Michael Eavis Thinks Glastonbury Returning In 2021 Is ‘Wishful Thinking’

The festival organiser says he is still confident the event can survive after coronavirus led to its cancellation this year.

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Glastonbury fans might have to keep their wellies stored away a little longer than hoped after Michael Eavis suggested the music festival won’t return until 2022.

The festival’s organiser said he is “moving heaven and earth” to try and make it a reality next year but admitted it was probably “wishful thinking”.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis
Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP/Invision/AP

The annual event was due to celebrate its 50th birthday in June but was forced to cancel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were set to headline the Pyramid Stage this year to celebrate the festival’s landmark anniversary.

In a new interview with ITV News West Country, Michael said: “Five hundred people is OK, isn’t it? But my job, 250,000 altogether, is too many people I suppose really.

“I’m still hoping I’m going to run next year. We’re moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen, that’s just wishful thinking.”

Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

However, asked if he worries about the future of the festival and what will happen after this year, he said: “No, I do not worry at all, I am so confident that it will survive.

“The only certainty I think is the year after, 2022. To be perfectly candid, so we might have to wait for two years maybe.

“But I am still hoping and we are fighting and working at it all the time to make sure it happens next year.”

He also said he believes the world of the performing arts will come back stronger after the crisis, saying: “Of course it will. My god, yeah. You can’t kill it off just like that. It will come back.

“It will come back, probably stronger actually.”

Michael previously said the future of the festival could be in danger if it’s not able to go ahead in 2021.

In June, Michael – who oversees Glastonbury every year with his daughter, Emily Eavis – told The Guardian that if the festival can’t take place next year, “it will be curtains”.

Michael with his daughter Emily.
Michael with his daughter Emily.
David M. Benett via Getty Images

“We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt,” he explained. “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.”

Emily agreed that Glastonbury would be in a “very serious situation if we had to cancel next year’s event”, but pointed out that the industry in general could well be in jeopardy.

“The whole live industry will be hanging in the balance if we have another summer without festivals,” she added. “And we don’t know what level of government support there will be for this industry.”

Emily insisted that she was feeling optimistic, though, noting: “We’ve navigated choppy waters so many times. This festival has always evolved and found ways to survive, and I’m confident that we will again.”


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