Glastonbury refused entertainment licence

Organisers of the Glastonbury Festival have suffered a setback after a local authority refused a public entertainment licence for next year's music event.

Mendip District Council in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, last night denied permission for the festival in June following a five-hour meeting of its regulatory board.

The meeting, attended by some 50 people including organiser Michael Eavis, concluded with a 5-4 vote by the board against the licence for up to 150,000 people.

Although the application was not opposed by police, concerns were raised over problems this year in villages near the site of the music event in Pilton, Somerset.

A council spokesman said: "There were three main issues that dissuaded the board from granting the licence.

"The board didn't accept that Glastonbury Festival Limited would deliver security for the village of Pilton and surrounding villages.

"Secondly, the environmental damage on the area and finally the unsuitability of the site as villagers said the festival had outgrown it.

"There were several vociferous villagers at the meeting who spoke very strongly against the festival."

The spokesman said Mr Eavis was "disappointed" at the result and left the meeting quietly.

Glastonbury Festival Limited now have 21 days to appeal against the decision to local magistrates.

At a previous meeting of the board to discuss this year's event, members were told that a total of 1,089 crimes were attributed to the festival and 228 arrests made.

At that meeting, Pilton residents said that more police and security measures were needed to address their concerns should another festival be held.

Other issues that needed to be addressed before a licence could be approved were unauthorised car parks, non ticket holders turning up, crowd control, the cost of the festival to the public purse, litter, toilets and the power supply.

This year a £1 million security fence was used after police and the council threatened to pull the plug for good following scenes at the 2000 festival when tens of thousands of people breached security and jumped fences.

The 3.5 metre high steel fence ran round the entire 4.5 mile perimeter of the 800-acre site.

The festival next year was set to take place from Friday June 27 to Sunday June 29 and the application was for 112,500 weekend tickets, 3,500 Sunday passes for local residents and 34,000 passes for performers, stewards and staff.

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