Glastonbury Festival: ‘Fears’ over future after Longleat move falls through

Michael Eavis has been looking for a new site

The future of Glastonbury Festival could be in doubt after talks over a proposed move to Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire broke down.

It was previously reported that founder Michael Eavis had suggested the festival would no longer be held at its traditional location of Worthy Farm in Pilton to cope with the vast numbers of people in attendance and because the surrounding land is owned by other people.

However, Eavis has now told The Telegraph that discussions have fallen through with Longleat owner Lord Bath and his son Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth. The paper reported that Eavis “fears” for the festival’s future following the developments.

“Longleat probably won’t happen anymore,” Eavis is quoted as saying. “Lord Bath is really keen. I went to him because I knew him when he was a boy. But he and his son aren’t agreeing, and they don’t speak very much, so it’s hard to make decisions. I haven’t been able to sit down with all of them at the same time”.

NMENME/Jordan Hughes

Revealing that Lord Bath’s son was invited to this year’s festival, Eavis added: “Ceawlin and Emma [McQuiston, wife] don’t like the mud. They saw the mud at its worst. They were supposed to come and see it all cleaned up on September 1, but they didn’t turn up.”

“They let me down gently about their decision. I went round to their house and we had a very long discussion. They said to clean up all that mud, they’d have to restrict the whole of the operations at Longleat for about three months and it’s too expensive.”

NME has contacted Glastonbury Festival for further comment.

Loaded previously reported that Michael Eavis had confirmed they would stage a one-off festival “20 miles up the road” in 2018, with rumours suggesting Longleat would be the new location.

However, Eavis later told the Glastonbury Free Press: “It’s really on the backburner now. But it’s something we’re looking at for the next fallow year, which is likely to be in 2019.”

Festival organiser Emily Eavis previously told BBC News: “The main thing to set straight is that Glastonbury Festival itself will always be at Worthy Farm.”