Staging one of the coolest musical events on the planet is no mean feat – but luckily it has some of the best organisers and creative talents in the business behind it
Founder of the festival, which has taken place at Worthy Farm for the past 46 years, Somerset farmer Michael Eavis is the man who has made it all possible (and continues to do so with co-organiser and daughter, Emily, below). Rumours of a new location for Glastonbury have recently surfaced with hints by Eavis that Glastonbury might be moving to Longleat in two years’ time. Emily has meanwhile largely quashed the rumours, so only time will tell.
Michael’s energetic youngest daughter, Emily, left teacher training to help her father run the festival, and hasn’t looked back. As well helping out with Oxfam’s “Make Trade Fair” campaign – she visited Haiti with Chris Martin to publicise the negative impact of western corporations’ trade practises upon coffee farmers – she visited Mozambique in 2006 to witness how funds donated to WaterAid were being put to use. At the 2007 festival, Emily curated her own stage, The Park, with acts including Kate Nash, Martha Wainwright, Africa Express and Adele.
Over the past couple of years, the artist Chris Levine has gained something of a cult following (his holographic portrait of the Queen has gone down in the national consciousness as a 21st-century icon), so there’s more than a little buzz around his laser installation for the special Bowie tribute at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Levine is no stranger to the music festival – he has worked with bands including Massive Attack in the past – but this one in celebration of the Starman promises to be something very special indeed. Expect lasers as you’ve never experienced them before.
With 2016 set to be the fourth year in a row that Coldplay has headlined at Glastonbury, Chris Martin seems to be as much of a Glasto institution now as the iconic Pyramid stage (he also just happens to have grown up down the road in Exeter and attended nearby Sherborne School, thereby cementing the connection). But with seven albums under their belt and unconfirmed rumours that the band could soon be going their separate ways, could this year mark a closing chapter for Coldplay? Watch this space.
This year, Emily Eavis has commissioned British counterculture sculptor Joe Rush to build a giant Ziggy Stardust lightening bolt flanked by a set of silver wings across the top of the Pyramid stage, where bands including Coldplay and Adele will play. Rush has created artworks for the Glastonbury site for years now – last year, music fans were wowed by a giant winged metallic clock, “Peace Time Flies” (below), which spanned the entire breadth of the Pyramid stage and captured the spirit of Glastonbury. This year’s tribute promises to be no less impressive.
Each year, for the past 38 years, Julian Temperley’s famous bright-blue Somerset Cider bus has been making its annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury and serving up Orchard Mist, a cider-based Pimm’s, to music fans, ably assisted by his wife, Diana, and three daughters, Alice, Mary and Matilda. The Somerset Bus is the first port of call for any discerning festival goer. Glasto wouldn’t be Glasto without it.