Mendip Council approves licence for festival

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The Independent Online

The Glastonbury festival looks set to go ahead this summer after organisers convinced councillors to grant them an entertainment licence.

The three-day event, which is held at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset, was cancelled last year because of crowd safety fears. The last time the event was held, in June 2000, it was attended by 200,000 people – double the licensed number – and the organiser Michael Eavis was fined £6,000.

But after a six-hour meeting of Mendip District Council's regulatory board last night, fears over safety were quelled and councillors approved the licence. Mr Eavis was granted a licence for a crowd of 140,000 to cover the costs of the extra security measures needed to control numbers at the largest event of its kind in Europe.

Mr Eavis said: "We have been working on this for over a year and are all very pleased and have a lot of work to do now.

"People should not come without a ticket. We have to plead with people not to come along unless they do.

"It's a make or break thing for us, but we really do have to make it work this year. We've got a full team of energetic people that really want to make it work and people with a great track record, so we are confident that we can do it."

Mr Eavis hinted that Rod Stewart and Pink Floyd would be among the acts this year.

Earlier this week, Avon and Somerset police withdrew their objections to the application, clearing the way for the licence to be approved at last night's meeting in Shepton Mallet.

But police did raise serious concerns about how some of the promises in the application would be delivered and how non-ticket holders would be dissuaded from attending.

Chief Superintendent John Buckley said: "The crucial question is whether they can deliver the proposals. I'm not convinced they can. Our force is small and we may have trouble policing the event due to operational commitments."

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