Entertainment & Arts

Emily Eavis: Glastonbury 2021 will be 'a double celebration'

Emily Eavis Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emily Eavis, who grew up on Worthy Farm, has been helping her father Michael organise Glastonbury since 1999

Next year's Glastonbury festival will be a "double celebration", organiser Emily Eavis has told the BBC.

The festival was due to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, with headline sets from Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar.

Instead, it was called off in March as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

"Having to cancel was quite gutting," Eavis told BBC Music. "But the first year back after what we've been through will be the most amazing party.

"We all need it, the public need it, we all need that kind of connection. We need to be together.

"Being forced to be in lockdown and everything we've all gone through together has made those things all the more precious."

She hinted that next year's line-up could be one of the most spectacular yet, with sets delayed from this year's festival combined with the artists already booked for 2021.

"Because we're rolling two festivals together, we've got a hell of a lot of surprises that we were planning for the 50th and I think we're going to try and get those things going for next year," she told BBC 6 Music.

"Logistically it's a little bit complicated because we'd already pencilled in many, many of the acts for 2021... so we're trying to work out how much we can fit into next year.

Eavis said she "really hopes" Paul McCartney can return to headline the Pyramid Stage next year, but admitted the festival faced "choppy waters" in preparing for 2021.

"It's a little bit unknown as to where we're going to be, so we're optimistic - but we're not going too far down that road at the moment."

More than 200,000 people, including 135,000 ticket-holders, would have descended on Worthy Farm in Somerset if the festival had gone ahead this weekend.

Fans who bought tickets or paid deposits for this year's event have been allowed to roll those over to next year. Any returned or cancelled tickets will be put on sale later this year.

Marcus Mumford, who was due to play a surprise set with Mumford and Sons at the festival, said he was gutted to be missing out.

"It would sort of be alright if it was anything other than Glastonbury," he told BBC Breakfast, "but Glastonbury for us, especially as a band, we always set out hearts on it.

"You know, it's the highlight. It's the best festival in the world."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The festival hopes to come back at full strength in summer 2021

To mark what would have been Glastonbury weekend, the BBC is repeating dozens of classic sets from the festival's history on TV, radio and the iPlayer over the next four days.

Performances by David Bowie, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Adele, Jay-Z The Rolling Stones, Stormzy and Arctic Monkeys will be broadcast over the weekend, alongside documentaries and acoustic performances from the BBC's archive.

"We're going to be catching up on loads of old sets online," said Eavis. "I'm really pleased the BBC have managed to put so many sets up because... we never watch the coverage when everyone else is watching at home.

"So it's actually a really nice opportunity to be able to sit down and watch some of that, and reflect on all those moments from Oasis to Springsteen, Adele, Amy Winehouse - so many good ones over the years.

"It's a good time to take it all in."

In a separate interview with the NME Eavis said this year's festival would have reflected the Black Lives Matter movement, had it gone ahead.

"There are so many issues at the moment and I know that we would have been continuing our campaigning on climate change and expanding our work banning the use of plastic across the site.

"We have also been very inspired by Black Lives Matter and working as festival in the fight against racism, so that would have been prominent in our plans too."

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