Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis warns festival could go BANKRUPT

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis warns festival could go BANKRUPT if it is not staged in 2021 because of coronavirus

  • Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar had been due to headline
  • Glastonbury organisers announced in March that the event would be cancelled
  • Michael Eavis has said that he doesn’t think they could ‘wait for another year’ 

The founder of Glastonbury Michael Eavis has warned that the festival could go bankrupt if it is not staged in 2021 because of coronavirus.

Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar had been due to headline this weekend at the world-famous festival in Pilton, Somerset.

But Glastonbury organisers announced in March that the event would be cancelled amid increasing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.  

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis surveys his empty farmland on what would have been the opening day of the famous extravaganza yesterday 

Speaking to The Guardian to mark the festival’s 50th anniversary, Michael, 84, said: ‘We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt … It has to happen for us, we have to carry on. 

‘Otherwise it will be curtains. I don’t think we could wait another year.’ 

His daughter Emily Eavis, who is a co-organiser of the festival, added that they would be in a ‘very serious situation if we had to cancel next year’s event.’

‘But then the whole live industry will be hanging in the balance if we have another summer without festivals, and we don’t know what level of government support there will be for this industry’.

However she said that she was ‘optimistic’ and that the festival had always found ways to ‘evolve and survive’.

The BBC is still holding a ‘virtual festival’ this week, broadcasting a selection of the best performances since the event was first televised in 1997.

The opening day of the Glastonbury Festival in 2019. Glastonbury organisers announced in March that the legendary festival would be cancelled amid increasing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic

Music fans who had secured tickets were given the chance to roll their £50 deposit over to the next year and guarantee a spot at Glastonbury 2021. 

Mr Eavis said that without the income from 2020, and with charity commitments – including the building of low cost housing in Pilton – needing to be funded, the festival’s financial reserves would struggle to withstand another cancellation. 

Emily added that the government needs to step up and support the British arts more broadly otherwise many aspects of our culture could disappear forever.

Michael Eavis and Emily Eavis at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. The BBC is still holding a ‘virtual festival’ this week, broadcasting a selection of the best performances since the event was first televised in 1997

Mr Eavis said that they have several plans in the works with regard to holding the festival safely next year.

One of the options would be to create a testing scheme that will allow ticket holders on site after they’ve been shown to be virus-free.   

Mr Eavis was snapped at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset yesterday – surrounded by empty fields. 

Glastonbury was first held in 1970. Last year’s festival was headlined by Stormzy, The Killers and The Cure. 

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