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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 11:59 GMT
Was it right to cancel Glastonbury?

The 2001 Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled because of safety fears.

The large numbers of people turning up without a ticket were making crowd control almost impossible, said organiser Michael Eavis.

He added that the cancellation was a message to gatecrashers that they are endangering the long-term prospects of the event. He said Glastonbury would be back next year.

Is he right to cancel it? Do you think Glastonbury has become unsafe? Or are the festival organisers, and the authorities over-reacting?


I'm gutted that it's been cancelled!

Lisa-Jane Bacon, Australia
I'm gutted that it's been cancelled! I've never been and I was planning a trip back home this summer to go with some old Uni friends. I heard New Year's Eve was cancelled too. It sounds as if the UK is getting more and more conservative as the years go by.
Lisa-Jane Bacon, Australia

Having attended Glastonbury 2000, I can totally understand the decision to call off this year's festival. I believe that people jumping the fence added to the increased number of thefts, myself being a victim. The queues for the police station were unbelievable. Hopefully in year 2002 the festival will be safer for all.
Jessica, England

I feel sorry for the dedicated music fans who will miss out on a fantastic event but I think it's a responsible decision taken in the interests of safety. When measures are in place to make everything right I'm sure everybody will realise that it was the right thing to do.
Gavin Pearson, Detroit, MI, USA

Just put your hands in your pockets

Duncan McRae, Glastonbury
I think that Michael was right to cancel the festival. As a local, I had firsthand experience of the numbers. There were too many people breaking in. Why? Because "prices were too high". If everybody paid, then Michael would be able to reduce entry prices and the situation could be avoided! Just put your hands in your pockets.
Duncan McRae, Glastonbury

I am a Hungarian student and I decided this winter to go to Glastonbury for the festival. However, I absolutely agree with the organisers even if it is not particularly good for UK tourism.
Michael Dunai, Hungary

I worked at the festival this year in a safety role. Most of the injuries I saw were caused by fence jumping. The festival wouldn't cost so much if they didn't have to try and stop selfish idiots from jumping the fence. Well done. You've ruined the last truly independent charity festival in Britain with your greed and selfish attitude. Well done Michael Eavis for making the point.
Martin Bentley, UK

The world doesn't owe anyone a living

Dr. Sebastian, UK
"The festival would lose much of its charm and character if it was attended only by middle class families and teenagers. These people should continue to subsidise our weekend of anarchy". Agreed, it would lose some of its charm. But why should they subsidise you? It's not a charitable event, get out of your own backside man. The world doesn't owe anyone a living and Michael Eavis doesn't owe anybody a Glastonbury (let alone a free one).
Dr. Sebastian, UK

I've have helped run one of the dance tents at Glastonbury for the last four years and am more than a little sad that it will not run this year. For sure there were a lot of gatecrashers there last year but I didn't see anybody hurt as a result of overcrowding.
Chris Barlow-Smith, UK

I thought the festival was unsafe when I last attended in 1994 - overcrowding on the Saturday evening was insane. I can only imagine how much more popular it's become since then!
Guy, UK

I was at Glastonbury 2000. I also paid for my ticket; 90 all told. Whilst sitting beside my tent I saw many people walking through gaps in the fence; no security was on hand to combat this. I spoke to a friend of mine who went through a gap in the fence. This gap was created by a couple of entrepreneurs who were charging 10 a head to use their entrance! I do think a year out is a good idea. Glastonbury is not being cancelled forever, so let's wait and see. It should give people who didn't pay for a ticket last year enough time to save up and get one next year!
Al, England

The rest of the world must be mocking us for our party-pooping attitude

Andrew Reid, London, UK
First the New Year celebrations in London were cancelled because of the danger of "drunkenness", now we have the world-famous Glastonbury festival cancelled because it was too busy! The rest of the world must be mocking us for our party-pooping attitude.
Andrew Reid, London, UK

I think it is wrong to cancel the festival. Why, you may ask? I'm GUTTED! All my friends and I look forward to the festival as the only holiday that we can afford. I went to it last year and didn't notice a major increase in the number of people there. The only thing Michael Eavis has achieved is ruining everyone's fun!
Nia Jones, Wales

It's a big field. It shouldn't have any fences.
Gon, London, UK

Complete over-reaction on the part of the police and local council! At no time did I ever feel unsafe in the grounds - and that was as a paying customer. I think the spirit of Glastonbury NEEDS to be kept alive and this includes the infamous gatecrashers. People who cannot afford 80 a ticket should not be victimised for a love of music and festivals.
Lorna Cousins, UK

I understand the police and Mike Eavis' concerns, but Glastonbury wouldn't be Glastonbury without the fence jumping. It preserves a bit of the spirit of the free festival, while people who can afford to pay keep the festival solvent.
Dave, London, UK

The greatest threat to safety at Glastonbury comes from the wide variety of drugs that many festival-goers seem determined to swallow, inject, smoke or stuff up their noses.
Dr Andy Mason, UK

It's his property. He has every right to cancel the event if he deems it unsafe or for any other reason come to that. He also has every right to determine a reasonable method for preventing gatecrashers. What do you think would happen if a lot of riff-raff started gatecrashing Glyndebourne?
Trish Jones, USA

Why pay when the security people just let you walk in unchallenged through the main gates?

Nico, England
As a person who lives close to the festival site and having paid to enter for numerous years, I am glad it has been cancelled. Being there in 2000 and watching a vast number of people entering the site without paying made up my mind not to attend until things were better organised. Why pay when the security people just let you walk in unchallenged through the main gates and if you jump the fence, they will help you down and let you go on your way? Build the "super fence", keep the numbers to a sensible level and next time employ security people who will actually perform their function.
Nico, England

It's tremendous that someone has the courage to put safety issues before short-term commercialism. Well done!
Andrew Smith, UK

Why not split the event over two sites like the Reading Festival? Although this detracts from Glastonbury's charm surely it would alleviate the huge crowds.
Sean Mansell, England

As an organiser of an admittedly much smaller event which attracts 7000 people annually, I understand the problems faced by Michael Eavis. I had similar problems last year and am now having to consider ways of restricting the numbers. Cancellation seems a bit drastic, but I'm sure he wouldn't have done this had there been a viable option.
Jim Coxon, England

I think that Glastonbury is being made an example of.

John, UK
I was at last year's festival and there were no bad overcrowding problems. I have been more crushed at smaller indoor gigs. I think that Glastonbury is being made an example of.
John, UK

I have been going to Glastonbury (legitimately) for some years now. While I will miss the 2001 festival, it has become really apparent that more and more people are breaking in. This means that generally walkway areas around the main stages between acts are becoming super-congested. Especially if a really big act is finishing on one stage and another is then starting on another. I commend Mr Evis on his decision as he and the team are looking towards the future and the preservation of what is now a national institution. Bring it back soon though folks!!!!
Richard Bailey, England

I've worked closely with the organisation of the festival in the past few years and feel that Glastonbury is undoubtedly the best in the world. This is as a result of all the people who love the Festival and what it stands for. This includes both the people who come to it and the people who work very hard to make it happen year in, year out. The people behind the scenes also love the festival and a decision like this is only made for the long term benefit and to ensure its continuation. It's a real shame but I'm sure it will return just as great as before.
Alan Parry, UK

I can understand where he is coming from. I was at Glastonbury last year and it was absolutely fantastic except for the Saturday night when it was seriously overcrowded. It seemed to me and my friends that loads of people arrived just for the Saturday night, as by Sunday all those extra people had gone. It would be a shame to cancel this year. Maybe there is a way of increasing security around the fences on Friday and Saturday nights, especially at the stone circle where the fence was repeatedly knocked down.
Ken Davidson, England

It's a shame that it's been cancelled. I hope that next year it will make the people who fence-jump when they could afford the entry price think twice about cheating a charitable festival.
Simon Wilkins, UK

I think they were right to do so. Overcrowding makes a festival no fun for anyone

Seth Jesuit, UK
Although I am gutted by the decision to cancel it, I think they were right to do so. Overcrowding makes a festival no fun for anyone, let alone dangerous.
Seth Jesuit, UK

YES it was. The huge number of selfish people who jump over the fence year on year are straining the site's ability to cope with the sheer volume of people. The ticket price is admittedly very high but I am sure it could be reduced if Michael Eavis thought he wouldn't have to spend so much on policing and security.
Craig, UK

Glastonbury is the one thing left that this sodden god forsaken country does well. Thanks a lot Mendip District Council
Darren Miller, UK

I don't see why he has to take a year out to figure out how to build a fence

Kye Hutchings, Northern Ireland
I don't see why he has to take a year out to figure out how to build a fence that no-one will get over. Surely that could be worked out in a matter of minutes.
Kye Hutchings, Northern Ireland

I think this is just politicking to ease Mr Eavis' battle regarding last year's supposed breach of licenses. All that can be done is to improve the security, which will cost a few thousand, but probably less than 1 extra per legitimate customer. I am sure they will be willing to pay the extra to help ensure their safety.
Keith, uk

Of course, he can do what he wants on his property. He doesn't want to be sued for some idiotic behaviour and everyone get to pay by a total cancellation of the event - good for him for taking responsible action!
Rahel, USA

These people should continue to subsidise our weekend of anarchy

John, UK
There may as well be no Glastonbury at all if people are going to be forced to pay in the future. The festival would lose much of its charm and character if it was attended only by middle class families and teenagers. These people should continue to subsidise our weekend of anarchy.
John, UK

Safety is paramount. These huge crowds are dangerous, especially with gatecrashers.
Robert Hall, USA

I have been a regular Glastonbury Festival attendee since 1992 (always fee-paying!) and believe that police claims of "disorder" are unjustified. If the reports are true that 200,000 people attended last year, then surely we can relate this to a size of a large town of 200,000 people and compare crime rates. Apart from petty theft, incidents are virtually zero. Many authorities have tried to cancel this event for many years, and I am sorry that they have managed to win this year.
Ed Kingston, England, UK

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See also:

04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Glastonbury 2001 cancelled
21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Glastonbury 'breached licence'
26 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Bowie ends 'best-ever' Glastonbury
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