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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 08:57 GMT
Glastonbury Festival gets go-ahead
Glastonbury
Glastonbury is returning for 2003
Up to 150,000 people are expected at this year's Glastonbury Festival, after organisers persuaded local councillors to grant them a licence.

Event founder Michael Eavis said "a spanking good presentation" had finally won over members of Mendip District Council in Somerset.

In December the council had refused permission for the festival because of concerns about crime and environmental damage, especially in Pilton and other nearby villages.

Organisers, who expect REM to headline on the first night, 27 June, have promised to improve security on the site and the local area.

Police patrols

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis and his team at the meeting
After the decision was reached at 0110 GMT on Tuesday morning, Mr Eavis said: "I've never worked so hard as this in my life with getting people to come along and speak at the meeting.

"It was a really good meeting and we will now concentrate on the problems of the villages for this year's festival.

"No-one cares more about Pilton than I do."

The renewed licence application included plans to appoint a crime reduction team, a villages liaison manager, funding of extra police patrols and private security guards.

GLASTONBURY PLANS
One less stage
Crime reduction team
Village liason manager
Money for extra police in villages
Car park clampdown
Security fence
The Mean Fiddler organisation, which took over the running of the festival last year, said there would also be one less stage than originally planned and that unauthorised car parks would be targeted.

Trouble spots

Permission for the event was granted after seven hours of debate, at a meeting attended by about 100 people.

Avon and Somerset Police statistics showed 1,094 crimes were blamed on the festival last year, compared with 2,431 in 2000 and 2,074 in 1999.

A security fence must be built to keep out fans without tickets and Mr Eavis has also announced plans for closed-circuit TV cameras at known trouble spots.

THE LICENCE
112,500 weekend tickets
3,500 Sunday day passes
34,000 performers' passes
0030 curfew on Friday and Saturday
Midnight curfew on Sunday

Last year saw the erection of a 1m "superfence" to keep out fans without tickets, after thousands jumped the fence at the 2000 event.

Melvin Benn of Glastonbury Festivals said: "I believe this is the most complete application that has ever been submitted for Glastonbury - a top-class festival which has become part and parcel of British culture."

Apart from REM, the other acts due to perform at the three-day event remain a closely-guarded secret.

But the Rolling Stones are rumoured to be on the bill.

Glastonbury raised 1m for charity last year, with money going to Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid as well as causes in the local area.





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SEE ALSO:
Council refuses Glastonbury licence
13 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Glastonbury future 'safe'
30 Jun 02 |  Entertainment


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