Michael Eavis warns Glastonbury could “go bankrupt” if it can’t return in 2021

"I don’t think we could wait another year"

Michael Eavis has warned that Glastonbury could be at risk of going bankrupt should the festival not return in 2021.

The Worthy Farm bash’s 2020 edition – due to be headlined by Paul McCartneyKendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift – was cancelled in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to The Guardian, founder Michael Eavis stressed the importance of being able to go ahead with Glastonbury next year.

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“We have to run next year, otherwise we would seriously go bankrupt… It has to happen for us, we have to carry on,” he explained. “Otherwise it will be curtains. I don’t think we could wait another year.”

The Killers headline Glastonbury 2019. Credit: Carolina Faruolo

Co-organiser Emily Eavis added that the Glastonbury team would be in a “very serious situation if we had to cancel next year’s event, but then the whole live industry will be hanging in the balance if we have another summer without festivals, and we don’t know what level of government support there will be for this industry.”

Offering fans some reassurance, she explained that Glastonbury had “navigated choppy waters so many times” throughout its history.

“This festival has always evolved and found ways to survive, and I’m confident that we will again. Mutate to survive!”

Glastonbury's Michael Eavis
Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis. CREDIT: Getty

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Emily went on to say that “cancelling 2020 obviously cost us a sizeable sum of money”, and that she had “drafted and modelled four different [contingency] plans” for the 2021 event. However, she stressed that the government “need[s] to step up and support the British arts more broadly” to ensure the survival of such cultural events.

“We haven’t got unlimited resources – we carry enough to float the next event,” Michael said of the financial strain of cancelling Glastonbury 2020.

Meanwhile, Emily Eavis has spoken of what to expect from the festival next year, explaining that she’s “hoping” Paul McCartney will return to fulfil his scheduled headline slot.

“I think because we’re rolling two festivals together for 2021, we’ve got a hell of a lot of surprises that we were planning for the 50th,” she said.

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