EXCLUSIVE: New Dance Zone for Glasto


Photographer:Sara Bowrey

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Ross Purdie | 20 October 2004

With the finishing touches for next year's Public Entertainment License currently being added in time for submission tomorrow, Mean Fiddler's Melvin Benn has been talking to VF about possible changes to the festival site.

The company's Director of Festivals said: "Essentially we are looking at changing the dance tent into a dance area. It may mean having two or three tents and we are currently looking at how we can go about that. It's certainly being looked at but a decision has not been taken yet. If it goes ahead, we may locate it to where the New Bands Tent was last year (over the river) and move that to where the Dance Tent previously was."

With the license application for next year's event due to be considered (essentially the deciding factor in whether Glastonbury 2005 will actually go ahead), Mendip District Council has warned Mean Fiddler that an action-plan must be included to safeguard against late night noise pollution.

Last year, a number of complaints from nearby residents marred an otherwise hugely successful festival in the eyes of the council, prompting environmental officers to threaten organisers with prosecution.

However, Benn denied the planned site changes were designed to reduce antisocial noise. He said: "No, it's entirely to do with looking afresh at that area and thinking, 'Is a single dance tent enough?' The license application itself is coming along well. I am pleased with it at the moment. It's got to be in tomorrow night so we're right in the thick of it."

The director of festivals also denied that the enlarged dance area was being created to help alieve the growing numbers heading to the hugely-popular Lost Vagueness arena late at night - in stark contract to what Michael Eavis said last week. 

The recently honoured festival founder had previously told VF: "We need somewhere to compete with the Lost Vagueness field. It's become very fashionable and what's happening, as a natural progression of its success, is that everyone wants to go there later on, so it gets really packed. We want to create another area similar to it to take the pressure off Lost Vagueness."

However, Benn said: "It's not being done to rival Lost Vagueness because that area has a uniqueness about it. It's part of the site we can just about cope with. What I couldn't afford to do is set up something the equivalent of Lost Vagueness because of noise aspects."     

The Mean Fiddler man also revealed that it was back to 'business as usual' at the company, following two weeks of turmoil and speculation involving the live music promotions firm. Benn initially left the board of directors following chairman Vince Power's announcement that he was stepping down and selling his shares as part of a business deal. Click here for more. 

However, the deal fell through and Benn was reinstated to his position as director of festivals. He said: "It's all very much back to normal, as though it never happened." 

The Glastonbury Festival is due to take place between 24-26 June 2005 at Worthy Farm, Pilton, license permitting. 


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