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Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Glastonbury future 'safe'
Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis
The capacity could be increased, Mr Eavis said
The future of the Glastonbury Festival is safe after security measures and a publicity campaign kept gatecrashers out of this year's event, organiser Michael Eavis has said.

It's better than working down the mines, isn't it?

Michael Eavis denying retirement plans
This year's smaller, safer crowds and lower crime rates made it unlikely that the local council, who had raised concerns about the event continuing, would block the 2003 festival, Mr Eavis said.

Future festivals would be "more gentle" to follow the mood of this year's event, which would be remembered as "the mellow one," according to the 66-year-old farmer who has been hosting the event on his land since 1970.

Organisers had avoided booking heavy rock bands to improve safety by reducing "crowd-surfing" and "mosh-pits", where fans jump around violently.

"I'm sure the festival is secure now," Mr Eavis said on the 2002 event's final day, Sunday.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis founded the festival in 1970
"We do have a future, but it must be a bit different to previous years," he said. "It might be slightly more gentle."

Next year's capacity could be increased to let an extra 20,000 people in, on top of the 100,000 who bought tickets this year.

Mr Eavis said he had feared that the last event, in 2000, would be the last one after police estimated that up to 100,000 gatecrashers got in.

Mellow: A dance tent visitor relaxes
"It was very dangerous, I was told," he said.

"So we built the fence and the campaign was really taken on board by everyone."

Safer event

Avon and Somerset Police have hailed the 2002 festival as a safer event, with 516 crimes reported by 0800 BST on Sunday - down 54% on the same time in 2000.

The arrests included three festival security guards, who were charged with robbery and were appearing before Bath magistrates on Sunday following an incident in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Eavis said 400-500 ticketless fans had tried to find ways into the 800 acre site during the weekend - but that the vast majority were turned away.

Police in Devon believe some of those made their way to an illegal party at Smeatharpe airfield, near Honiton, where 700 people gathered on Saturday night.

Gwen Stefani
Softer sounds: No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani
But Mr Eavis praised travellers who had contributed to one area of the festival, called Lost Vagueness.

"They brought a refreshing medieval sort of atmosphere to part of the site," he said.

"This was the sort of thing we used to do everywhere in the early days. The same creative fun that the travellers brought we hope we can do again."

The money spent on improved security was a "good investment", Mr Eavis said, and added that he had no plans to retire.

He added: "It's a life's work. It's better than working down the mines, isn't it?"

Final day

Festival-goers were enjoying the final day of music on Sunday, with stars including Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Air and Groove Armada performing.

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris entertains fans on Sunday
Tens of thousands turned out to see Rolf Harris play a lunchtime performance, before giant screens showed the second half of the World Cup final, in time to see the two Ronaldo goals for Brazil which beat Germany 2-0.

The cancellation of an appearance by Welsh band Super Furry Animals opened up the slot in the programme, organisers said.

Australian Daniel Robinson, 23, from Melbourne, called the festival "absolutely sensational".

"I've had the greatest time, I haven't thought about anything outside the fence," he told BBC News Online.

"A lot of people at home know about the festival and they are all really jealous."

Chris Le May, 32, from London, added: "It is a lot quieter this year, we came two years ago and it was absolutely manic.

Brazil fan at Glastonbury
This Brazil fan got to see her team win
"It's a completely different atmosphere this year, more relaxed and chilled out."

A mass exodus was expected on roads and railways on Monday, with fans advised to avoid leaving during the peak time of 0900-1500 BST.

The proceeds from the festival mean that charities, including Oxfam, WaterAid and Greenpeace, will share 750,000 and Mr Eavis said he hoped future years would see that sum rise to 1 million.

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30 Jun 02 | England
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