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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Glastonbury founder rues flooding
Michael Eavis

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis is to consult his neighbours on ways to avoid a repeat of the flooding that disrupted this year's event.

Over 400 tents were submerged after a storm hit the Somerset site on Friday, the festival's opening day.

The worst-affected field was on a farm adjacent to Mr Eavis' land at Pilton.

But Mr Eavis said he thought the festival - which ended on Sunday - had been "pretty damned good, really". Basement Jaxx headline the final day.

While his Worthy Farm is the festival's home, neighbouring farmers also give up their land for the festival, which attracts 112,500 fans.

'Big drain needed'

How Glastonbury's flooded field looked on Sunday

The land affected lies next to a disused railway embankment which runs along the edge of Mr Eavis' dairy farm.

"We can't tear other people's farms about, that's the problem," he told reporters.

"I said to my neighbour, we need to put a really big drain through the railway line."

The next festival will be held in 2007, to give Mr Eavis and his fellow farmers a chance to let their land recover from the strain of the event.

'Bit of a nightmare'

Roger Daffurn and Cassandra Radcliffe
Everyone's really been really friendly and helped us out
Roger Daffurn (left),
who fled his tent
Despite the flooding being "a bit of a nightmare", Mr Eavis said he was remained pleased with the event, which was bathed in warm sunshine on Sunday afternoon.

He would rather have had the rain than "boring continuous sun", he added.

"The sun makes people lethargic and rain stimulates the character."

But he admitted he had to put a "brave face" on while talking about the flooding, which saw people swimming to their tents to retrieve their belongings.

"I went on Radio 1 and cranked it up and said we will survive, and I think that turned it around," the 69-year-old said.

"The people seem to love the festival more and more every year, it's the people who keep me going."

The camping area where people were seen swimming and canoeing after torrential rain on Friday was mostly dry by Sunday.

Flood aftermath

Chris Martin
It took about 40 seconds for him to decide that he was going to do it
Michael Eavis on Chris Martin

Fire services pumped three million litres of water from the area, leaving it strewn with litter, sleeping bags, tent poles and mud-covered tents.

Most tents have been abandoned but owners have been returning to salvage possessions.

Roger Daffurn and Cassandra Radcliffe grabbed important items as the water "came in a massive rush" on Friday morning.

They said: "We're going to take what we can but it's not worth taking most things."

They have been sleeping in friends' tents because they were determined to stay at the festival and have a good time, they said.

"It's my first time to any festival or gig whatsoever, so I'm not letting a bit of rain ruin my fun," Ms Radcliffe said.

Mr Daffurn added: "It's the spirit of Glastonbury - everyone's really been really friendly and helped us out."

Coldplay encounter

Coldplay headlined the event's main Pyramid Stage on Saturday, and Mr Eavis revealed the performance only came about after a chance encounter with singer Chris Martin on London's Regent Street in October 2004.

"He said he'd rather play here in 2006. I said we weren't running in 2006, so that changed his thinking process," he said.

"It took about 40 seconds for him to decide that he was going to do it."

Bellydance Superstars and the Desert Roses
Bellydancers were among Sunday's performers
Mr Eavis also said ticketing for the festival was now under control, with the only people allowed to sell their passes being the festival's neighbours in Pilton.

"I thought the best I can do is to give them a chance to sell their tickets so at least they get 200 or 300 for it. I think they deserve it," he explained.

Meanwhile, police named the man who died at the festival on Friday as 25-year-old Benjamin Shepherd, of Street, Somerset.

Some 84 non-drug related offences had been reported by 0800 BST on Sunday, a 40% drop on the previous year's figure. There had been 93 arrests.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See how music fans coped with the mud



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