Glastonbury festival to move from Worthy Farm in 2019, says founder

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled « Glastonbury festival to move from Worthy Farm in 2019, says founder » was written by Kevin Rawlinson, for theguardian.com on Monday 19th December 2016 19.52 UTC

The Glastonbury festival will be moved from its home at Worthy Farm in 2019 to protect the site, under plans outlined by its founder, Michael Eavis. He said the move to a site about 100 miles away was likely to take place every five years.

Eavis revealed that he had identified a site in the Midlands, though he did not specify where it was. “I am arranging for one year off, say every fifth year or so, to try and move the show to a site that’s more suitable, I have to say. But it would be a huge loss to Somerset if it went there forever, would it not?” he said.

Michael Eavis
Michael Eavis says his festival could be held ‘almost anywhere’. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Eavis, who started hosting the festival at Worthy Farm in 1970, told the BBC: “We’ve got a wonderful product, what we do, and we can do it almost anywhere. I love my own farm … I might have to move it eventually.

“Most people are on side now and it’s a wonderful, wonderful boost for the whole of Somerset and beyond as well.” He insisted the move away from the county would not be permanent, saying: “I don’t want to lose it for ever, no way.”

The festival has a regular fallow year to give local people – and the land itself – a rest from the annual disruption. The next fallow year is due in 2018.

Earlier this year Eavis said he had held discussions with the Longleat estate, about 15 miles away from Worthy Farm, but they proved unsuccessful.

It was also reported that Eavis had told an audience at the Oxford Union that he was keen to move the festival, which can attract about 175,000 people a year, away from his farm as early as 2017.

While it is not clear where the festival’s new site would be, the area between Milton Keynes and Birmingham is about 100 miles from Worthy Farm.

Eavis’s daughter Emily has previously suggested that an event held away from the farm would not bear the name Glastonbury festival.

Referring to the possibility of moving it to Longleat when that was being considered, she said: “It’s going to be the whole team behind the Glastonbury festival but it’s not going to be called Glastonbury. The main thing to set straight is that Glastonbury festival itself will always be at Worthy Farm.”

  • This article was amended on 19 December 2016 because it incorrectly stated that the next Glastonbury festival will be in 2018. The next festival will be in 2017, and 2018 is scheduled to be a fallow year.

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