

Michael Eavis, the Somerset dairy farmer who has run the event for 30 years, will stay in overall charge and has promised fans that the ethos of the festival and its contributions to charities will not change.

The arrangement will help secure the future of the festival, which has been plagued by security concerns, Mr Eavis said.

"Melvin cut his teeth at Glastonbury through the 80s working on the gates, and he knows the event inside out and understands what makes it tick," Mr Eavis said.

"His subsequent experience at Mean Fiddler has taken him to new heights of festival management."

Michael Eavis: Will keep overall control
Michael Eavis: Will keep overall control
Mr Benn will manage the event during the event - meaning he will be in charge of overseeing things like security, communications, contact with emergency services and other on-site matters.

Mr Benn said he and partner Vince Power had "always loved and respected" what Mr Eavis created at Glastonbury.

"It is a unique and multi-faceted event with a worldwide reputation and a great history.

"Mean Fiddler Music Group is very pleased to play a role in assuring its future."

Many music fans say Glastonbury has a "special", more laid-back atmosphere that makes it different from other, more commercial events.

This year's event is expected to attract 140,000 people
Mean Fiddler also runs the Fleadh, Jam in the Park and Glasgow's Gig on the Green as well as a string of live music venues in London.

Last year, the company said it was planning to expand its entertainment empire with more festivals and branded venues across Europe and the US.

In January, Somerset councillors agreed to let this summer's Glastonbury go ahead after last year's festival was cancelled over safety concerns.

It will take place on 28-30 June, with Blur, Radiohead and Stereophonics among the bands rumoured to be appearing.

See also:

25 Jan 02 | Music
Green light for Glastonbury
20 Aug 01 | Business
Mean Fiddler eyes global expansion
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The Glastonbury legend
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