As Coldplay brought their Glastonbury headline set to an end tonight, Chris Martin ushered festival organiser Michael Eavis on stage for the final song. In the past, he’s joined artists on stage for a little sing-song, like when he sang ‘Happy Birthday’ with Stevie Wonder, but this year’ session seems more poignant than any other.
Covering Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’, Eavis took the lead throughout – something that hasn’t really happened before. Was it just because he’s actually quite good at crooning his way through Old Blue Eyes’ song (as proven by his annual karaoke performance) or was there a deeper meaning? The song, which speaks of defiance and nostalgia and pride, is traditionally one that is sung at the end of something – it’s the most popular song played at funerals, for example. Did Eavis just subtly tell us all that he’s stepping down from being involved with the festival?
His daughter Emily has become increasingly involved over recent years and, as he’s now 80 (and turning 81 in October), Michael Eavis is well past retirement age. He’s given decades of service to millions of people, giving us tons of amazing bands and artists to watch and discover and providing a place where, every year, like-minded people can gather, meet, form friendships and be themselves without fear. Really, he deserves to put his feet up.
There have been a lot of rumours of changes afoot at Glastonbury, including relocating from Worthy Farm to nearby Longleat, and it’s long been suggested that Michael Eavis will soon fully hand over the reins to Emily. His performance tonight was full of the kind of passion and energy he’s poured into Glastonbury festival. If he was saying goodbye, if ‘My Way’ was his swansong, it was the perfect farewell. If not, it was still a special moment – a sweet reminder of how our annual jolly on his farm is made possible. Take a bow Michael, the true star of every Glastonbury Festival.