Monday, April 08, 2002

From The Times....

THE Glastonbury Festival is about to enter a new corporate era with door-to-door helicopter rides bypassing the huge tailback of hippy camper vans.

This year Glastonbury welcomes a new breed of festivalgoers who have pencilled in the three-day jamboree alongside Glyndebourne and Henley in the social season.

Almost 100,000 tickets have been sold for the festival, which begins on June 28, where the headline acts are rumoured to include Rod Stewart and the Stereophonics.

Corporate packages are selling fast for Glastonbury “virgins” who want to sample the famous atmosphere of hippy eccentricity without the unpleasantness associated with camping in a field with the mud-encrusted hordes.

For £4,000 a helicopter will pick up a visiting party from the back garden, fly over the traditional 20-mile traffic jam leading to Worthy Farm and dispatch guests in a sealed-off, mud-free VIP marquee bordering the site.

Inside ticket-holders will lounge on cushions, sofas and armchairs while high-quality cuisine and drink is served around the clock. They will be joined by many of the star bands, who have signed up to take the corporate package, rather than enjoy the delights of a backstage camper van.

Mark Edgley, of, said: “This is the new way to ‘do’ Glastonbury. We have 11 choppers ready to go and we will pick people up from their back gardens and offer them 24-hour hospitality on site. A lot of the bookings have come from the bands themselves.”

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