Just days after REM announced they were to play the Glastonbury Festival in England next year (CelebrityAccess, December 10), the Mendip District Council's regulatory board voted 5-4 against granting the festival a license. Concerns for staging the event for 150,000 people in 2003 were raised over problems this year in the local villages near the site of the music festival in Pilton, Somerset.
According to a councilperson, three main issues dissuaded the board from granting the licence: the board didn't believe the surrounding villages would receive adequate security; potential environmental damage; and the unsuitability of the site, stating the festival had outgrown it.
The four reasons for refusal were stated as being:
– Unacceptable environmental impact
– Unacceptable increase in crime and disorder, particularly in the village outside the Pilton site
– Location of the site being unsuitable;
-"Taking into account the past failure to comply with licensed conditions… the applicant is unfit to hold the licence."
Last year a £1 million 3.5-metre high "super-fence" was erected to stop people from jumping in. Although the fencing made a big difference, other problems were caused in the neighbouring villages and countryside but non-ticket holders.
The festival has been refused a licence before but has always won its appeals against the ruling.
Michael Eavis has appealed against the license refusal decision made by Mendip District council on Thursday last week (12/12). The Council's regulatory board rejected the application to stage the festival on June 27-29 for up to 150,000 people.p>
"We lost by one vote and the unfortunate thing was that the members weren't all there and it was a poorly attended meeting," Eavis said. "We will go to magistrates court and appeal. The council, police and fire service have been very supportive. We are not too bothered and I think it's all going to be fine. I am fairly confident the festival will go ahead."
A total of 1,089 crimes were attributed to this year's festival and 228 arrests made.