My Week; Michael Eavis Glastonbury Festival Organiser

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The Independent Culture

Kick off by going to see my dairy cows. They have been moved two miles from the festival site. Spend most of the day chasing around, trying to get the fence corrected because it's in the wrong place. The fence is a huge engineering job and 500 yards must be taken down and moved. It's essential for the security of the festival that it's in the right place.


Up at five, I drive my Land-rover to see the cows and find one has given birth to a black-and-white heifer. She seems well and the rest of the cows are enjoying their annual two-month holiday.

Go to the canteen at seven, all the site staff are having breakfast. I brief them on final tweaking and organise for heavy concrete blocks to be put in front of gateways to stop people getting in the wrong fields.

A photographer from a local paper comes to take pictures of me and my daughter Emily. The afternoon is spent doing interviews with Radio Leeds, BBC radio and BBC Online.


Up early to check the cows. I have a council inspection at 10. They check all the conditions set are adhered to. At 12, I take the pensioners from the Happy Circle Club around the site in a minibus. They enjoy my commentary and have lots of questions.

The neighbour negotiations go on all day. They are concerned about people walking over their gardens. I put up notices telling people which way to walk. Then it's more rushing around and interviews. I have dinner and check on the cows.


Today is the official opening of the festival, although people have been arriving all week. Most of the early arrivals have been sent on by the police.

I have my first serious meeting with the police to discuss traffic and crime. There is no violent crime, it's only petty theft - Oliver Twist sort of stuff. Small kids go round nicking things. The crime is the worst part about Glastonbury.

The fire officer has decided, for safety reasons, that we need additional land this year. The extra 43 acres of land needs water and toilet facilities and I can't drop in new fields without telling the council.

I have a live television interview in the arena. Then I drive my daughter Jane and her husband Paul around the site. There are some lovely things in the craft area in the Green Field. The Firewing Messenger is an outstanding structure built of willow. It's a "prayer box" where people leave messages to be sent to the heavens. They write down their wishes, hopes for the future or confessions. We'll set light to it on Saturday and all the messages will go to the gods.


I meet with my solicitor to discuss legal issues like noise pollution. The main issue is unofficial, off-site music, which apparently I'm still responsible for.

A neighbour is complaining about people going in his garden. I try to be reasonable as he is being a bit difficult. Some neighbours get annoyed and jealous because they think we are making a fortune at their expense. They don't realise that the money goes to lots of good causes. We've been doing the festival here in Pilton for 30 years, so they can't really complain. They knew about it before they decided to live here.

I've been checking the weather forecasts and they seem good. We've spent pounds 100,000 on drainage this year. The bands start to arrive, I complain about the size and shape of the stage. After a few alterations it looks good. We've made it face away from the village.


I start off the morning with the cows. Then I check the sound and PA system and the lighting. I have an interview with Heaven and Earth, a spiritual TV programme. I think spiritual associations with Glastonbury can be a bit pretentious. The interview is a bit tricky as I'm not keen on mixing religion with the festival. There is a wonderful feeling on the site, people feel elated spiritually but I don't think religion should be rammed down people's throats. I'm very excited about tonight and look forward to hearing the bands.

Interview by

Daisy Price