Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis says some men in music industry “refuse” to deal with her

She also discussed hopes of achieving a 50/50 gender balance on future line-ups

Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis has said that some men in the music industry “refuse” to deal with her after taking over from her father Michael.

Ahead of Worthy Farm opening its gates for this year’s festival, Eavis spoke of the difficulties she faces in being taken seriously in meetings at the planning stages of the event.

“The live music world has been so male-dominated,” she told Lauren Laverne during her Desert Island Discs show on BBC Radio 4. “I go to meetings with just tables of men. Some were great, and some just refuse to accept that they had to deal with me.”


Eavis first began working on Glastonbury two decades ago, following the death of her mother Jean. She and her husband Nick Dewey – Glasto’s Head of Music Programming – now book all the artists across the main stages.

Glastonbury bosses Emily and Michael Eavis at the NME Awards 2018

Elsewhere in the broadcast, Eavis once again highlighted her goal of achieving an equal gender balance on the line-up – with Glastonbury’s 2019 bill being 42% female acts.

“We are working toward 50/50. Some years it’s 60/40,” she explained. “It’s a challenge for us and we’ve really taken it on and I’m always totally conscious every day that the gender balance should be right.

“Every day when I’m booking I’m thinking about that and cajoling stage bookers to be onboard with it. Some of them have been here a long time so it’s a little bit of hustle. But we’re getting there.”

Last year, Eavis claimed that older men are to blame for the perceived lack of gender diversity on festival bills. “I mean, there are a lot of old guys in the music industry; unfortunately it’s not been a topic which people have been conscious of,” she said.


“It’s not necessarily purposeful, it’s just that it hasn’t ever been top of the agenda like it is now. I keep saying to some of our older bookers who have been doing it for 30 years, ‘Come on guys, you need to engage with this’. It’s just a new idea for a lot of them.”

Glastonbury Festival begins on Wednesday (June 26), with Stormzy, The Killers, and The Cure set to headline. See the full stage-by-stage line-up here and check back at NME for the latest news.