Glastonbury Founder Michael Eavis Visits BIMM Dublin

4 December, 2015

The Glastonbury anecdotes came thick and fast in a fun-packed Masterclass with the originator of the world’s greatest music festival, Mr Michael Eavis.

Looking resplendent in trademark beard, shorts and sandals, Michael paid a much-anticipated visit to BIMM Dublin and spoke in a thoroughly entertaining way to the students about what goes on behind the scenes at the mammoth 46-year-old music event.

The first Glastonbury took place in 1970, the day after the death of Jimi Hendrix, and was originally named the Pilton Festival. Speaking of those early years and the simple origins of the festival, Michael said:

“We did some free festivals for a few years and the numbers grew. People liked what we were doing because it wasn’t financially driven. David Bowie played in 1971 and there was nothing there, just a mic and a speaker.”

The Glastonbury Festival is now an annual event, with exceptions where the land is allowed to recover, and has grown from a 1500 person event in 1970 (when T. Rex headlined) to 135,000 attendees in 2015, with Florence, Kanye and The Who topping the bill.

“We don’t have any exclusive rights on the bands, they can do what they like and play where they like,’ said Michael of his line-ups. ‘In 2004, Paul McCartney spent more on his production than what we paid him!”

The Festival is known for its enormous fundraising achievements too, with Michael estimating around £2 million a year going to good causes. There have been a fair share of scandals and dropouts over the years too, which Michael and the team take in their stride:

“Only four people asked for their money back when U2 pulled out, from 135,000. When Foo Fighters had to cancel, no-one asked for their money back. People buy tickets when they don’t even know who is playing so they can’t expect too much!”

Rob Shiels, studying a CPD in Songwriting said of Michael’s Masterclass:

“He had such great stories. I’ve been to Glastonbury before so it was great to hear from the mastermind behind it.”

Michael happily stayed on after the session, signing the visitor wall, chatting, and posing for pictures with students and staff. Rosie White, a Guitar BA1 student, was one of the happy attendees:

“Michael was cool as a breeze, such a dude! We’re trying to get a festival running back in Wexford so I feel really inspired.”

That’s good enough for us. Thank you once again Michael, see you at Glastonbury!