PETITIONS DON’T WIN PRIZES!

Michael Eavis has reiterated that the festival will definitely be back in 2002, when he promises it will be better than ever...

The campaign to “save GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL” has now gathered more than 100,000 signatures – despite MICHAEL EAVIS reiterating that it will definitely be back on next year, and better than ever.

Speaking at the NME Carling Awards on Tuesday (February 6), Glastonbury founder Eavis said he was pleased at the support, but that he already had a few names confirmed for next year’s return, which he promised will be “stronger than ever”.

However, he added only the stopping of fence-jumping would ensure the festival’s future in the long-term, and that if he can prove to the local council that the £1million-plus security measures he is installing, including the famous “super-fence” around the perimeter, have curbed the numbers, then he was optimistic that there may even be a possibility of the festival’s capacity being increased if the safety measures worked.

Among the stars who have voiced their support for Glastonbury are Nicole Appleton, Zoe Ball, Jamie Theakston, Blur’s Alex James and actor Keith Allen.

Eavis, who as reported on NME.COM yesterday says he has one last chance to get the numbers of fence-jumpers under control, additionally told NME.COM: “That’s quite good of them. I’m pleased with the support we’re getting from those bands. But it’s not quite as simple as that, really. We need the year off to solve things. We need to sort out the fence-hopping business, because it’s getting quite serious now.

“When we have a year off, we always come back stronger, so we need a year off really, to give the farm a break, to give the locals a bit of a break once in a while when they feel a bit fed up, as some of them do. There isn’t a massive wave of resistance. But it’s quite nice every four or five years to take a year out.

“This time we’ve got a particular problem with the crowd, with overcrowding, and due to the people being killed at Roskilde and in Australia last week, we have got a problem with numbers and we’ve got to resolve it.”

He added that taking a year out helped bands to realise that the festival isn’t operating on a treadmill. “I’ve got a proper income from the cows [Worthy Farm, the festival site, is an operating dairy farm] and I think they realise we can take the time out if we need to take it out. If we don’t feel it’s right to do it, we don’t have to do it, I’ve got a proper job.

‘The authorities definitely don’t want to stop it, but I won’t get another licence if I can’t convince the authorities that we can control the numbers.”