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Glastonbury Festival celebrate 50 years with new behind-the-scenes book


The organisers of Glastonbury Festival are planning to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a very special behind-the-scenes book.

Festival founder Michael Eavis and his daughter and co-organiser Emily Eavis will detail the founding moments of the now world famous event, telling the stories that built the festival from the ground up.

“With our 50th anniversary fast approaching, we felt now was the time to put all of our memories and stories together in one place,” Emily Eavis tells The Guardian of the book. “It’s been a total joy to look back through piles of old photo albums and scrapbooks and to reflect upon what it meant at the time, and the incredible evolution of the event.”

With fascinating insight into the highs, the lows, the controversial moments and the day-to-day planning that is invested into Glastonbury, the Eavis’ will published ‘Glastonbury 50’ on 31 October after the chaos of the 2019 event has died down.

“Music had always been a big part of my life. I discovered Radio Luxembourg when I was at boarding school, and I’d listen to it every Sunday night, when Pete Murray and David Jacobs were on. Bill Haley and Bob Dylan captured my imagination, and although I never really went to concerts, I fell in love with pop music,” Eavis explains in an extract from the book published exclusively in The Guardian.

Eavis continues: “Before I met Jean, I’d rigged up a very primitive sound system to play music to myself and the cows in the parlour. It was a nine-foot-long pipe connected to a speaker and it made a hell of a sound. I used to play Lola by the Kinks a lot – that was our big milking song. One day in 1970, our baker lady who used to deliver bread to the farm arrived late. She told me it was because she’d been held up in all the traffic going to the Blues festival. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me it was this big event happening at the Bath & West Showground, a few miles from the farmhouse, and there were millions of people coming for it. “That sounds amazing!” I said, to which she replied, “No, it’s horrible!”

“Jean and I agreed that we should go there on the Sunday, after chapel, and it was absolutely incredible. They had Led Zeppelin and Moody Blues and all these west coast American bands. It was the whole flower-power era, and all the girls and blokes looked amazing. It was a very lovey-dovey affair, and emotional, too. I’d never seen anything like it before – it just hit me for six. We were watching Moody Blues, who were playing Question, which is a belter of a song, and I turned to Jean and said, “I’m going to do one of these on the farm!” If I remember rightly, her reply was, “Don’t be silly, you’ve no idea how.”