Organiser Michael Eavis has declared Glastonbury 2002 "a 100% success", with a 50% drop in crime and none of the overcrowding problems that dogged previous years and threw the future of the festival into serious jeopardy.
[l-zone1]Eavis added, “We actually got control back again after all these years. The new fence and the campaign, which told people not to come if they didn’t have a ticket, was an amazing success. People are starting to respect the event for what it is”.
[r-zone3]Avon and Somerset Police reported 270 arrests during the event, mostly for robberies and thefts. There were two deaths over the weekend – one, a hit-and-run accident, and the other was found dead in his tent, although the police are not treating the latter as suspicious. Considering the festival is the size of a small town when in full swing, these figures are actually surprisingly low.
[l-zone2]Kept outside the perimeter by the £2m security measures, the ubiquitous criminal element turned their attentions to the local village of Pilton, where a few houses were burgled. Eavis held a “vociferous” parish meeting last Wednesday night to calm local concerns and was confident that the crime problems outside the fence would be resolved next year, allowing the event to go ahead as planned.
[r-zone5]Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Mean Fiddler Group, who were drafted in on a 20% stake to help with the security and administration, said, “The people who turned up and caused trouble outside were the criminal element, not festival-goers, and they were out to prey on the customers.”
[l-zone4]It can certainly be said that 2002 saw the Glastonbury Festival put on trial. Fortunately, the case seems to have been adjourned for the moment, and its future is looking rosy. From our experiences, the festival has only benefited from the new security measures, and 2002 was without doubt the best one so far in terms of atmosphere and organisation.
We did notice one other change, which was also keenly observed by Michael Eavis, who said, “There’s certainly a sea-change going on out there right now – We’re attracting a more respectful audience and that was noticeable this year. The amount of 17 and 18 year old students was grossly reduced, however you can’t have the nice kids without the bad ones, so we had no choice really”.
We’ll see you in the Tipee field next year then!