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Emily Eavis and 6 Music's Julie Cullen on the Glastonbury site

Eavis' Glasto reaction

Emily discusses leaked line-up, Springsteen negotiations and Park stage surprise
26 May 2009 - Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis says there was a 'bit of panic' at Worthy Farm when an incorrect line-up was leaked 12 hours early.

Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur are headlining this year's event, as well as sets from The Prodigy, Kasabian, Bloc Party and Fleet Foxes. (See full line-up at BBC Glastonbury site)

Eavis also discussed a document that was sent to 'the boss' to persuade him to perform at his first Glastonbury.

The event from 24-28 June will also see a top secret Park Stage appearance.

You've managed to book Bruce Springsteen for the Pyramid stage. There must have been some pretty protracted negotiations?

It's been our mission for quite a long time to get Bruce. I thought it was quite unlikely, especially when the agent said, 'Glaston-what?'. We put together a document for him and spoke to his people a lot and they are really up for it.

Did you want to get him because his principles chime with yours?

You wouldn't draw any comparisons between Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen but both of them are massive Barack Obama supporters, so politically it's sound with us, all of our ideas and the way that we think about things. All of his campaigning sits with us really well.

What did you put in that document that managed to persuade Springsteen to come?

He's never done a festival before so we didn't expect him to know much about it. It included quotes from lots of different people, musicians who have played.

It's quite hard to understand why you should play a festival for not much money when you're being offered quite a lot to go elsewhere. We put together some information and said this is what happens, this is all the money that goes to charity. Pretty quickly he said: 'Yes'.  It's amazing.

You've also got Neil Young and Blur headlining. Was this a reaction to the controversy of last year over Jay-Z because it's all about the veterans of rock this year?

No. Bruce and Neil are amazing artists. The fact that they have heritage and have been going a bit longer than other bands is irrelevant. There's no way we could have turned one down.

We don't think of the line-up like that. There was a lot of misunderstanding about the way we book bands here. We just trust our instincts quite a lot of the time and go with what is right and those were both around this year and possibilities so we went: 'Yeah, amazing'.

The line-up came out earlier than we expected. Did chaos ensue at Worthy Farm when the embargo was broken?

On something of this scale there's crisis every five minutes; that's Michael's (Festival founder Michael Eavis) line. So there was a bit of panic rippling through the air. However, we quickly got the right line-up on our website - because the actual line-up that was out was incorrect - and managed to speak to all our partners to make sure they got the right one.

What it is about Glastonbury that makes the whole line-up speculation such a hot topic? 

It's become a bit of a national pastime to discuss and speculate about it. I think it's fun speculation and I think the reason we don't release it for ages is great because people come for the right reasons. Besides the headliners, there is so much going on and that's the point we're making.

People come because they want to go and see all the amazing theatre and circus and go to the Green Fields, Trash City, Shangri La, everything else. Then we announce the line-up and it's the cherry on top, or not, according to how you feel about it.

What are you looking forward to seeing?

Obviously the headliners, but there's a lot of other stuff I'm really excited about; The Specials, I think Lily Allen will have a big moment on the Friday, Eagles Of Death Metal and Animal Collective on the Park stage. There's a really top surprise on the Park which will definitely not come out because otherwise we'd have a health and safety issue. You can start guessing.

When are we going allowed to find out about it?

I don't think it will ever be announced. It will just happen for those people that happen to be there, hopefully for the people that are fans of the band.

Emily Eavis was speaking to BBC 6 Music's Music Week presenter Julie Cullen from the Glastonbury site today.  Hear more in the Music Week on Sunday from 1pm GMT.
 See pictures of their trip to the Glastonbury site.

Georgie Rogers

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