Only the strong festivals survive...
Heavy snowfall might have forced people to stay indoors across the country yesterday, but it didn't stop tickets to this year's Glastonbury festival from selling out completely after going on sale on Sunday.
Organiser Emily Eavis told the Guardian she was "chuffed to bits" at selling virtually all of the 137,500 tickets to the 2009 event so far ahead. As is customary, an unspecified number of tickets will be sold nearer the time of the festival in conjunction with coach passess and specific accommodation. "I'm so pleased we've managed to sell all the tickets that were on sale so far in advance of the actual festival," Eavis said. "I'd say I was over the moon, but that's a bit of a cliche. Maybe over the moon boots is better, given the weather".
Tickets for the festival, which takes place every June in Pilton, Somerset, usually go on sale in April, but organisers decided to bring the release date forward after sales for last year's festival were slow. Glastonbury 2008 was marred by a lineup leak in February of that year, months before tickets were released and the lineup is normally confirmed. The billing of US rapper Jay-Z as the headline act was blamed for slow ticket sales, though organisers were convinced it was the bad weather the festival had suffered in recent years that discouraged people.
This year, the festival organisers' attempt to capitalise on good memories of the 2008 event appears to have been a success. After they launched a new deposit scheme in October of last year, tickets were made fully available on 1 February and Glastonbury spokesman John Shearlaw confirmed most people who made an initial deposit of £50 went on to buy their ticket.
Meanwhile, speculation has been mounting over those golden headline slots, with Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and the recently reunited Blur all heavily touted to play the Pyramid stage. Organiser Michael Eavis teased the press during the Midem music conference last month by saying: "We've got four headliners at the moment. If they all confirm, then I've got two headliners for Saturday." Pressed further, he added two were English artists and two were from the US.
Festival organisers have refused to confirm or deny the rumours.
A re-sale for returned tickets will take place on 5 April 2009. The lineup is expected to be confirmed sometime in May, ahead of the usual date of 1 June, though organisers are refusing to disclose further details. This year's festival takes place on Worthy Farm, Pilton, between 24-28 June 2009. The Guardian is the official media sponsor of Glastonbury festival.