Page last updated at 07:33 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 08:33 UK

Half of Glastonbury tickets sold

Rap star Jay-Z
US rap star Jay-Z was a surprise choice for 2008's headline act

Half the tickets for 2009's Glastonbury music festival have been sold already, eight months before the Somerset festival is due to take place.

Tickets went on sale on Sunday morning and by early evening more than half the 137,500 places were snapped up.

Fans were able reserve places by paying a 50 deposit, or they could buy their tickets outright for 175 each.

Spokesman John Shearlaw said he was "chuffed" so many tickets had gone for the event at Worthy Farm, Pilton.

Next year's Glastonbury runs for five days, from June 24 to 28.

'Extraordinary'

The early ticket sale comes after last year's event failed to sell out on the first day.

Despite that, Shearlaw said he had not expected the tickets to sell out so far in advance.

"That would have been extraordinary, without a line-up and eight months before the event," he said.

"You can look at it from both sides because if they had all sold out, there would have been eight months of turning people away.

Michael Eavis
June saw the most diverse audience for 10 years or so, and hopefully this new fairer ticket system will mean that we have a great crowd again in 2009
Michael Eavis

"We are very calm about it - it's a vote of confidence."

He added being able to pay a deposit so early for the ticket helped out students.

"It's brilliant that here we are in October talking about a festival that isn't happening until next year.

'Genuine fans'

Organiser Michael Eavis also said the scheme was to ensure tickets went to genuine fans and make it easier for them to pay by spreading the cost.

On the festival's website, he said: "It's really exciting that people are still remembering one of the best festivals we've ever held and are clearly already looking forward to the next one.

"June saw the most diverse audience for 10 years or so, and hopefully this new fairer ticket system will mean that we have a great crowd again in 2009."

Glastonbury 2008 saw more than 130,000 revellers watch acts like US rapper Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse and veteran songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis told the BBC news website in September that the headliners for next year should be announced "pretty soon".

"It's not Coldplay, it's not U2 and it's not the Rolling Stones," she said.

She also said Franz Ferdinand and The Ting Tings would be "somewhere on the bill" after playing a show for locals.

Ms Eavis said the booking of acts had been brought forward in response to the earlier ticket sale.




SEE ALSO
Festival possibly 'best in world'
30 Sep 08 |  Somerset
Glastonbury hosts 'secret' show
20 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
Glastonbury 2008: the verdict
30 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Festival shrugs off Verve comment
30 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Early sale for Glastonbury 2009
24 Jul 08 |  Somerset
Reporter's log: Glastonbury Festival
29 Jun 08 |  Entertainment

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