Glastonbury Gets Three-Year Green Light

Anyone who can imagine Michael Eavis and Melvin Benn jumping through hoops will realize how hard it must have been for Glastonbury Festival to get a license compared to how much easier it’s become.

"In the past we have had to jump through the hoops, year after year," Eavis told newswires including BBC after a March 27th meeting of Mendip District Council gave the event the go-ahead for the next three years.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a festival that has a history of battling against the council’s licensing section and overcoming the objections from local residents who want to see the end of the almost annual invasion of more than 100,000 music fans.

Relations with the Mendip authority improved when Eavis cut a profit share deal with Mean Fiddler that included the services of Benn to oversee the license applications.

Eavis withdrew an application for his 2002 event because he knew the police would object on account of the number of gatecrashers at the previous event in 2000.

Having more people on the site than the license permitted had already cost Eavis £6,000 in fines and £9,000 costs at a March 2001 appearance before Frome magistrates. He’d since spent a million pounds on a fence to stop fans from getting in for nothing.

At the time, Grenville Jones from the council’s press department made it clear that a 2002 license application with Benn and Mean Fiddler behind it would probably fare better than one that didn’t.

Since then, the licensing process has become easier and the latest three-year permit means it’s possible to plan future festivals knowing they’ll be approved.

As a condition of the license approval, and no doubt to sustain the new and improved relationship that’s developed between Glastonbury and the local authorities, the festival organisers will meet Pilton Parish Council three times before each year’s event and once after.

As with every Glastonbury, there are rumours about who’s possibly playing and who’s definitely playing.

The most recent says Dame Shirley Bassey will be appearing.

Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, The Who, Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks, Kasabian, Damien Rice, and The Waterboys are also expected to show.

Tickets for this year’s festival (June 22-24) go on sale April 1st. Only the 400,000 people who registered before the February 28th deadline, which involved fans sending their details and a photograph, are eligible to apply.

Eavis is hoping the pre-registration photographic system will help stamp out the touts. Tickets for the last year’s event had a £125 face value but several ended up being sold on through Web sites at prices up to £700.