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Christian Eede
11 June 2024, 14:45

Glastonbury likely to take year off in 2026, Emily Eavis says

She's also revealed that the festival almost came to a permanent end in the '90s

Photo of the colourful Glastonbury sign on a hill against a cloudy blue sky

Glastonbury is likely take a year off in 2026, Emily Eavis has revealed in a new interview for Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw's Sidetracked podcast.

The festival periodically takes a fallow year every five years or so in order to allow the farm land on which it takes place to fully recover.  Speaking on the Sidetracked podcast, Eavis said: "The fallow year is important because it gives the land a rest, and it gives the cows a chance to stay out for longer and reclaim their land. And I think it's quite good not to be seen to be cashing in."

Elsewhere in the interview, she revealed that her dad, festival founder Michael Eavis, came close to permanently pulling the plug on the event when he reached retirement age in the '90s. "My parents were always like, 'This is the last one'," Eavis said. "Everyone thought it was some sort of stunt to sell tickets but it wasn't. They were genuinely like, 'Well, we probably won't do another.'"

At that time, the family decided whether to continue with the festival on a year-by-year basis, but when Michael's wife, Jean, died in 1999, he decided to continue on with the event for the foreseeable future. "My dad was like, 'Oh, I think I might need the festival now'," Eavis recalled about that time. "Because they were going to retire and go on long cruises and things like that. My dad was like, 'Listen, let's keep it going.'

"I was like, 'Yeah, I'll help you'. Never did I think I'd still be here a few decades on."

Eavis added that her dream headliner for the festival would be Kate Bush, who hasn't played live since her London residency in 2014, which marked her first shows in decades. "I hope it will happen one day," Eavis said about Bush. "I mean, Elton was a pipe dream and it happened, so you never know."

Plans are in place for next year's event, but Eavis said the headliners have not yet been confirmed. She has "a vague idea" of who they will be, however, she added.

This year's festival takes place from 26th-30th June, with Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA confirmed as Pyramid Stage headliners. The full line-up and set times for the event were revealed last week.

In the lead-up to the festival, Glastonbury shared stage-by-stage announcements, including the news that Arcadia’s fire-breathing spider will be replaced by a giant dragonfly, that the Genosys stage will return to Block9, and Glastonbury’s first dedicated South Asian space will open in Shangri-La

Listen to the full Sidetracked podcast here.