Festival tickets: Internet or phone?

Michael Eavis has pledged to sell 40 per cent of tickets over the phone in future, to attract youngsters back to Glastonbury. But is it that simple?

The festival boss claims 16-18 year olds could be more successful buying tickets with their mobile phone than over the internet, arguing that older people have faster internet connections.

His comments followed criticism from some quarters that the festival is losing its edgy atmosphere as more middle class and middle aged fans snap up tickets.

He said: "They're likely to be older people, with the money for the fast connections. By selling 40 per cent of tickets through phone lines, kids will be able to use their mobile phones to get tickets."

But according to statistics gathered in our 2005 Festival Census, youngsters are almost 10 times more likely to use the internet than their mobile.

While our survey found that 8 per cent of 16-20-year-olds use their phone to buy festival tickets, a staggering 76 per cent replied that they preferred to use the internet.

It also turns out that adults aged between 30-60 are more likely to use the phone and less likely to use the internet than their younger festival goers.

While these figures apply to music festivals as a whole, and not just to Glastonbury, it does show the number of fans using the web to buy their tickets.

And it shows that youngsters are generally more internet savvy than their elders.   

Eavis could be right. Perhaps older people do have quicker internet connections and are able to outgun their younger festival fun-seekers with expensive technology.

But perhaps wider questions need to be asked to ascertain why youngsters went missing this year.