We caught up with Emily Eavis backstage at The Park. She talked to the Telegraph about the relief of holding Glastonbury following two enforced cancellations, all the Glasto rumours doing the rounds, and Paul McCartney.
James Hall: Can you describe the vibe this year?
Emily Eavis: I would describe the vibe as wonderful and joyous and probably the happiest festival we’ve had in a long time. There’s a lot of savouring every moment and detail going on. So, relief and joy. It’s a very new feeling to be appreciating it on such a deeper level after having had to cancel twice.
JH: It must have been awful having to cancel twice.
EE: The first time [in 2020], although it was difficult, there was nothing we could do about it as we all went into this lockdown. But the second one , we were hopeful about it happening for a while, and then you started to question things. We obviously knew we’d get it back at some point but we were, like, ‘Will it be another couple of years?’ So then to actually be able to bring this festival back feels like a real feat. I know Covid isn’t over but we are living with it and it’s amazing to have this festival back.
JH: There seem to be loads more kids this year.
EE: There are. We don’t actually charge for kids so we’ve always had a large kids’ contingent. The Kidzfield is an incredible pull: the largest free kids’ event in Europe. Everything is free. So it’s actually a draw for kids, and I didn’t realise how good it was until I actually had kids. And I was, like, ‘Wow.’
JH: There are lots of rumours about secret sets. What can you tell us?
I can tell you that it’s not Green Day! [The US punk outfit were rumoured to be playing the BBC Introducing stage].
JH: What about Elton John playing with Paul McCartney?
EE: No, I haven’t heard that.
JH: The Chemical Brothers have pulled out of their Arcadia slot this evening, I’ve heard.
EE: They’ve cancelled, which is a shame. There are all kinds of changes. But we’re living in a world where we are adapting to change quicker. It’s more fluid and there are a lot of changes. And with the festival, we thought ‘It’s not going to be exactly the same as the poster.’ Everyone is kind of accepting that.
JH: What are you looking forward to most?
EE: I can’t answer that. But Paul McCartney on Saturday night is significant in such a major way for all of us. To be able to come back with that, rolling over from our 50th anniversary… [The former Beatle was due to headline the abandoned 2020 anniversary festival]. This has been five years in the planning. I’ve been planning this for five years. I’m so excited. It’s such a major, major moment.