Glastonbury Festival Founder Michael Eavis has made a considerable about face regarding the foreseeable future of his event. Contrary to his June remarks that the brand couldn’t survive another fallow year, he has floated the idea of postponing until 2022.
In conversation with ITV News West Country, Eavis addressed how COVID-19 restrictions would prevent Glastonbury from taking place in its longstanding format. “500 people is ok, isn’t it,” he said. “But my job – 250,000 altogether – is too many people I suppose, isn’t it really.”
Eavis maintained that organizers would exhaust all possibilities before pulling out of the 2021 event. “I’m still hoping I’m going to be running next year and I’m going to be moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do. But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen. That is just wishful thinking really.”
Suggesting that Glastonbury Festival might not take place until 2022 stands in stark contrast to comments Eavis made in a June interview with The Guardian. “We have to run next year otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt … It has to happen for us, we have to carry on,” he had said. “Otherwise, it will be curtains. I don’t think we could wait another year.”
In between then and now, the U.K. government has rolled out substantial financial support for live music brands. In July, Boris Johnson announced a £1.57 billion relief package for cultural institutions. It is unclear whether the prospect of aid influenced Eavis’ change in outlook.
In place of their 2020 event, Glastonbury celebrated their 50th anniversary with an interactive V&A Museum campaign.