Emily Eavis says she was once ‘terrified’ of Glastonbury: ‘We had ball bearings shot through our window by locals’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
Emily Eavis says she was once ‘terrified’ of Glastonbury: ‘We had ball bearings shot through our window by locals’
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis has said that opposition to the festival from local residents in the early days made her “terrified” of the event as a child.

Speaking on Annie Mac’s podcast Changes, Eavis said: “I spent a lot of my childhood feeling terrified of it because it was pretty wild and very divisive.”

She added: “In the area that we lived in there was so much animosity about it – and loathing – and they were really full on feelings to grow up around, so I was terrified.

“We had ball bearings shot through our window by locals and our car was burnt down… I lived with this kind of fear of the festival and I was like, ‘Can we just have a normal life?’”

Eavis said that the festival is now accepted and “bedded into our culture and society” with “a feeling that it’s not this threatening thing”.

Glastonbury Festival, which will return for its 50th Anniversary in a few days time, was started by Eavis’s parents at their home on Worthy farm in 1970, with tickets originally selling for just £1 each.

Remembering the early years, Eavis recalled how she was once seen as a “weird outsider” at school and “couldn’t really get people to come” to the festival.

“I used to take in books of tickets and just be like, ‘Does anyone wanna come? It’s not that bad,’ and people were just like, ‘No, thanks.’”

Glastonbury is set to celebrate its 50th year (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)
Glastonbury is set to celebrate its 50th year (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)

Eavis also spoke of the continuing legacy of her late mother, Jean Hayball, who brought her “caring” quality to Glastonbury, often taking in festivalgoers and homing them for months after the festival had ended.

“For a time in the 1980s there were people who were leftover that would come and find refuge there who didn’t feel that they had a belonging or a place in the outside world – so they came and stayed.”

“These people were part of my life,” she added.

When asked about her all-time highlights throughout the years, Eavis recalled “watching Stormzy in 2019… I could die tomorrow and be happy. That was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever seen”.

Eavis said that she goes to the top of the hill at the end of the festival each year to take it all in. “On Sunday night, I have a real moment of reflection and realisation and just feel very grateful to be a part of this insane thing – you couldn’t make it now.”

This year’s Glastonbury festival will take place between 22 and 26 June, with artists such as Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Diana Ross on the bill. You can find the full line up here.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting