Glastonbury Festival organizer Michael Eavis has urged non-paying spectators to stay away from this year's event, as a repeat of previous ground-invasions will cause the long-running U.K. festival to
Glastonbury Festival organizer Michael Eavis has urged non-paying spectators to stay away from this year's event, as a repeat of previous ground-invasions will cause the long-running U.K. festival to draw to a close. "I've put 31 years into this [event] -- we've always seen running the show as a real challenge and you don't give it up so readily," Eavis tells Billboard.com. Last year's event was canceled amid security concerns at the grounds in Southwest England.
The 2002 edition of the event was given the green light yesterday (Jan. 24) when the regulatory board of Mendip District Council approved an application for a public entertainment license over the period June 28-30, at a cost of some US $64,727. A spokesperson says more than US $1.41 million) has been spent on upgrading security and safety measures for this year's festival. A retaining fence over 3.5 meters high with anti-tunneling measures and an overhang to prevent climbing will be implemented.
Eavis says "hundreds or thousands" of calls had been received by this afternoon on behalf of artists wishing to perform at this year's event. Rod Stewart and Roger Waters are among the early confirmations.
In a statement posted on the official Glastonbury Web site , the organizers warned: "The whole future rests on there being no repeat of 2000 -- however if 2002 passes without major incident the future of the festival is guaranteed for many years to come."
Eavis was prosecuted last year and fined US $7,036 and legal costs for breaches of the license and safe number of people allowed on the site in 2000. Separately, he was fined US $1,407 for noise-related complaints. He risks jail if prosecuted again.
"I feel that we're in a bit of a privileged situation -- we've got the enthusiasm because so many people want to come, and we've got the courage to see this one through. We have to, but for god's sake, don't come without a ticket." The council has limited the sale of tickets for the full three-day event to 100,000.
"Glastonbury has to continue because it is a really unique event and is quite invaluable also from the point of view of the work we do abroad, such as the water wells in Ghana, and work in Vietnam," Eavis says. The event raises funds for such charities Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WaterAid, as well as various local organizations.
In 2000, Glastonbury celebrated its 30th anniversary with performances from Travis, the Chemical Brothers, and David Bowie, who headlined the initial festival in 1970.
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