GLASTONBURY are planning on going ‘back to basics’ for next year’s festival, with MICHAEL EAVIS telling NME he’s considering a ‘lottery’ system as a fair way to allocate tickets.
Last week Eavis took time out to speak to NME, where he revealed how he plans to avoid the problems of this year’s ticketing fiasco. NME were flooded with complaints from many of the 1.9 million people left empty handed. They had attempted to buy tickets when they went on sale at 8pm on April 1, but 24 hours later were angry and frustrated at phone lines and a website unable to cope with demand.
Eavis selling tickets via phone lines and the web, the plan would be invite potential festival fans to take part in a ‘lottery’ for tickets.
He said: “I just wonder whether the future is really low tech? Everybody writes in, we put the names in a big tombola and we pick 115,000 letters. I wonder whether that’s the new approach we should consider. The high tech approach, the website and all that, it’s all too big. Everybody gets on the websites and there’s so many people out there. It seems to crash.
“Whether there’s a low tech approach to this where people send in a card at any old time of the year, we collect them all, put them all in a huge barrel like the lottery and pull out the numbers.”
Eavis has also been told that the problems of this year’s ticketing could have been lessened if the onsale date had been a Sunday when the phone exchanges are less busy. He continued: “Someone said to me, ‘Why don’t you do it on a Sunday?’ It’s an extraordinary thing to say after the event. But there would have been more access to the exchange. One of the mistakes we made was not running on a Sunday, which I didn’t even think or know about. Nobody told me until the Friday morning.”
However, potentially the most serious option for music lovers would be for Glastonbury to take a year out altogether in 2005 in the hope things have calmed down before the 2006 festival.
Michael said it’s something he is considering, but isn’t sure it would make any difference. He concluded: “We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of having a year out. I think there is an argument…but would it calm down or would it get worse? I’m not sure. The year out is a possibility I have to say, but I say that rather regretfully. But whether it would calm down a bit if you take a year out I’m not sure.
“We’re not really due for the year off yet. I haven’t quite decided but we’re certainly considering that at the moment. I don’t really think that argument is going to win through, but you never know, it might do.”