Glastonbury Festival 2003 - LICENCE REFUSAL

Glastonbury Festival 2003 - LICENCE REFUSAL

John Bownas on 12 December 2002

Glastonbury Festival 2003 - the license

Micheal Eavis arrived promptly at 6pm at the Mendip District Council Regulatory Board license hearing tonight. He was cautiously optimistic as he gave a short preliminary press briefing before the start of proceedings.

Given the success of last years security measures and the feeling that most of the key authorities have subsequently relaxed their major reservations over the ability of the festival organisers to control numbers on the site we hope that this optimism is going to be well founded.

The night promises to be a long one for everyone concerned, but as we receive any news of the proceedings we'll be amongst the first to publish them here.

====> The application is for an increase in numbers. This is as expected and commented on by us for some time. 2003 will see 150,000 people permitted into the site if the application goes through as is to be hoped.

====> No initial objections have been raised by the first few agencies and organisations who have been given the opportunity to comment on the application - this includes the fire and ambulance services and the local Parish Councils.

====> Glastonbury Festivals case is put forward in a  presentation by Mark Cann. His central point regarding the security issues is that 2002 showed everyone that the new measures had clearly worked. What resulted was a situation were the focus of the police became the situation outside the perimeter fence as a large number of people found that they had no way in. It is hoped that this effect will lessen in 2003 as the message will be clearly understood that 'no ticket, no entry' means exactly what it says on the tin... The overall message however will be one of 'no ticket, no festival!' What the organisers want to get across is the basic concept that if people keep turning up without tickets and causing local problems outside the site then this is what is most likely to jeapordise the future of what is now a well organised and managed event inside the fences.

====>Mark made a range of points concenrning upgrades to the arrangements for 2003. These included:-

- the usual (hush-hush) change to pass-out rules
- 33% more security (mainly outside the fence)
- better urinals (so less stream polution we hope)
- reduction in unauthorised fireworks (all the banging will have to be inside your tents next year)
- less litter (well, more litter pickers)
- smoother dispersal of people leaving the site on Monday morning (unless you are a trader - you'll get held back to let campers off more easily...)
- more secure site for camper vans (and a seperate access)
- additional policing paid for by the Festival (over and above the recommendations)

====>With all of this said, there were of course then a range of objections from locals, although the local Avon & Somerset Police did seem a lot less disposed to make a case against the licence this time around. The meeting adjourned briefly before locals could have a more formal say about matters.

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