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You are in: Somerset > Glastonbury Festival > Features > Highs and lows of Glastonbury 2007

Michael Eavis at Worthy Farm in February 2007

Highs and lows of Glastonbury 2007

In an exclusive interview with BBC Somerset, Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis talks about the highs and lows of the 2007 festival.

Three weeks after the world's biggest music festival has finished, Glastonbury Festival's organiser Michael Eavis was feeling tired.

Cleaning up the 900-acre site took a lot longer than normal as thousands of festival goers left their rain-soaked tents behind.

"The farm is in a terrible mess," he said. "I've got 450 litter pickers on site at the moment. Last weekend when the weather was good they managed to get a lot more done.

"I'm a bit tired but I still enjoy it- it's one hell of a buzz!"

Michael Eavis

"The farm is looking better, and the cows are looking over the fence wanting to know when they can go home."

This year's festival on Worthy Farm was the biggest Glastonbury ever as a total of 175,000 people attended.

The Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and The Who all headlined the main Pyramid Stage and Shirley Bassey and her diamond-encrusted wellies played a triumphant set on the Sunday.

Although Michael did not want to say who his favourite act was, he did mention that a lot of people have said to him how good Kasabian were.

"There are so many [highlights] - the theatre was fun. I went up there on Sunday and all the tents were full. The quality of acts was unbelievable," he said.

To accommodate the extra people, a new area, The Park, was added. The area, which was Michael's daughter Emily's personal project, went down well.

"It was Emily's first attempt at organising a field by herself but it came off with incredible success.

Banksy's Glastonbury monument

"Damon Albarn's African Express did outstanding and seemed to be well received across the country."

Another new feature to the site was Banksy's 'Boghenge' which was the guerilla artist's portaloo take on Stonehenge.

The monument, which was in the Sacred Space field next to the Stone Circle, was Banksy's idea but used Michael's portaloos.

It currently remains on site however Michael said he was going to store it away until he receives instructions from the artist as to what to do with it.

"It might be put up somewhere else, it depends on what he wants," said Michael.

Low-lights

If it's Glastonbury weekend, you can almost guarantee rain however the weather does not seem to put festival goers off.

"I'm surprised so many people put up with all the grit and discomfort however people did seem to enjoy it which was great as I worry about putting people through this sort of thing," he said.

Glastonbury

Glastonbury

"The festival goers offered incredible support and the response was quite moving. People seem to love it anyway regardless of the weather."

Crime overall was down however one person died from a suspected drugs overdose.

Michael said in future festivals, police checks would not be more stringent.

"This sort of thing happens all the time and we can't expect to eliminate the risk to one person out of 180,000.

"It would be nice if they listened to me when I told them not to drugs."

One of the main things which disappointed Michael was the sound for The Killers.

"I was very disappointed, really sad as they had been preparing for a long time and they are one of the world's top bands. We had 60 sound monitors there- I don't know what they were doing!"

Last year saw Michael and the land have a break from the festival. In that time, they put a new drainage system in place which Michael said did work.

The natural spring they thought they found in 2005 also turned out to be not so deep.

Ticketing success

Tickets were issued using a new system- festival goers' faces were printed on their tickets.

Michael said the system "worked a treat" and he estimated that only 15 people got onto the site without an official ticket.

"We had a tracking system on Ebay so everyone who tried to sell a ticket on it we cancelled."

This year's festival was noticeably short of about 30,000 to 40,000 young people as older people with faster Internet access had bought up the tickets.

Michael wants to get the young people back next year by selling around 40% of the tickets via the phone.

"Younger people have more spunk and really add to the character of the festival- that's how it always used to be," he said.

So who will be standing aloft the Pyramid Stage shouting "Hello Glastonbury" next year?

Michael remains tight-lipped but said he had a list of top artists who have said they all want to headline- he just has to chose which one he wants.

He did concede however that he has booked three or four festival favourites, but he wouldn't be drawn into names. The only clue was that they all really loved playing the festival.

The actual site of the festival will also not be increased for about ten years.

"I'm a bit tired but I still enjoy it- it's one hell of a buzz!"

last updated: 31/01/2008 at 23:03
created: 12/07/2007

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