Live In-Depth Coverage of the Glastonbury 2003 Licence Hearing

Live In-Depth Coverage of the Glastonbury 2003 Licence Hearing

John Bownas, Sara Bowrey on 16 February 2003

Glastonbury Festival 2003 - Licence Hearing

Monday 17th Feb 2003 is the second showdown between the festival organisers and the local Council. If the revised plans are to the liking of the authorities then it's all steam ahead for another glorious long weekend at Worthy Farm at the end of June.

As day broke on 17th February Pilton village found itself the victim of what is more commonly an urban crime. Graffiti was daubed over walls and houses that shouted out both for and against Glastonbury Festival. Festival emprisario and local farmer Michael Eavis responded immediately by despatching a clean-up team. However, as the licence hearing convened this evening, things took a bizarre turn as the police called Councillors from the room to discuss a 'point of law'...a point that almost certainly related to the earlier graffiti incident.

After a 20 minute adjornment however, the Councillors returned, and proceedings restarted.

The first item of clarification concerned the resolution passed at the last ]hearing. It was confirmed that it had not been the intention of the board to indicate that it would never again consider an application for a festival on this site. In fact it was confirmed that such a refusal would, in itself, be illegal.

Another delay for a late letter to be photocopied and circulated to the Board.

The board was the advised of relevant considerations for the decision:-

Fitness and reliability of the applicant (Melvin Benn in this case) and ability to deliver what is in the application; suitability of the site and off site security; Section 17 of Crime & Disorder Act.

The new application is tabled:

150,000 tickets, with Melvin Benn as the applicant in his personal capacity.

This switch of applicants (it was previously Glastonbury Festivals 2003) causes some comment from Board Members.

Reservations are voiced by the local police superintendant about documentation from Crime Concern. He wants to know who has put this report together ("Rob George", responds Melvin Benn) and upon what basis the author purports to be experienced in the field of festival event licencing.

Melvin explains that Rob George originally advised local Councillors about a previous application. He also expands on the overall roll of Crime Concern in putting together the Glastonbury crime reduction strategy linked with Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act.

The superintendent is not satisfied, commenting that on first reading this doesn't look like a well written document. He asks for - and is granted - a 30 minute adjornment.

It's 7.15pm and looks like being a long night...

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