Glastonbury Festival Down But Not Out
Organizers of the U.K.'s long-running Glastonbury Festival say they are "confident" they will be able to overturn a local council's decision to pull the plug on next year's event.Organizers of the U.K.'s long-running Glastonbury Festival say they are "confident" they will be able to overturn a local council's decision to pull the plug on next year's event. Yesterday (Dec. 12), Mendip District Council in Somerset, England, rejected the license application for up to 150,000 visitors next June, after opponents of the festival cited concerns of environmental damage and for its impact on surrounding villages.
The latest news comes within days of the announcement that R.E.M. would perform at the event as part of a forthcoming European tour.
However, festival organizer and founder Michael Eavis was upbeat that, having taken great strides to overhaul the festival's security infrastructure, support would swing back in its favor. "We're going to appeal. We've done it before and we'll do it again," Eavis tells Billboard.com. "I've been to the Magistrates [court] before and I've had it overturned before, and we've got a much better structure now then we had then. I've got every confidence that we can win. We've got a cast-iron case, really."
Earlier in the year, Eavis forged an alliance with Vince Power's Mean Fiddler Music Group in which the London-based events and music venue operator agreed to deliver operational management in exchange for a 20% stake in the festival. In addition, more than $1.4 million was spent constructing a fence around the ground's perimeter in an attempt to obstruct would-be gatecrashers.
Eavis explained that his fellow organizers came up against a group of "die-hard antis" during the lengthy meeting yesterday, and many of its vocal team of supporters had failed to show up, possibly due to "apathy" resulting from the holiday season.
Members of the Glastonbury Festival organization will hold a meeting on Jan. 10, involving legal representatives and Mean Fiddler managing director Melvin Benn, to discuss the next stage in its appeal.