‘Downton Abbey’ actor leads call to boycott Glastonbury over Brian May badger comments

Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan has led the call on music fans and animal lovers to boycott Glastonbury over Michael Eavis’ response to Brian May’s comments about badger culling.

While the festival takes a fallow year to allow the land to recover, the organiser and farmer Eavis recently spoke to Daily Mail about the Queen guitarist’s vocal stance against badger culling – arguing that the process is a fight against the impact that bovine TB can cause when cattle become infected. Eavis is also a vice-president of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, whose official position is against the badger cull.

“He’s a danger to farming,” Eavis said about May. “He doesn’t care about the badgers – he doesn’t know anything about it at all.”

Actor and animal activist Peter Egan then took to Twitter, where urged “compassionate fans” to avoid Glasto in protest.

“Compassionate fans of all music should read this and boycott Glastonbury,” he wrote. “Perhaps Eavis should make clear that only those with limited compassion should attend the muddy festival.”

Animal rights groups have since lent their support to Egan’s comments.

Speaking to The Guardian about his support for culling in 2013, Eavis said: “If I thought for a moment badgers would infect my cows I know which side I’d be on.

“There’s a farm three miles down the road that lost 500 cows to TB. That’s the whole of his career, and his father before him, and his grandfather, just destroyed in one fell swoop.”

NME has approached Glastonbury for a comment.

While no acts have been confirmed for 2019, the Eavises say they’ve already booked two of the headliners for their 50th anniversary in 2020.

“Headliners should be the best artists around – whether they’re rappers, pop stars or rock bands,” Emily Eavis told NME earlier this year. “The genre is irrelevant – it’s about who is going to produce the most exciting show and is making the best music. We always encounter debate, which is great, that’s what it’s all about.

“Most music fans are open minded and many discover new music by coming to festivals and getting blown away by some amazing artist that they’ve never seen before.”

Other rumoured headliners for Glastonbury 2019 include Madonna and Arctic Monkeys.