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Monday, June 18

Commanding The Empire

I notice that Michael Eavis was awarded a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours. This is, apparently, for his sterling work in organising Glastonbury. What an amazing work of altruism that is! Let's look at it. A massive fence is constructed on his property so that he can host about 150,000 people, each of whom have paid £150 (or more via the touts) for coming. How much? Well, that's about £23million in ticket money. Let's not forget the massive array of businesses that they charge for setting up shop for the long weekend. Let's also not forget that they charge a tenner for parking - so if there are 10,000 cars, that's another £100k of profit. What an altruist. How can he possibly be a mere mortal? Surely it is holiness personified that has brought us Glastonbury.

Now, I'm sure that you might argue that it costs a lot to set up the festival, publicise it, run the event, pay the bands etc etc etc. You may well be right... but still... it's a business. That's the point. So to be honoured for his contribution to arts would be a bit like honouring the guy who set up Lidl for his contribution to retail.

Never mind. I reserve the right to change my opinion after 5 days of not showering, being surrounded by hippies, drugs and music, and pooing in the ski-jump position.

At least I managed to get a parking pass for the festival - it was looking hairy for a few moments this morning.

Later. I found out that the whole of Glastonbury is run (for the organisers at least) as a non-profit thing with the surplus going to charity. Do I feel stupid? Well, yes. Fair enough Mr Eavis. I now endorse your CBE and would buy you a pint if I met you at your festival, though I suspect we won't be able to find each other, or any pints, or any of my cash, within the massive pool of mud we'll be swimming in in a few short days.

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