Glastonbury nearly shut down

Sir Michael Eavis wanted to shut down Glastonbury - until his beloved wife died.



Sir Michael Eavis wanted to close down Glastonbury
Sir Michael Eavis wanted to close down Glastonbury

Glastonbury festival very nearly shut down.

Emily Eavis - who organises the world-famous music festival with her father, Sir Michael Eavis, who opened the event on his Somerset farm in 1970 - has revealed there were several occasions in the 90s' when her father wanted to pull the plug.

Emily told the BBC’s 'Sidetracked' podcast.: “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.'”

It was the death of Emily's mother, Jean, in 1999, that changed his mind.

Emily - whose husband Nick gets involved with the mammoth task of organising 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.”

The festival will take its fallow year off in 2026.

Emily said: “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.”

This year's festival will, for the first time, see two female stars headline in Dua Lipa and SZA, who are joined by Coldplay.

Shania Twain is playing the Sunday afternoon legends slot.

Emily previously vowed to address the lack of female artists at Glastonbury, especially in the top slots, after there was a 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 co.

She told Glamour magazine: "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.”

Glastonbury takes place between June 26 to June 30 at Worthy Farm.