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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Glastonbury 'helps to cut crime'
Glastonbury Festival
The government was told to encourage "new vibrant, creative live music"
Live music at events such as the Glastonbury Festival cuts crime, a Conservative peer has said during a House of Lords debate on the arts.

More crimes took place in Bath during Glastonbury 2004 than at the music festival, said Baroness Buscombe.

Tate Modern was hailed an arts success story, while peers urged the government to study the UK's creative industries.

The debate coincided with the launch of a government-sponsored drive to make Britain "the world's creative hub".

Speaking in the House of Lords on Thursday, Baroness Buscombe said revellers at the Glastonbury music festival committed proportionately fewer crimes - despite "consuming most of the cider Somerset can produce".

'Golden age'

"More music equals less trouble," she said. "Music can act as an effective catalyst for improving the quality of life at a very local level."

Labour peer Lord Puttnam, meanwhile, praised the Tate Modern gallery as "the most successful museum of modern art in the world".

More than 21.5 million people have visited the site since it opened in May 2000, he said.

In a wide-ranging debate on the role and importance of the arts, government spokesman Lord Evans of Temple Guiting said the creative industries employed two million people and were responsible for 8% of the UK's economy.

"Our theatres are going through a golden age, our orchestras are at the top [and] our popular music continues to lead the world," he said.

Music council

The peer called on the Chancellor to initiate a Treasury-sponsored study into the "true value" of the arts "economically, educationally [and] socially".

His comments came on the same day that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched an initiative to boost the UK's contribution to the arts.

Suggestions include a music council to work with the government on piracy and regulation, a "stocktake" of film policy and a review of creativity in schools.


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