More than half of the tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival have been sold, some eight months before the event itself takes place.

Tickets went on sale on Sunday morning, with more than half of the 137,500 available snapped up by early evening.

Festival-goers will be able to reserve their places by putting down a £50 deposit or they can buy tickets outright. But they must be pre-registered as in previous years in order to obtain them.

The early ticket sale came after last year's event failed to sell out ahead of the first day, as had been usual for several years before.

But despite allowing fans a chance to spread their ticket payment through the year, spokesman John Shearlaw said he had not expected the tickets to sell out so far in advance.

"That would have been extraordinary, without a line-up and eight months before the event," he told the BBC.

"You can look at it from both sides because if they had all sold out, there would have been eight months of turning people away.

"We are very calm about it - it's a vote of confidence."

He added: "It's brilliant that here we are in October talking about a festival that isn't happening until next year.

Organiser Michael Eavis also said the scheme was to ensure tickets went to genuine fans and make it easier for them to pay by spreading the cost.

Next year's Glastonbury runs for five days from June 24th to 28th with headline acts expected to be announced soon.

The Ting Tings and Franz Ferdinand are expected to be "somewhere on the bill", having recently played at a secret gig in Somerset, but U2, the Rolling Stones and Coldplay have been ruled out by Eavis' daughter Emily.

06/10/2008 09:56:07