Monday, June 09, 2003

DON'T TELL HIM, PIKE: We're interested in Michael Eavis' promise to complie a list of names of people attending this year's Glastonbury, in order to ensure that people who've missed out this year can get tickets next year.
It's a generous sounding idea, and you can't say fairer than that, can you?
Erm... except, how is this going to work, exactly? If Eavis is merely going to use the names of people who bought tickets this year, then that's easily worked around - supposing Meg bought tickets for her and Mog this year on her credit card, next year Mog can buy them as she'd not be on the list.
And we can't really picture there being much support for taking down all the names of people passing through the gates on their way in - it's already a slow enough process as it is. Yet if people don't have to hand over their identity at the entrance, the chances of a roaming crew with clipboards making it round to see everyone during the three days they're there seem slim; you could provide everyone with a little card in their programme to fill in and send back, but since they'd know that this means next year, no Glastonbury, an awful lot of M. Mouses and G. Bushes would prove to have gone to the Healing Fields this summer.
Even if collection of names was possible - and they'll need addresses too, to be able to tell one John Smith from the next - there's a slightly disturbing question of data protection here. Even without fretting about who, exactly, would hold this list of data and what else they might do with it, can anyone imagine a risk in telling a volunteer you don't know from Adam your name and address at the start of a period of days when you won't be at your home?
Then you've got the people who've been with Glastonbury and have gone every year, pumping thousands of pounds into the festival and its good causes; sticking with it through the good years and the bad, through the beanfields and the bogs. Is Eavis really saying to his strongest supporters that they can fuck off now as there's a guaranteed sell-out?
In fact, when you look at the idea, it becomes clear that this is little more than another prong in the attempt to keep people without tickets away from Somerset, isn't it? Telling people who can't get in in 2003 that they're going to be first served for 2004 is more likely to dissuade them from tramping down to Pilton than a plea to keep the festival special - because if they feel like they're never going to be able to get a ticket, why would they be bothered in preserving some other rich person's playground?

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