11:40 29 June 2009
The BBC has become a part of a new financial controversy after it was reported that the corporation sent 400 staff members to cover the Glastonbury festival.
Around £5m was allegedly spent as the broadcaster put resources into covering the weekend music extravaganza on BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, across several radio stations and online.
Critics have hit back at the extensive coverage which uses public money to fund its programming.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: "I can't imagine any other broadcaster sending this many people to cover one festival.
"This demonstrates once again that the BBC is a bloated organisation. It doesn't operate according to the rules that other broadcasters have to follow."
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, was concerned about the public's reaction. He said: "They'll be shocked at this over-manning. It's clear from these figures this is a junket for some."
One TV source claimed that the cost of mounting the huge outside broadcast would cost between £3million and £5million.
The Daily Mirror reported that a total of 125 BBC staff, 150 freelancers and 130 short-term contract staff were drafted into the 1,100 acre site in Somerset to work on the festival.
This year's Glastonbury was headlined by veteran rockers Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, as well as reformed band Blur.
Springsteen sparked a minor controversy himself after playing past the festival's 12:30am curfew, resulting in a £3,000 fine for Glastonbury's organiser Michael Eavis.
Eavis, however, has no problems paying the fine himself stating that, "the last nine minutes were spectacular. It was probably the best show of his life."
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