MICHAEL EAVIS, organiser of Glastonbury Festival and owner of the Worthy Farm site, has dismissed pleas to move the festival to a date later into the summer to avoid the appalling weather conditions which have blighted the festival for the second year running.
As last year, heavy rain turned Worthy Farm into a quagmire over the weekend, forcing the closure of the dance tent on Saturday and slowing down stage changeover times between acts. Eavis (pictured onsite with wife Jean) however, remains adamant about holding Glastonbury on the established dates.
“There’s no way we’ll switch from this weekend,” he said. “It suits all the kids perfectly because they’ve all just finished their O- and A-levels and they can come and celebrate here. University holidays have just begun, too. In 28 years we’ve only had three wet festivals so I can’t see a reason for moving it.”
Medical staff at the festival treated a record 2,500 people this year, most suffering from effects caused by the cold and rain.
This year’s Festival was attended by 100,500 people, making it the biggest ever in its 28-year history despite the fact that, for the first time in many years, it was not officially a sell out. Once all bills are paid, Michael Eavis says there should be over half a million pounds for the festival’s main charity benefactors, Oxfam, Greenpeace and Water Aid.
Police reported a record number of crimes this year, mostly for theft. Due to the widely publicised crackdown on drugs at the festival, police believe gangs instead turned their attention to theft from vehicles and tents.
By three o’clock on Sunday, 740 crimes had been reported including 570 thefts and 11 assaults. Police had made 174 arrests, including 27 for possession of drugs, 54 for dealing and three for assault. Police reported 112 seizures of drugs including crack cocaine, heroin, temazepam, LSD, amphetamines and ecstasy.
Much more Glastonbury news and full festival review in this week’s mud-free [I]NME (cover date July 4, 1998).