Let’s spend the night together: Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis says the Rolling Stones 'weren't at all greedy'


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The Independent Culture

Despite The Rolling Stones charging hundreds of pounds for tickets to their shows Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has said that the veteran rockers "weren't at all greedy" when they agreed to headline at Worthy Farm this weekend.

Eavis denied that a large sum of money enticed the rockers perform at the Pyramid Stage on Saturday: "It's supposed to be a big money thing. But in fact they weren't at all greedy," he told the Radio Times.

He said: "There's always a wishlist, and only the best bands are on it - about 20 of 'em. And we've been ticking 'em off and ticking 'em off. The Rolling Stones were the only ones that were left."

He added: "We ask [them] every year! I saw Mick Jagger at the Q Awards years and years ago, and he was standing halfway up the stairs - perched on a ladder there on his own - and (Eavis's late wife) Jean said, 'I'm gonna ask him to play.' I said, 'Oh no, no, you can't do that, you can't talk to these people.' And she went straight in there - 'Why haven't you done Glastonbury?' And he said he'd never been asked. Well, he was asked then.

"Jean asked him definitely point blank right there! She went straight up, handbag in her arms!"

Eavis is said to have also revealed that the band's set will include a metal phoenix, thought to have have flapping hydraulic wings, which will be affixed to the top of the Pyramid Stage.

But music fans without at ticket will be unable to see the band's finale,  with fireworks set to light up the sky over the Worthy Farm site.

A row between the BBC and the Stones erupted last month with latter attempting to limit coverage of the two hour and 15 minutes set to just four songs.

Urgent talks were held between the parties and a compromise has been reached allowing viewers to watch an hour of the Stones' headline set.

Speaking about the row, Eavis said: “I think they're all friends now.

"They're going to be playing for about an hour for the TV. I think Mick Jagger wanted to play to the people here, rather than a TV show.”

Eavis, who wants to continue running the festival for another seven years, said it was a good thing that that the event (now in its 43rd year) had taken a break last year due to supplies being stretched by the Olympics.

"Three inches of rain that weekend! We would have had it - we would have gone completely bust. You can't run this show with three inches of rain. We were so lucky," he said.

Eavis, who delayed construction on one area of the site because of nesting birds and has boasted that this year's toilets "won't smell", said: "We can go to two inches (of rain), but after that it's impossible. And we've got the Olympics to thank for that - because the year before should have been the year off. It must have been divine intervention."

Sir Mick is said to have been studying DVDs of every main stage performance for the past four years. He told the Radio Times: "Festivals are great to be at, but not always the easiest things to play....You've got to try and make sure that first number really cooks... That first number's got to be something you're super-confident with. It's no good doing a slightly unknown number that the audience isn't gonna deal with."