Michael Eavis on Tony Benn: ‘He didn’t do what was popular, he did what was right’

The festival organiser pays tribute to the late politician in Glastonbury's Left Field

Michael Eavis paid tribute to the late politician Tony Benn in Glastonbury’s Left Field tent this morning (June 27).

The late politician, who died in March, was a regular speaker at the festival and this year has had a tower erected in his honour .

“What a fantastic fellow,” Eavis said. “Highly principled. A conviction politician who didn’t do what was popular, he did what was right. And above all that he was really very funny. I thought about putting him on in the comedy tent you know!”

“We had a wonderful 10 years with him,” Eavis continued. “We are going to miss him so much, because he was so much a part of this. He was an A-star performer. How could we replace him? We’ve actually named the tower above the meeting point the Benn Tower of Strength after him – which is all about people pulling together…to make the world go round in a sensible fashion.”

Later on at the event, Benn’s granddaughter, Labour councillor Emily Benn took to the stage to say a few words. “I had the intense privilege and sometimes strange experience of coming to Glastonbury for the last few years with him. There’s no many people who can say their Glastonbury companion is their 88 year old grandfather.”

Benn’s eldest son Stephen Benn then came on stage. “I hope that when you think of him, you will think of the encouragement and the inspiration that he have you,” he said.

Billy Bragg then came onstage, saying that Benn was a “great friend of Glastonbury” before leading the crowd to sing the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ in his honour. A video showing Benn’s greatest moments from the festival over the years finished the tribute.