Monday, July 01, 2002

GLASTOVER: Well, that's Glastonbury over for another year, then, and time to pick over the bones. Six Music had a good time - despite Liz Kershaw actually asking Black Rebel Motorcycle Club if they actually had motorbikes (the follow up was "are you rebels, then?") the coverage from the fledgling station brightened up Sunday nicely. BBC TV seemed to be less comfortable; at times you wondered if they'd run out of tape during Faithless' set and were having to fill desperately until we'd be grateful for another chance to look at Sister Bliss' ripped shirt back. Adam and Joe, it has to be said, were a nightmare. Their style was summed up with a long, rambling and pointless Rolf Harris interview which churned on for about fifteen minutes, before stopping half-way through a sentence, cutting back to A&J who then entered into a long, rambling and pointless piece about how long, rambling and pointless the original interview had been. The sketches they attempted (why?) fell flat; attempting to bridge too-long pauses between the actual entertainment proved beyond them. This wasn't entirely their fault - with sixteen stages of music, surely there must have been more material available than one or two tracks every half hour? - but lets hope for next year they try and get people more relaxed at filling acres of live television.
Meanwhile, what of the fence? It seems to have done its job - only one person actually making it across the million pound barrier - but there's something curious about the way the crime figures are being spun as being well down. Certainly, fewer crimes were reported (516 as opposed to 1,322 in 2000) but the number of arrests didn't fall anything like as sharply - 167 this weekend, 207 the weekend before. It's hard to work out the exact math, with the numbers of people inside the Pilton Wall in 2000 a matter of conjecture, but it's not entirely clear that the festival had a smaller criminal element this year than in its last staging. And, of course, a hit and run murder is unwelcome in any context.
But the good news is that the festival survives - whether this is better news for the Mean Fiddler than it is for Glastonbury goers is debatable, of course. (The reports of 2002 being "mellower" viewed from inside have to be set against the violent muggings amongst the people outside.) Michael Eavis seems pleased with the way everything went - this morning BBC News reports him as saying he was so delighted that he was considering the possibility of increasing capacity to 120,000 next year.
He admitted: "After 2000, I didn't think I would ever get a licence again."
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Hmmm. Curious, that, since in 2000 the same BBC reported the same Michael Eavis hailing the 2000 festival "as the best Glastonbury he had known since launching it in 1970. "The feedback from the public has been absolutely amazing this year but I can't take the credit for it - I think the sun takes most of the credit."



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