Glastonbury's Michael Eavis admits festival may not return until 2022

Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis backstage at the Glastonbury music festival on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Jim Ross/Invision/AP)
Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has said a festival in 2021 is wishful thinking. (AP)

Glastonbury Festival may not return until 2022 founder Michael Eavis has admitted.

The famous music event – which was was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer – was postponed until 2021, but co-organiser Eavis has said that is “wishful thinking”.

The 84-year-old farmer told ITV News West Country: “Five hundred people is okay, isn't it? But my job, 250,000 all together, is too many people I suppose, isn't it really?

“I'm still hoping I'm going to be running next year and I'm going to be moving heaven and earth to make sure that we do. But that doesn't mean it will necessarily happen. That is just wishful thinking really.”

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Festival goers at the Glastonbury festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 23, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Over 250,000 people attend Glastonbury festival each year. (AP)

But Eavis – who now runs the festival with his 41-year-old daughter Emily Eavis – insisted he the historic festival would still be able to survive, despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

He said: “No I do not worry at all, I am so confident that it will survive.

“The only certainty I think is the year after, 2022. To be perfectly candid, so we might have to wait for two years maybe. But I am still hoping and we are fighting and working at it all the time to make sure it happens next year.”

Eavis added: “You can’t kill it off just like that. It will come back. It will come back, probably stronger actually.”

Sir Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift had been due to headline the 50th Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm from 24 June to 28 June.

Taylor Swift, winner of the artist of the decade award, performs a medley at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift was due to headline Glastonbury 2020. (AP)

It was announced on 18 March that the festival was being postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus and social distancing guidelines. All those who had secured tickets were promised their deposit would automatically roll over to next year. But they could also choose to apply for a refund.

Emily said recently: “We're rolling two festivals together for 2021. We've got a hell of a lot of surprises and things that we were planning for the 50th [anniversary] and we're going to try to get those things going for next year.

Logistically it's a little bit complicated because we'd already pencilled in many of the acts for 2021.

“It was one of those very unusual years where you're quite far ahead, two years ahead, on the line-up. So we're trying to work out how much we can fit into next year.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:   Michael Eavis and Emily Eavis attend The NME Awards 2020 at the O2 Academy Brixton on February 12, 2020 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Glastonbury organisers Michael Eavis and daughter Emily. (Getty Images)

“We've had lots of amazing letters from people with ideas of how we could make it into like a two-week holiday or run over three weekends. There's lots of ideas going.”

Glastonbury Festival usually runs across five days on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice.

The music festival was first held at Worthy Farm in 1970, and traditionally takes a break every five years, known as a ‘fallow year’, to allow the land to recover.