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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 18:17 GMT
Glastonbury 2002 is safe
Mean Fiddler will still control Glastonbury security
Mean Fiddler will still control Glastonbury security
The Glastonbury music festival is set to go ahead after organiser Michael Eavis confirmed that a deal with live music empire the Mean Fiddler will stay in place.

Mr Eavis had been worried that the company, enlisted to take charge of security, would go much further and try to take over other aspects of the event, destroying its "hippy" atmosphere.


Artistic control rests with Michael Eavis

Mean Fiddler
But local councillors had warned that they could withdraw the festival's licence due to security concerns if the deal fell through.

Mean Fiddler, which also runs the Reading, Leeds and Homelands festivals, will still take a 20% stake in the festival, to rise to 40% in three years.

The company's managing director, Melvin Benn, will become operations director at Glastonbury after Mr Eavis called a meeting to clear up uncertainties.

Michael Eavis: Will keep overall control
Michael Eavis: Will keep overall control
"They have reached an agreement which will protect the spirit of the Glastonbury festival," a spokesman for Mean Fiddler told BBC News Online.

"Mean Fiddler's involvement will be the operational management of the festival - things like security, crowd control, perimeter fencing, that sort of thing."

Mr Eavis had been worried that his event's celebrated laid-back identity might disappear and that the festival could be swallowed up by the commercial music empire.

But the Mean Fiddler spokesman added: "Artistic control rests with Michael Eavis."

"It's absolutely imperative that this working arrangement succeeds for the future of the festival."

Glastonbury
This year's Glastonbury is expected to attract 140,000 people
Donations to charities like Greenpeace will stay at the same levels as in previous years, he said.

Mr Eavis said he had some misunderstandings with Mean Fiddler - but was not sure why.

"I suppose I was fundamentally letting go of part of the festival, and that was difficult for me."

Mr Eavis has held the event, which is expected to attract 140,000 people this year, on his Somerset farmland for more than 30 years.

Professional

There had been fears that this year's festival could be called off if the deal fell through.

The local council had demanded professional management for security, which must be water-tight at this year's event if the festival is to have a long-term future.

This year's event is due to take place on 28-30 June, with Blur, Radiohead and Stereophonics among the bands rumoured to be appearing.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis
on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Glastonbury
Has the spirit of the festival changed forever?
 VOTE RESULTS
Should Mean Fiddler be involved in Glastonbury?

Yes
 22.10% 

No
 77.90% 

1733 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

19 Feb 02 | Music
Glastonbury fights for identity
19 Feb 02 | Music
Fiddler calls the tune
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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