Belfast Telegraph

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis says her family were target of local anger

She said residents were not all happy about the Worthy Farm event.

Emily Eavis said the festival could be ‘scary’ (Amanda Benson/BBC)
Emily Eavis said the festival could be ‘scary’ (Amanda Benson/BBC)

Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis has said locals near Worthy Farm would vent anger at her family in the early days of the festival.

The daughter of founder Michael Eavis said the musical event felt edgy in the 1980s and Glastonbury residents were not all supportive of the incoming crowds.

Eavis, who has taken on responsibility for organising the festival, said her family was on the receiving end of local anger.

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Eavis spoke on Desert Island Discs. (Amanda Benson/BBC)

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, she said the crowds and conflict of the festival meant it was not immediately embraced by the community in rural Somerset.

She said: “There had been nothing like the festival in that area. There was quite a lot of conflict in the 80s.

“We used to have people shouting at us when we drove through the village.

“At the time it felt like we were part of something really controversial and everyone had an opinion, and they used to just let us know.

“You’d be at a Christmas drinks party and someone would just come over and start shouting.”

Eavis said that during her childhood she was not a fan of the festival, and was troubled by the arrival of so many strangers to her family’s land.

The organiser said the event could be “pretty scary at times” during the early days.

Eavis has since worked with her family to develop the event and its thousands of bookings, and has tried to improve the gender balance of performers.

She said she is aiming for a 50/50 split, and has encountered the challenges of a male majority business.

Eavis said: “The live music world has been so male dominated. I go to meetings with just tables of men.

“Some were great, and some just refuse to accept that they had to deal with me.

“It’s quite hard to go from dealing with my dad to suddenly dealing with me.

“We are working to get to 50/50. It’s a challenge for us.

“I’m always totally conscious of the gender balance being right.”

The full interview with Eavis is available on BBC Sounds and will air on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11:15am.

PA

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