Michael Eavis, the founder of the Glastonbury Festival, talks about his highlights

'We won't churn out the same Anglo-Saxon bands every year'

Sunday 23 October 2011 08:12

I'm not going to make hip-hop a major thrust of Glastonbury next year just because the American rapper Jay-Z headlined the Pyramid Stage.

We will find something that is equally as daring and interesting – but not necessarily in the hip-hop realm. Hopefully next year, the headliners will be attracted to playing without me having to pay them vast sums.

The commercial festivals now offer £2m or £3m for a headliner. We can't afford to do that, which means that the headliners need to play for a small fee of a couple of hundred thousand pounds.

It is very little money, but Jay-Z is quite a cool customer. I went down to the stage and had a chat with him. I noticed how incredible relaxed he was for somebody about to set foot on the main stage of the biggest festival in the world. He was supremely confident about it.

We have had loads of that hip-hop stuff here before – Cyprus Hill and DJ Tim Westwood – but not on the main stage. Who will headline next year is a decision we are going to have to take again, but the point is you can't replace a Jay-Z slot like that. It has been done and finished now. It worked once because it's a new venture for us. Artistically, it was the right thing to do, rather than churn out the same Anglo-Saxon rock'n'roll bands every year. These bands do all the other festivals anyway, so we are trying to distinguish ourselves.

I think the weather was the biggest hit!

The best set for me was a very excited Amy Winehouse, who really stole the show. We had to try and get her off the stage because she had gone 10 minutes over and Jay-Z's time was being cut slightly.

I've never seen such a big crowd – not in all the years. There must have been 100,000 people out there. I went everywhere; my legs are sore.

My personal highlights include Duffy, The Ting Tings, The Blockheads and Jimmy Cliff. Leonard Cohen was so polite and such a gentleman. He took his hat off every time he finished a song, and bowed to the audience.

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