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Glastonbury Festival founder Sir Michael Eavis said its important the festival he launched 54 years ago “stands for something”, and that one of the elements of this year’s event he is most enthusiastic about is the introduction of the new Terminal 1 venue in the Williams Green area that highlights immigration.

Speaking to the Glastonbury Free Press, Eavis said, “It’s so important that this festival stands for something. That’s the guts of the event, really. It’s why we’ve backed the CND since 1981.”

Discussing the creation of Terminal 1, Eavis, who was knighted in April, said, “It’s dealing with the issue of immigration. They’re taking the approach that we can solve it. We can be friendly to these unfortunate people in the boats. It’s demonstrating – the whole festival is, really – that you can get on with your neighbour. And they’re putting all of that into a show.”

This year’s festival, which runs from 26-30 June at Eavis’ Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset, will for the first time include two female headline acts on the Pyramid Stage, with Dua Lipa and SZA. Another Glastonbury Festival first is the creation of a dedicated South Asian performance space, created and built by a South Asian team.

Located in the longstanding Shangri-La Glastonbury area of the festival, curated and created by a team including Continental Drift’s Chris MacMeikan, Arrivals is a new space delivered in collaboration with South Asian cultural organisations Dialled In, Going South and Daytimers.

The stage has been designed by Shankho Chaudhuri, Esha Sikander and Shirin Naveed, and will feature the work of illustrator Osheen Siva. It will be set in an immersive setting, that Shangri-La’s organisers have described as “a portal to an alien jungle planet, immersed by an audio visual world coded in solar punk, carnivorous plants, cyborg beasts and space pirates.”

Artists set to perform on the new stage include DJ Ritu, Anish Kumar, Gracie T, Manara and Nabihah Iqba.

Glastonbury’s industry leading sustainability efforts, including it being powered by renewable energy for the first time last year, were acknowledged at the Access All Areas Awards, with Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis collecting the Editor’s Award.

Emily Eavis has said that the event is unlikely to be staged in 2026, with the team taking a ‘fallow year’ to enable the farmland site to recover from the approximately 210,000 festivalgoers who attend the event each year.

An economic report on Glastonbury Festival found the event generated around £168 million of income for UK businesses last year, including £32 million for local businesses in Somerset.

According to the report, the cost of putting on the 210,000-capacity event was approximately £62 million, paid across 922 organisations providing services to the festival. Of this amount, just under £12 million was paid to 258 companies in Somerset.