Residents who live near Glastonbury site Worthy Farm have criticised new plans by organisers to reduce the catchment area for free tickets to the festival.
The festival is known for giving free passes to the residents of villages situated near the festival site, as a way of compensating for the disruption caused by festival goers.
This year, organiser Michael Eavis has been forced to redraw the boundaries, meaning some residents have lost their free passes.
“Our relationship with the villagers has always been extremely good, but this year there was a slight change to the boundary for free tickets, which is now slightly smaller,” Eavis explained. “As a result, a small percentage of people who have in the past got free tickets are now being offered the option of Sunday tickets.”
One resident, who did not want to be named, told The Independent she didn’t think the move was fair.
“For most of us who live within the boundary, the festival impacts on us in one way or another – in my case it’s the traffic. If you get a free ticket, you turn a blind eye to it, because you’ve got a week or so of having a good time. Normally you feel quite benign about it all. But if you don’t get a free ticket, you don’t feel quite so benign,” the resident said.
“My particular road is used as a rat run. From Wednesday night, there is a constant stream of caravans and campervans going through. Normally it’s OK because you think ‘That’s great, they’re all part of what I’m part of’. But that changes if you’re suddenly having to pay a lot of money. It’s tricky because we’re all locals and we don’t want to fall out. But on the other hand, we feel quite strongly about it.”
However, Eavis defended the move.
“I don’t know any other festival or major event that looks after people who live locally as well as we do, and the majority of people will remain unaffected,” he said.