Michael Eavis: 'Electrical storm wouldn't have closed Pyramid Stage in the past'

Eavis reveals that this year's mud cost the festival half a million pounds

Andy Ford/NME
Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis says the electrical storm that caused the Pyramid Stage to be closed down during Rudimental's set on Friday (June 27) would not have been deemed worthy of stopping the music in the past.

Eavis was speaking at the annual press conference, which is held on site on the Sunday morning of the festival, where he also revealed that efforts to combat this year's mud cost the festival £500,000.

Eavis said: "We didn't care about lightning years ago, but there's health and safety everywhere now saying lightning stops the music. When The Cure played in 1986 the lightning was actually part of the show it was so good, and no-one thought of stopping it then."

"I'm not saying that [I disagree with health and safety]. All these people go to college and their degrees in health and safety, I can't say it's nonsense, can I? But we wouldn't have stopped it years ago. I don't know whether it was a danger or not but it was a shame, it was only for an hour or so, but we missed a few bands for sure. Anyway, no one suffered from the lightning or the rain."

Eavis said the festival generated enough money this year to "pay our bills", but that the mud had been a hit to the budget. He said: "I think we've got enough money to pay the bills. I think so, anyway – I saw my budget lady this morning and she said, 'Be careful – don't give too much away.' Because the cost of the mud is about half a million."

The farmer and festival boss also spoke about his appearance in the Avalon field on Thursday night, where he sung The Rolling Stones' 'The Last Time'. He said there was no significance in his choice of song, and that this certainly wouldn't be the last festival. "I think I was referring to the singing rather than the festival," he said. "I think it might be the last time I'm going to sing, but I was so pleased with it. Whether or not it sounded good out there I don't really know, but I had a sense of enjoyment doing it, and I thought, Well, I can still sing, so it will not be the last time. I don't think I'll book myself for the Pyramid Stage though."

Eavis said he expects to be involved with the festival until its 50th anniversary. "I've got a few more years," he said. "Myself, I think I can run another six years, which would take me up to 50 years, and then see what happens after that." He confirmed that the festival's next fallow year – when it takes a year off to allow the site to recover – would be in 2017.

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