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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Glastonbury gall at 'luxury' tickets
Glastonbury Festival from the air
Helicopter passengers will get a view of the festival
Glastonbury music festival organisers are distancing themselves from a plan to give wealthy music fans luxury hospitality and helicopter travel to the event.

At least four helicopters will be used to ferry fans, music executives and bands to and from the festival - which has become famous for its hippy history, snaking traffic queues and basic toilet facilities.

Glastonbury is known for its hippy traditions
Glastonbury is known for its hippy traditions
They will fly into a field owned by an entrepreneur who has moved next to Michael Eavis, the dairy farmer who stages the event on his Somerset land.

But festival organisers have criticised the choice of transport for being bad for the environment, and have insisted that they have nothing to do with the scheme.

"As we are very much supporters of Greenpeace, we're not desperately keen that he use environmentally-unfriendly means of transport and we're not promoting it," festival manager Dick Vernon told BBC News Online.

"It is a separate venture by a separate company. We acknowledge his right to have his own business, and there's nothing we can do about it."

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis
Mr Edgley has moved near Michael Eavis
The corporate hospitality had nothing to do with the festival, he added.

The luxury packages are being offered by Mark Edgley, who recently bought the house near Mr Eavis in Pilton, Somerset, and wanted to smooth the festival experience for those who did not like the traffic jams, endless crowds and mud.

"It will be a sanctuary from the festival," he said.

"I've tried to make it as luxurious as possible because I'm assuming that everything is pretty hard work inside the festival."

A select group of people paying 650 per day will have helicopter travel plus access to a VIP marquee with their own toilets, showers, bars and a 24-hour barbecue.

Toilets at Glastonbury
Glastonbury has infamous toilet facilities
They will include a number of stars - and Mr Edgley says he has already taken bookings from some of the biggest bands on the bill.

"I'm not allowed to say who the bands are - but they're good," he said. "They are really good."

The line-up for the festival will not be announced until all 100,000 tickets have been sold, but those rumoured to be appearing include Rod Stewart, The Charlatans and Blur.

Mr Edgley is also offering festival-goers an 85 "traffic-buster" ticket to fly from Castle Cary, 10 miles away, to his field, which is 500 metres from the site's main gate.

See also:

20 Feb 02 | Music
Glastonbury 2002 is safe
19 Feb 02 | Music
Glastonbury fights for identity
25 Jan 02 | Music
Green light for Glastonbury
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The Glastonbury legend
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