Glastonbury Festival’s (cap. 210,000) creator Michael Eavis has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list, for services to music and charity.
Eavis first staged a festival on his Worthy Farm site in 1970, and the event was renamed The Glastonbury Fayre the following year. He received a CBE in 2007.
During an interview after receiving the news of the knighthood, the 88-year-old said, “I have had a good life and managed to keep the festival going for 53 years. It’s all gone so well in the end. It took 25 years for the public to catch on. We started with 500 people in 1970 and we’ve finished up with millions wanting to come every year now. That’s quite extraordinary, isn’t it?
“Last time I met [King Charles], I got a suit especially. And he said, ‘Why aren’t you wearing your shorts?’! But I think William might do the ceremony. He’s made a few mentions of wanting to come to the festival. So, I’ll probably take a couple of tickets in my pocket!”
This year’s event, to be staged on 26-30 June, sold out in under one hour.
Glastonbury Festival raised nearly £4 million for charity last year, which also saw the opening of 20 social houses in Pilton on land donated by Eavis and using stone from Worthy Farm – bringing the total to 52.
Last year also saw the festival recognised with the Access All Areas Editor’s Award for its pioneering sustainability work, including it being powered entirely by renewable energy for the first time. On receiving the award, Glastonbury Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis said, “We’re just trying to improve year on year. [Across the industry] everyone is talking, sharing ideas and wanting to move forward. A lot of progress is being made.”
Among the others to be honoured were Royal Albert Hall CEO James Ainscough, who was given an OBE for his work at charity Help Musicians. Soho Artists founder Paul Burger was also awarded an OBE.