Aside from a threat of rain June 23 – the festival’s opening day – fans were treated to near-perfect weather the rest of the weekend. Glasto, as it is commonly called, had almost become synonymous with mud thanks to the heavy rains that turned the site into a giant mud pit in years past.
But all wasn’t nearly as sunny as the weather, with 1,140 crimes reported, mostly tent-related thefts, according to The Mirror newspaper. Other publications reported around 200 arrests. Both figures are on a par with last year’s statistics, according to published accounts.
A checkpoint some 40 miles from the festival netted 57 arrests for drug possession. Police confiscated drugs including pot, “magic mushrooms,” amphetamines and, predominantly, Ecstasy.
Published estimates peg the attendance from 100,000 – 150,000, with gate crashers accounting for about 10 percent of the crowd. Freeloaders easily climbed fences around the 11-mile perimeter of the site to avoid the £87 ticket price.
Organizer and host Michael Eavis said the number of gate crashers was closer to 30,000 and blamed security guards for much of the problem.
“We need better security. They’re not brilliant, I must say. We’ve had lots of problems this year,” Eavis told The Guardian. Eavis is reportedly planning to spend close to £1 million to erect a secure fence around his property in time for next year’s festival.
Police fought tent theft by setting up decoy tents in the camping area, according to The Guardian, to dissuade light-fingered festival-goers.
The decoys, called “rat traps,” were rigged with high-tech monitoring equipment and contained tempting goodies like valuables and stereo equipment in full view. The police and the BBC issued 30,000 free tent and property marking kits to help reduce theft.
Oh, and there was music, too.
More than 100 artists played over the course of three days, with David Bowie – making his first Glastonbury appearance since 1971 – closing out the festival with a headline performance the final night.
Nudity was a hit on the Glastonbury stages as well, with members of several bands shedding down to the bare necessities and less.
Tommy Lee joined the Bloodhound Gang on the second stage after his Methods of Mayhem set and let it all hang out, as was duly reported by the famously catty British tabloid press.
One online publication, under the headline “Tommy Lee Gets His Todger Out At Glasto,” provided a valuable piece of investigative journalism by reporting that Lee “also made a spectacle of himself by strutting around the backstage enclosure with a large entourage.”