Campaign to Protect Rural England - Somerset

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An Evening With Michael Eavis

Michael Eavis Michael Eavis

We were delighted to host an evening with Michael Eavis, founder of Glastonbury Festival and dairy farmer, in April 2016 at Pilton Village Hall.

The event was a sell out with the audience an interesting mix of CPRE members and festival devotees who had travelled from far and wide to spend an evening with their hero. As expected, Michael arrived at the hall on his bicycle, wearing his shorts and sporting a big smile!

He shared his early memories of how he "ran away to sea" but had to return when his father died and he took on the responsibility of the farm. He spoke of the first Pilton Festival where the tickets cost £1 including free milk and told tales of Marc Bolan's luxury car getting stuck in the narrow, muddy lanes approaching the farm! It was fascinating to hear how the festival has evolved - the hippie convoys, the "superfence", the global TV coverage, the Dalai Lama - and to hear Michael's plans for the future.

The evening was wonderfully friendly and informal as Michael answered questions ranging from his "dream line up" to how the festival site copes with the influx of 175,000 people and their tents and their waste (!) each June.  Glastonbury Festival has huge impact on Somerset through direct employment, supporting local traders and suppliers and it has funded local direct amenity improvements in nearby villages (including our venue for the evening) - not to mention the benefits to many local schools, clubs and charities who help out at the Festival. Michael stayed on afterwards for a glass of cider in the bar and everyone lined up for their selfie with a living legend.

Overall, it was a great evening and what came across loud and clear was Michael's love of people and his love of music and his generous and genuine outlook on life. Thank you Mr Eavis!




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Somerset patchwork landscape