Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has said he is “uncertain” if next year’s festival will go ahead, but that he is “moving heaven and earth” to make it happen.
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Speaking to ITV News West Country, Eavis has said fans might have to wait until 2022 for the return of the festival, which was due to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this year with Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar headlining.
Speaking about the difficulty of ensuring social distancing, Eavis said: “500 people is ok isn’t it. But my job, 250,000 altogether is too many people I suppose isn’t it really.
“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.”
Asked about if he is worried about the future of the festival, Eavis said he was optimistic it would be secure.
Eavis said: “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.
“But I am still hoping and we are fighting and working at it all the time to make sure it happens next year.”
Eavis added that he is certain the festival will come back stronger. “You can’t kill it off just like that. It will come back.
“It will come back, probably stronger actually.”
Previously, Eavis said a track-and-trace app could allow the festival to return safely next year. Back in June, Eavis said that he had already been in discussions with Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn about collaborating on a scheme that will allow ticket holders on-site once they’ve proved they are virus-free.
According to Benn – who runs festivals including Reading and Leeds, Download, Latitude and Wireless – the scheme would involve using an NHS-linked tracing app that ticket-holders would show at an additional security gate before entering festivals.
“I’m 100% confident about next year, literally 100%, because the government will successfully pursue one of three options: cure, vaccine or testing,” Benn told The Guardian, adding that app-based entry “will become the new norm.”