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Forums > Events, Performances and Gatherings > Glastonbury Licence 2003 REFUSED (again?)

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_Stix_


_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land

Total posts: 2419
Posted:*Back at Mendip District Council for another marathon Glastonbury Public Entertainments Licence (PEL) hearing. It's becoming like a second home.

Michael Eavis arrived just before the 6pm start, and there was the chance for a quick word. When asked what he felt the chances were the reply was "50-50".

It's the Regulatory Board that decides on the granting of the PEL. After the introductions and the obligatory bureaucratic legalese, it was down to business.

For the applicant Glastonbury Festivals (2003) Ltd (which is Glastonbury Festivals (2002) Ltd after a rename) Mark Cann ran through the application.

He started by stating the successes of this year: the new management structure; dealing with the New Age Travellers; the marketing plan getting the "No Ticket No Festival" message across; the fence and the numbers on site; the safety management; operations control. These were all things demanded at the licence hearing for 2002, and successfully delivered.

There had also been tri-partate agreements made with Avon & Somerset Constabulary (ASC) and the Council, with co-operation creating solutions. To ensure the successes aren't short lived, they are continuing to work together to solve problems that exist in other areas the main one being the crime and general annoyance suffered by those living around the Festival site, in particular Pilton.

To ensure the security measures continue to work, there's to be new and extra security measures on the tickets, as well as a new pass system. The fence is to stay much the same, but security is to have an increase in personnel size of 35%, and there'll be additional security control, car park security & lighting, as well as more CCTV. For obvious reasons, the details weren't disclosed.

An area of concern after this year was the campervan fields: they're to be properly and securely enclosed, but still off the main site. However, a secure route to the site will be made.

The "No Ticket No Festival" message is to be continued, but with "You've helped save the Festival now give it a future" added. It's important for its continuance that no one comes without a ticket. Mark stated that he believed that the "fence jumper" culture had been broken.

The traffic exit plan is to be improved, to speed up the Monday getaway. To help, the production de-rig is to be delayed until late on Monday, and the traders discouraged from leaving.

Public transport coped well, and the car parks easily accommodated the 26,000 cars. In fact, with a capacity of 40,000, they are spaces to accommodate the increased numbers expected in 2003 the licence application is for 150,000 (that's 112,500 weekend tickets for sale, 3,500 Sunday tickets and 34,000 staff/performers, etc. That's no increase in staff/performers, which isn't fantastic news I feel). The ticket price has yet to be set.

Noise from the site is a nuisance to those living nearby, but this will be lessened because there's to be one less venue (which wasn't disclosed we presume it's the Experience Tent), and the cinema is to be moved.

There was a lot of pollution to the water courses around the site DON'T PISS IN THE HEDGES! To help improve things, they'll be fencing along streams, a PR campaign, more urinals (although they already exceed industry standards) and the long-drop toilets are to be made watertight. There was a leak this year, and that was the major cause of the pollution. The amazing amount of litter produced (but no more than we'd produce at home I think one councillor thought we create no rubbish when at home) is to be better managed - including a review of the free on-site newspaper as that causes a litter problem.

The main concern though was what was happening outside the fence. GFL recognise the problems, and are having ongoing discussions with the surrounding villages to come up with the right solutions. GFL have promised to provide 24 hour cover (in 3 shifts) of a police sergeant and 6 PCs to be stationed in Pilton (over and above what the police themselves consider necessary) as well as other extra security measures.

As the meeting progresses, it becomes evident that there is a small group about 15 of locals present who are fed up with the problems the Festival causes them. As Mark tries to continue through the extra village measures, their moaning becomes ever louder. As Mark tries to finish off with "it was always a great festival and now it's a well managed and well planned festival" a voice is clearly heard to say "you don't give a stuff and you never have". Mark insists that they "can work together to solve outstanding problems".

It becomes clear that the villagers present were not happy with the security personel this year, and demand extra police rather than private security.

The Council's own officer Chris Malcolmson now delivers his report. His responsibility is ensuring compliance of any laws as well as any specific PEL conditions. He believes that the "issues of the villagers have been addressed in the application, or will be in the licence", and sees no reason to refuse the PEL. He believes that the vast majority of non-ticket holders were intent on crime rather than getting inside the site, and says that if the unofficial car parks were stopped then there would be nowhere for the criminals to park. GFL are attempting to come to arrangements with those involved, but there is then some discussion on what measures could be taken against those operators. The words used to explain the Police refusal to comment I understood to mean they believed that those operators could be committing an offence for which they could be prosecuted.

Chief Superintendent John Buckley (of ASC) wasn't very supportive of the 2002 application. I remember sitting through about an hour and a half of his concerns at the beginning of the year. The change now is astounding. He is brief, and generally supportive. A very good summary was given: "If we felt these measures were inadequate we would be objecting". From a man who hates to commit to anything, that's as strong words of support as he's ever likely to give.

Of the ticket-less outside, he believes that the majority were intent on crime. He mentions that there are 5 police forces around the country that suffer similarly from criminals at large events, and they are starting to plan joint action to tackle it.

Although there is good support from the Police, the Council's compliance officer and others such as the Fire Service, during questions and discussions it's becoming clear that there is stronger and more confident opposition from some members of the Regulatory Board. I'm starting to get worried about which way it will go.

It's the public's chance to express their concerns next. They are reminded that each new speaker is not to cover ground raised by previous speakers. They're aware of this, and all but one speak from pre-prepared notes. This is obviously a concerted campaign.

These people are obviously very unhappy about the problems the Festival cause them, and I'm sure have good reasons for their unhappiness. But for most, I'm not convinced that any measures would be enough they want shot of the festival, for good, and suggestions are made that it should find another site (where exactly? I don't think anywhere new would be welcoming of a festival even half its size.)

Here are some quotes (these are VERY typical not choice selections!):
"a war-zone"
"a very real threat to public order"
"to approve the application would be a mockery ... elected members don't really represent those who elected them"
"has the Council considered that the Festival would be offensive to Muslims ..." [not some Muslims, all of them, apparently ed] "... and as such would be the target for a terrorist attack". [Because of course, all Muslims are terrorists, arent they? - ed]
"we are not going to remain victims of this Festival we will fight back"
"significant environmental damage"

These are such a lovely bunch of people, I wish I was married to them. One lady in the gallery was heard to say "hippies" with total disgust ... but I'm convinced she'd be welcoming of those of a different skin colour.

In the end, the major discussion was about Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. It appeared those against had been doing a LOT of homework. This law places a poorly defined (if the words used in the hearing were accurate) obligation on a council to ensure it doesn't do things to increase crime in its area. The Council's own solicitor seemed to think the Council would not be breaking Section 17 by granting a PEL, whilst the objectors did. Although other legal reasons to refuse the PEL were tossed around such as the fitness of the applicant to run the event (including a rather underhand attempt to have Michael Eavis branded a criminal), and the environmental damage, this was the one used with the fullest force.

When it came to the vote a motion was put to refuse the PEL. It went 5-4 for the motion, and against the Festival. Michael immediately left the room, and missed a second vote, also carried 5-4; that they'd welcome another application from GFL, but for a different site. Quite why they didn't get on the horse themselves to run Michael out of town I dont know.

After a few minutes to compose himself, Michael emerged to state that an appeal (which is heard by magistrates essentially to see if the Regulatory Board had given proper legal reasons for refusal) would be lodged in the morning. The Festival has been refused a licence before, has always appealed, and has always won. (The licence application wasn't heard in 2001 - it was withdrawn when it became obvious that it would be legitimately refused.)

On speaking to some of those involved all off the record (but not just those close to GFL) there was a very strong opinion that the Festival has very strong grounds for an appeal. I think it unlikely that a magistrate would believe the Regulatory Board's grounds that Pilton couldn't be properly policed when the Police themselves believe it can.

GFL has put in extraordinary efforts over the last year and did everything expected and requested in putting on the 2002 Festival. It feels unfair in the extreme that it is now penalised for aspects reasonably outside of its control - certainly much of it outside the licenced area - while at the same time it is willing to put in the necessary effort - and funds - to resolve those problems this time around.

We hope - and expect - the appeal to succeed. We'll have details when available.*Quote from http://www.festivals.co.uk/news/021212c.shtml*
br>
Ok- so this is a big blow for my birthday plans.. (29 June) but as the article said this happened last year and they won the appeal in the courts - but still!!! I reckon they may have more troubles winning this year as each year the opositions mount again the festival.. if they win this year - will it be the last??


I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:cheers for posting this stix - even if it is depressing

they'll work it out i'm sure.
after the 2001 cancellation and last year's myriad 'improvements' i think they'll have a hard time with their section 17 argument.
the offer of extra police to cover the village is great - the only problem i can really see is that the farmers who run the illegal car parks where the criminals park, may well join the festival's opposition if they are told their extra couple of grand (that they must make over the week) is going to disappear.

mr eavis and his people doesn't give up that easily though :fingers crossed:


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Helz Bellz
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

lovin' it...
Location: Bristol!, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2444
Posted:I heard on the radio this morning that it had been refused. Gutted
BUT - apparently they have three weeks to appeal - so fingers (and everything else) crossed!!



Live well, love much, laugh often...

Official O.B.E.S.E. cheerleader

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member
Location: UK

Total posts: 23
Posted:Glastonbury 2002 was such a wonderful, peaceful festival.......Its not fair, i wanna go to Glastonbury!! *stamps feet*

Thanks for Posting that MisStix, its very interesting...


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_Stix_


_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land

Total posts: 2419
Posted:Thats cool - my friend Rob emailed it to me.. hey if Glastas doesn't take place this year - why don't we have a HoP-estival? we could all go camping somewhere (New Forest?) and have a a ball anyway..

But I'm sure they will over come objections.. most of the locals love selling us stuff at extortionate prices..


I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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member
Location: UK

Total posts: 23
Posted:Wow, thats a great idea, the first annual HOP festival!! Im sure everybody would be well up for it, i certainly am!!

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:indeed, that is a good idea.

and if it is on (please god), maybe we can all arrange a time to meet up @ the circle for a big hop fire spin?

i might even manage to get the hop fire chains there...


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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member
Location: UK

Total posts: 23
Posted:Yeah, that would be really nice, wouldnt it..

I reckon it`ll go ahead, we had the same thing last year, didnt we.. I started spinning poi for the first time at this years Glasto & now im obsessed with it...I so wanna go back next year now im getting good(ish)...well, better...slowly..


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_Stix_


_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land

Total posts: 2419
Posted:Yey!! Would be very cool to meet up - I was way to shy last year.. hopefully I will be working Glastas again this year...

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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member
Location: UK

Total posts: 23
Posted:Im quite shy doing it in front of people, especially people who are really good!! Its getting easier, though..Im gradually getting more confident..

You worked Glasto last year MisStix? I might do that this year if i can..Whats it like?


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:unfortunately i wasn't on hop around glastonbury time this year so i didn't know to meet up with any of this lot.

i think i span fire at the circle twice but was *way* too toasted that night to make idle chit chat with most of my friends let alone strangers!
the rest of the time i was past toasted ( ) and hence avoided fire.


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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_Stix_


_Stix_

Pooh-Bah
Location: la-la land

Total posts: 2419
Posted:I was lucky enought to blag a teeny bit part on the edges of ta POOKA's show.. Me the Fluffy Napalm Fary and Strugz all did it.. but I only did the friday night - as it was my birthday andI got kidnaped and force fed for the next 3 days.. Hope fully this year I'llbe invloved in the dance tent somehow.. not too sure what it is like on the stalls or cleanup krew - not done that b4.. Mates have said working on clean up is wicked untill it rains...

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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cutie poi girlie


member
Location: porthtowan, truro, cornwall

Total posts: 237
Posted:The security at Glastas last year was SO awful! Me and my mate simply went up there with no ticket and no back up plan and told them we was 12. Altho we happene 2 look about 16 according to just about everyone. So anyway they hardly even glanced at us, just let us in. Geez.

Luv peace 'n' chicken grease Al X x

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member
Location: UK

Total posts: 23
Posted:Nice one cutie poi girlie, im shit at blagging my way into things, i always mess it up...i`ll try saying im 12 next time, should get away with is so long as they dont ask to see my hairy chest..lol..

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:I really, really hope it's on next year - I've missed it for the last few years and next year is the first time I would probably be able to make it, I'd be gutted if it wasn't given the license

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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will_uk
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

member
Location: UK

Total posts: 83
Posted:this is the saddest news I have heard in a while.

In some ways I feel like Glasto is a kind of spiritual refuge for me because I feel totally happy there.

Coleman - I spun at the stone circle last year too, I remember watching some of the other people around the field in awe. Wicked times...

will


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jim bombadil


member
Location: bristol

Total posts: 142
Posted:celebrate if you can afford to

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