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Glastonbury Wants License For Life

20 September 2006

Organisers of Glastonbury Festival are looking to secure its long-term future by setting up a charitable trust and applying for a "license forever", according to its founder Michael Eavis...

Following rumours in recent years that the 71-year-old farm owner might be considering retiring the festival sometime soon, Eavis' comments will be good news for the thousands of Glastonbury fans who regularly attend.

Pilton's most famous resident has revealed plans to apply for a permanent site license, instead of the temporary event license usually prescribed, describing the audacious bid as "from here to eternity".

In an interview with the website efestivals he said: "With new licensing laws we are going for a licence forever. From here to eternity – nice slogan isn’t it? We are gonna try and get that past Mendip (Council). It’s a site licence now so it won’t belong to people, it will belong to the site. Personnel will change but the licence will still belong to the farm."

Eavis also gave his strongest indication yet that Glastonbury will carry on long after he has gone, revealing how plans are underway to put the festival into the hands of a charitable trust.

He said: "(My solicitor) said that what he wants to do ... is to form a trust that can carry on. Which is great isn’t it? So there may be a way. I’m sure there are people out there who would be able to do what I do."

His daughter, Emily, who has been involved in the festival for several years, most notably with the new bands programming and unsigned competition, would be heavily involved, he said.

He added: "I’ve got four or five trustees in mind at the moment. So I’ll be relying on them essentially."

Glastonbury 2007 will see an extra 20,000 people attend if its license hearing goes to plan. The festival now requires land from six surrounding fams and covers more than 1,000 acres, with Eavis' Worthy Farm covering just 450 acres.

Eavis, arguably the world's most famous festival founder, has promised the proposed site expansion will mean more room and comfort for everyone, especially campers.

He also revealed efforts to prevent a repeat of last year's flash flooding when hundreds of tents were washed away and people left homeless.

He said: "We’ve also got the massive drainage program that’s been drawn out. We’re doing a lot of movement of water. If we get that flash flooding again, three inches of rain in about an hour and a half, then we can deal with it. I’ve just got 600 2x6 pipes – big ones you see."

Mendip District Council told VF that no application for a permanent license has yet been received from Glastonbury Festival.

A spokesman said: "This is the first we have heard of his intention to apply for a premises licence for life. The Council would have to consider whether a “premises licence for life” would be appropriate for an event of this size and this nature.”

If the council gives Glastonbury the go-ahead, the 2007 event will take place from 22-24 June at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset.

Click here for more, including the current rumours as to who might be playing. 



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Article by: Ross Purdie

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