Lost Vagueness boss: 'Glasto's lost its edge'

Roy Gurvitz explains reasons for Glastonbury split

Lost Vagueness boss: 'Glasto's lost its edge'

04 February 2008

Roy Gurvitz says the increasing involvement of the American company Live Nation is having a negative affect on the Somerset festival.

He announced last week that Lost Vagueness would be parting company with Glastonbury Festival after a relationship spanning 10 years.

Lost Vagueness grew from a modest casino into a massive and hugely popular late night area spanning eight venues.

But Mr Gurvitz claims the creeping commercialisation of the festival, since Festival Republic (itself owned by Live Nation) took over some of its running in 2002, has made it impossible for him to continue.

He told BBC 6Music: “Up until now, that company took a back seat but now it's certainly starting to influence the line up of bands and the general feel of the festival.

"It’s not too sad that we have pulled out. Things move on and things change. There were a number of procedures last year that we were not particularly happy with.

“Glastonbury has changed. It’s becoming more commercial and more sterile. It’s definitely losing its edge. I had to fight to keep an area there and the rest of the festival is all being tidied up and compartmentalised. It’s being made cleaner and more corporate.”  

Festival Republic took over an operational stake in Glastonbury Festival after the 2000 event, when fence jumpers more than doubled the capacity amid scenes of chaos.

A 'superfence' was installed for the next festival in 2002 but some fans have since complained that the festival has lost some of its atmosphere.

Nonetheless, Glastonbury will still be one of the most sought after festival tickets this year and hundreds of thousands are expected to register for tickets, regardless of the loss of Lost Vagueness. 

A statement on the Lost Vagueness official website states: "After 10 monumental years, the 'festival within the festival' which is Lost Vagueness will not be happening at Glastonbury 2008.

“It is rumoured that the vacuum created by the Lost Vagueness departure, will be filled by some ex Lost Vagueness crew and others, attempting to re-create a similar production in the same area.

“In the absence of any Glastonbury festival press release on this matter, we do not want you to be misled by this omission.

“Reproduction of our shows, without our permission or endorsement has been tried before, and however flattering these imitations may be, they will never come close to the real thing.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our fans for their continued support throughout the years who have followed our shows at the festival, and hope this announcement will not disappoint too many of you.

“To allay that disappointment, Lost Vagueness will be participating in other events and ventures around the country. Announcements will be made shortly." 

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis said: “We brought a brand new area into Glastonbury Festival last year when my daughter Emily created The Park, which was a major addition to the festival.

As part of that progressive change this year we have asked Debs Armstrong and Chris Tofu (of Continental Drifts) to programme the William’s Field areas of the site, previously occupied by Lost Vagueness. They have a new vision that I find inspiring, and the whole area will be divided into three separate fields and run by different individuals to produce a stunning result.

“After six festivals with Lost Vagueness it is time to move on. I wish Roy and his team well in their future activities but for Glastonbury it is another step forward in bringing in new ideas and creative thought.”

Full details of Glastonbury's new late night entertainment area are expected to be announced in March.

UPDATE: Lost Vagueness has been in touch with Virtual Festivals to explain their comments made to BBC 6Music relating to Live Nation.

A statement read: "6Music has misquoted Roy and attributed to him what could only be regarded as sabre rattling against Live Nation, owners of Festival Republic, as this is misleading. We will be taking this up with 6Music as a matter of urgency as it is enormously destructive to criticise Live Nation's activities and pinpoint them as purveyors of Glastonbury's supposed sanitisation.

"Lost Vagueness enjoys good relations with the company in other areas of its activity and it would therefore be hypocritical to draw them into the whole debate about why exactly Lost Vagueness is no longer a feature at the festival which is not at all the reason for not being there but which again is as stated - morale, misunderstandings, money, mud and more mud."


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