‘WE’VE FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT!’

The festival organiser says things are looking "very, very good" for the future... and reveals who his favourite band of the weekend was!

MICHAEL EAVIS has expressed his relief that this year’s GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL has turned itself around completely from 2000’s “worst possible situation”, and predicted a bright future for the event.

Speaking backstage this afternoon (June 29) on the closing day of the festival, which saw 133,000 people on-site at its peak yesterday, organiser Eavis said that they had managed to wipe out their two biggest problems – fence-jumpers and people causing disturbance in the village of Pilton surrounding the festival site. Both were issues which had caused massive problems and disharmony with the surrounding area and put the festival’s licence in jeopardy.

“After 33 years we’ve finally got it right!” he exclaimed. “Last year was the fence, this year was the security, and there’s nobody out there [outside the festival site].

“People have taken all the messages and without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best festival we have ever had.” And on an upbeat note, he added: “Things are looking very, very good for the future.”

There has been growing speculation in the last few years over whether Eavis will retire, and on today’s evidence, he seemed to be giving no indication that he had any plans to hang up his wellies, as far as the festival is concerned.

Interestingly, he said that he would like to see more young people coming, commenting that there appeared to be a slightly older, working crowd buying tickets via the internet this year. He said that he would like to see more students, and indicated that he may take steps next year to encourage them to come along.

He said he had been walking around the site all morning, and “the spirit is as good as ever”. He continued: “There has been a lot less crime, robberies and no trespassing off-site. I never would have believed we would have got this far. [The festival in] 2000 was the last of those [fence-jumping and troubled] years. When the fence came down, we really thought that was it. We’ve got a lot going for it now. We’ve got out of what I thought was the worst possible situation in 2000.”

Eavis has also made time to catch some bands this weekend, and said that his favourite of the weekend so far has been Radiohead.

How was it for you? NME.COM wants to know what you thought of Glastonbury 2003. What are your stories? Who were the best bands? How does it compare to other years? And who would you like to see headline in 2004? E-mail news@nme.com.