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(Credit: Paul Holloway)


Glastonbury lawyer says 2021 festival is still set to go-ahead


Glastonbury Festival‘s General Counsel Ben Challis has said that plans are going ahead for the festival to be staged in June 2021 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has meant that many people are unsure whether or not the date is too optimistic.

The entertainment lawyer has represented the festival for 26 years and has said that work on the Worthy Farm event will begin in March. “For 2021 we will have to start building in March, or the end of March because its a big festival and it takes a lot to build, and no one wants to do a ‘light Glastonbury’,” he told Behind The Noise Podcast’s Marc Farquhar.

Challis added: “The plan would be to rebook the 2020 bill, it will move everything, including our 50th-anniversary celebration to 2021”. The lawyer was then asked whether there were many people requesting a refund after this year’s event was cancelled in March, Challis said: “It was literally a handful, it was extraordinary. No one wanted a refund.”

His words were in a similar vein to Emily Eavis’ comments back in August when she said: “For those who have been asking, we have no plans to move next year’s Glastonbury to September 2021 – we’re still very much aiming for June.”

However, Eavis and Challis’ comments both differ from when her father Michael Eavis recently cast doubt over whether next year’s event will go ahead. “500 people is ok isn’t it,” Michael Eavis told ITV News West Country in August about the current issues surrounding the social distancing guidelines. “But my job, 250,000 altogether is too many people I suppose isn’t it really.”

He added: “I’m still hoping I’m going to be running next year and I’m going to be moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do. But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen. That is just wishful thinking really.”

Despite the uncertainty of the festival’s immediate future, Eavis remained confident that Glastonbury will still be able to come back stronger from this current setback. “No I do not worry at all, I am so confident that it will survive. The only certainty I think is the year after, 2022, to be perfectly candid. So we might have to wait for two years maybe,” he said.

Fingers crossed the biggest event in the British music calendar will be able to return next year and things will start to return to something that resembles normal social life. Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were booked in to headline the Pyramid Stage in 2020 but it is yet to be confirmed whether they will still headline the rescheduled event.