It's not only Glastonbury that's suffered from slower sales this year - although it's not being said explicitly, from where I'm sat it seems pretty clear that a number of festivals are suffering from slower sales this year, and desperation is starting to set in for some.
In the days when there was a huge singles market, record companies used to fill DJs pockets with cash to play their records and say how fantastic that particular single was. The result would be that the single with the payola behind it would sell, while other perhaps more worthy records wouldn't get a look in.
eFestivals is aware that within the music & festivals websites market that similar payola has been going on for some time. Over the years we've sometimes received direct approaches to take money to big up an event (which is always refused), and occasionally we've been sent an email meant for an other publication which has shown that that other publication is taking money to falsely present a festival as more to their liking than is really the case.
After last summer's awful weather, some previously successful events are this year suffering a downturn. It's not really surprising, as whatever fantastic attractions an event might have put on, it can be hard for attendees to walk away after a rain-soaked weekend stood ankle deep in mud thinking that they'd had a fantastic time and want to return. Because of that downturn, some promoters are understandably getting worried that their event is going to bomb out, and they have limited options on what they can do to help it sell. And payola is it.
Be careful what you read and where you read it - there's people trying to take your cash using bullshit. Sometimes it's very obvious, where a site has "sponsored by" and then bigs up that thing within its content, with some even go as far as to suggest that their sponsors doings are the best thing since sliced bread - but luckily most people are too smart to fall for something so obvious. But behind the obvious there's often things far more deceptive.