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Monday, 28 January, 2002, 10:05 GMT
Will Glastonbury ever be the same?
The controversial Glastonbury music festival is set to go ahead after councillors granted it an entertainment licence, despite safety fears.
The festival, which regularly sells more than 100,000 tickets, was cancelled in 2001 due to safety fears raised by police.
Up to 100,000 revellers broke through the event's perimeter fence the previous year without paying, breaching the festival's licence.
But now the festival organiser, Michael Eavis, has promised to spend £2m on security, including a new "super fence" to deter gatecrashers and appease councillors.
With such tight security measures, can the spirit of Glastonbury ever be the same again? What are your favourite Glastonbury memories?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
I have the misfortune of living a few miles from the festival site, and know that each festival will result in the countryside turning into a rubbish dump. The area immediately adjacent to the site is fairly well maintained, but it is dreadful immediately outside these areas.
Michael does a good job. I attended the festival in 2000 with my wife and children I was pleasantly surprised by how civilised everyone was and we all enjoyed the event. I am sure Pilton will be a lot poorer off without the likes of Michael. Glastonbury was my first festival experience and hopefully not my last.
I did jump last time but I loved it so much I'm buying a ticket because I don't want to be a cause of glasto being stopped forever
I love Glastonbury and have been five times but I hope it's not the same. The last time I went in 1999 I could hardly breathe or see any bands that I really wanted to see due to the people that had jumped the fence. Hopefully this year I'll be really able to enjoy myself.
You might say that this merely reflects a change in society but it becomes rather more concentrated in this environment and lends an intensely oppressive air to the event. So, thank you Mr Eavis for organising what once was a truly magical event - I had some wonderful experiences there which will stay with me forever. Glastonbury has become just another generic European music festival and I find that a little sad.
I was one of the thousands of people who gatecrashed the festival in 2000. I visited the festival for the first time in 1999 as a paying customer and was shocked by how easy it was to get in without paying - persuading me to go without a ticket the next time. The new security measures are a great idea. The high level of crime is much more of a threat to the festival atmosphere than the absence of a bunch of freeloaders. My only concern is that the event is likely to sell out extremely quickly this year.
Favorite memory: throwing my mud-caked shoes in the mud with a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Glasters 1998.
The only thing that makes this country awful is the lack of understanding of people like Andrew.
Glastonbury can never be the same as the days of free festivals in the 70s. Although it retains remnants of its roots - it now consists of a strange mixture of Thatcher's generation: demanding dance music, shopping and mobile phone masts on the site. And the hippy element wants everything opposite to this (apart from the drugs perhaps). I've had some of the best weekends of my life there - I just hope it carries on.
Gatecrashers will try to tell you that they're somehow in the "spirit" of the festival. They're simply thieves who steal from the charities that the festival supports and who cause problems for the legitimate festival goers who buy tickets. Acceptance of such theft also brings along a more serious criminal element who dig tunnels and charge people to use them or rob them at knifepoint. There have also been gangs caught throwing tents and all their contents into the back of vans and driving off. The spirit of Glastonbury can't include theft, threat and murder and to stop it they need to stop the gatecrashers and arrest them as the thieves and threat to public safety that they are.
Howard Newman, England
The spirit of Glastonbury will remain as special as ever because it's the people that make it.
I remember my unplanned visit to Glastonbury 3 years ago. There were all sorts of people charging 10 pounds to use their ladder to hop over the fence. I declined on the basis that it would be agianst the spirit of the event to pay 10 pounds. I walked a hundred metres further down and casually crawled through a hole in the fence. The best freebie I've ever had! It certainly gave the event a little extra lift!
I have been blessed with no memory whatsoever of the time I went to Glastonbury on my stag do in 1999. True testament to the event and the bright idea of Billo, my best man.
Something had to be done after two years ago when it was so crowded it was almost impossible to find a place big enough to put up a small tent. But something will also be lost as the people who scammed their way in also contributed that something extra to the atmosphere making the festival what it is. Except the scum who are responsible for the thieving, let's hope the fence keeps them out.
I go to at least six festivals every year and have done since I was 16. I've seen in that time that the advent of the rave and clubbing cultures and the inclusion in festivals has attracted a different type of punter to festivals. I'm not talking like some sentimental crusty but the drug culture involved with the club scene acts like a magnet to scallies, yardies and other undesirables. The level and types of crime committed at an event like the Bulldog Bash for example is totally different to that at Reading or Glasto and the festival spirit is definitely different. Having said that though, Glasto is still second to none - in the world - just remember if you can't afford to lose it, don't take it. Most importantly go there to enjoy it.
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25 Jan 02 | Music
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