150,000 to attend Glastonbury festival

Thousands of music lovers were today gearing up for the start of this year’s Glastonbury festival.

Thousands of music lovers were today gearing up for the start of this year’s Glastonbury festival.

* This year’s festival has permission for up to 150,000 tickets comprising 112,500 weekend tickets, 3,500 Sunday day passes and 34,000 passes for performers.

* Tickets for the festival sold out in just one day.

* The line-up includes Radiohead, REM, David Gray, Manic Street Preachers and Sugababes.

* A film of legendary punk singer Joe Strummer based on a performance of the ex-Clash frontman weeks before he died will be shown at the festival.

* Organisers of an area for left wing speeches and songs have increased capacity four-fold because so many people want to hear former Labour MP Tony Benn speak in a debate on oil being held at the festival on Saturday.

* Avon and Somerset Police statistics showed that a total of 1,094 crimes were attributed to the festival last year, compared with 2,431 in 2000 and 2,074 in 1999.

* Last year a £1 million 3.5 metre security fence was erected around the site after police and the council threatened to pull the plug on the festival following scenes in 2000 when tens of thousands of people breached security. The security fence is again in place this year.

* Police are mounting the largest ever security operation at the festival this year, with around 750 uniformed police and support staff on site, as well as extra CCTV.

* Fans have been flocking to Glastonbury since 1970 when farmer Michael Eavis opened up the land to 1,500 people who came to see Marc Bolan and were treated to free milk.

* The main performance area is still referred to as the Pyramid stage, although the corrugated iron structure which gave it the name burned down in 1994.

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