Photo: Czampal

Glastonbury Festival Almost Shut Down

Emily Eavis – who now organizes the world-famous music event with her father, Sir Michael Eavis, (who launched the event on his Somerset farm in 1970,) has recently admitted that there were times in the 1990s’ when her dad wanted to pull the plug on the Glastonbury festival.

During a recent BBC ‘Sidetracked’ podcast, Emily said:

“My parents were always like, ‘This is the last one’.” “Everyone thought it was some sort of stunt to sell tickets, but it wasn’t. They were genuinely like, ‘Well, we probably won’t do another.’”

Yet it was the 1999 death of Emily’s mother, Jean, that ultimately changed Michael’s mind.

Emily, along with her husband Nick who gets involved with the mammoth task of organizing the festival, added:

“My dad was like, ‘Oh, I think I might need the festival now’.” “Because they were going to retire and go on long cruises and things like that.” “My dad was like, ‘Listen, let’s keep it going.’ “I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll help you’. Never did I think I’d still be here a few decades on.”

Come 2026, Glastonbury will take its fallow year off. with Emily adding “The fallow year is important because it gives the land a rest, and it gives the cows a chance to stay out for longer and reclaim their land.” “And I think it’s quite good not to be seen to be cashing in.”

For the first time in the festivals 54-year history, this year’s music event will feature two female headliners in Dua Lipa and SZA, along with Coldplay, and Shania Twain who is playing the Sunday afternoon legends slot.

Following the backlash over Guns N’ Roses, Arctic Monkeys and Sir Elton John closing out the Pyramid Stage in 2023, whilst Lizzo performed before Axl Rose and company, Emily vowed to address the lack of female artists at Glastonbury, particularly in the top slots. In a recent Glamour Magazine interview, she said:

“I think everyone knows that we’re trying harder than most, certainly extremely hard to address (the gender balance of acts), and I’ve been very vocal about it.” “I’m trying my best and, believe me, it’s a real, passionate subject of mine. I’ve been trying to raise the flag around gender and festivals for a long time. But we can only do so much.” “I just do what I think is right. Because I don’t have an agenda, I’m just trying to do the best thing for the festival and make it as fair and equal and brilliant as possible.”

This year’s Glastonbury takes place between June 26 to June 30 at Worthy Farm.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Czampal