United Kingdom | 29 June 2008
Relieved Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has declared this year's festival to be a resounding triumph against the odds,
safeguarding the event's future.
As per usual, he has hailed this year's festival to be the best ever in its 38 year lifespan. This year, however,
there was much more at stake than previously, after the festival failed to sell-out for the first time since 1993 and the
line-up was widely lambasted by the media.
"This was a make or break Glastonbury", he enthused on
the final day of the festival, "I think we've got another four years in the bank now based on the success of
this year, I'm sure we'll sell out again in a couple of hours next time, I think there'll be a huge demand."
in the safety zone now", he added. "There was a danger of losing it last year with all the mud. Then the
media didn't think we had great headlines this year but we proved them wrong. The headliners have been absolutely brilliant.
I mean, I'd say we had double headliners last night."
Closing the door on the media soap opera that has
surrounded the festival's decision to book hip-hop artist Jay Z as a headliner several months ago, Eavis said he was proud
of the rapper for stepping up and proving the nay-sayers wrong.
"It's quite an unusual thing to do, to
bring hip hop music from the streets of New York to Glastonbury. And for it to be really successful - it's a real triumph."
Eavis confirmed that the final few tickets for the event (reported to be 3000 by Thursday morning) had eventually shifted.
sold out on Thursday night by the way. We sold out completely. I’ll admit it was a struggle getting there, but we did,
which is great."
But he will be careful to avoid complacency in future, particularly where the competition
"I think we'll sell the tickets earlier next year so we don't get beaten by the commercial
events again, mentioning no names."
“It’s a very delicate balance between the commercial pressures
for the headline acts", he explained. "Why should they work for me for £200,000 when they can get £3
or £4 million from the commercial events? It’s a very difficult decision.”
Hopefully the festival's
unique reputation will keep the major acts coming to Worthy Farm.
“The only reason they should do it is because
it’s good for them with their record sales, good for their image, good for us and the charities we support.”
will there definitely be a Glastonbury Festival 2009?
"Oh yes, there'll be one next year no fear. We've
got two more to do after this one and then we'll have a year off."
Eavis also acknowledged that the festival
organisers had succeeded in their ambition to attract a younger crowd this year:
"I don't want to trail
over that ground about us not wanting middle aged people. Look at my age and we've got loads of people over 40. But it's
a much younger audience this year and that's worked well. It's a bit like a Sunday school at church. You need youngsters
coming into it or you all grow old together. This year we've certainly got the youngsters.”
to police, the total attendance of this year's festival was 170,000.
There were 336 arrests - up on last year's
160 - but Amy Winehouse will not be one of them, despite physically assaulting a fan in the front row during her Pyramid Stage
performance on the Saturday night.
2200 people were treated at the on-site medical centre for injuries that ranged from
mud-induced ankle sprains to sun-stroke.
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