UK's Glastonbury music festival hit by slow sales

Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:49pm EDT
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By Golnar Motevalli

LONDON (Reuters) - With three days to go before Glastonbury there are still tickets available, an unusual situation for the annual celebration of pop music and mud which many people blame on this year's controversial line up.

Armed with wellington boots and enough toilet paper to last four days, 134,000 fans will pitch tents and share 3,000 temporary toilets on a 400-acre dairy farm in southwest England.

There they will hope to catch performances from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen and Jay-Z over the three-day event.

"I would think in the 1990s there were occasions when it got to the point that tickets were still on sale at this moment," said festival spokesman Crispin Aubrey.

"Certainly since 2001, when we introduced a new impenetrable fence it has sold out every year since then until now," he added. "It's been rather slow selling the last twenty thousand."

The usual excitement that surrounds the festival, which started in 1970 when entry cost just one pound, has been overshadowed by U.S. rapper Jay-Z's headline appearance.

"(Jay-Z) has caused a lot of discussion but we've had a lot of people who've said it's a brilliant, brave decision to do something different," Aubrey said.

"We often try to have relatively mainstream people at the top of the bill, like Paul McCartney, and I think it was thought this year 'let's go for something different', like a solo black performer," Aubrey said.   Continued...