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Glastonbury Festival founder 'considering' smaller September event

21 January 2021, 23:35 | Updated: 22 January 2021, 01:08

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has told LBC he is considering holding a smaller event in September following the news of 2021's cancellation.

Speaking exclusively to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Mr Eavis said he hoped to hold some kind of event later in the year to finally celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival.

Earlier on Thursday, a statement released by the founder and his daughter Emily confirmed Glastonbury had been cancelled for a second year running.

It had been hoped that the celebration of music and arts would still go ahead in 2021 after it was called off the year before - on what would have been the 50th anniversary - due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, in a post on Twitter, the pair said: "With great regret, we must announce that this year's Glastonbury Festival will not take place, and that this will be another enforced fallow year for us."

Read more: Glastonbury Festival cancelled for the second year running

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis told LBC he is considering a smaller September event
Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis told LBC he is considering a smaller September event. Picture: PA / LBC

However, speaking to LBC later in the day, Mr Eavis said: "I would like to do something in September.

"I would like to do something smaller somewhere around the anniversary date of when we started, which was the 18th of September 1970.

"I would like to consider possibly doing something around that time."

Asked if that would involve getting some of the big artists who would have performed at Glastonbury to play in September, the founder said: "Yes, but I do need to get reassurance from the ethics people."

LBC's Tom Swarbrick then questioned whether the potential September event or the 2022 festival would be "the biggest ever", to which Mr Eavis replied: "I just hope it's going to be the best we've ever done."

The 85-year-old explained to the LBC presenter that his decision to cancel this year's event came following a conversation with health experts at Imperial College London (ICL).

"I'd been talking to the big-wigs at Imperial College day-by-day, and last night was the last straw when they said 'no, this is really not going to happen'."

He said he previously hoped to run a smaller festival for 2021 with around 50,000 people, instead of the usual 200,000, but that idea "didn't bear any fruit".

Asked what ICL said to him, Mr Eavis said: "Six different people that were working on a trial at the farm only realised yesterday that they couldn't get it through the ethics committee."

However, he told LBC he is "very confident" about the festival's future given the response he had seen in the media on Thursday, following previous fears that Glastonbury could go bankrupt.

The festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset was sold out for 2021 because so few people have asked for a refund from last year, when headliners Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were all due to perform.