An open letter to Michael Eavis

Dear Mr. Eavis,

I have never been to Glastonbury (the festival or the town, for that matter). It’s never really appealed to me. I’m sure I would enjoy it if I came but it’s a very West Country festival, isn’t it? Now, I’m firmly a South East girl – cider makes me throw up, I’m afraid, so I tend to prefer my festival experiences to take place in the Home Counties. Also, I’ve always worried that I would have to pretend to be interested in all the Druid crap when I’m definitely not and what I really want to do is listen to some good music. You do book some good acts, I’ll give you that. But you also book some very, very bad, ones. Billy Bragg, for instance. Every year.

Anyway, I should get to the point of my letter. You see, I feel that your argument that you need to attract a younger audience to Glastonbury or the festival will die out is, frankly, illogical. It’s not the case that the current thirtysomething audience will continue attending for the rest of their lives and then die, taking the festival with them. It is, however, more likely that the teenagers and twentysomethings will turn thirtysomething and start attending, continuing the cycle. Furthermore, to announce that you want other people to attend seems like an odd thing to do, essentially alienating all those who do regularly and loyally pay up to spend the weekend on your (usually muddy) farm.

It seems to me that Glastonbury has always been an “older” festival (I refer to more recent years, rather than its hippier roots). The line-up is eclectic but essentially inoffensive. Not in a bland, middle of the road V Festival way. But in a Q-reading, Jools Holland-watching way, where Radiohead can perform happily next to Shirley Bassey, who can perform happily next to Orbital. It appears to be about quality, not hype. Younger people like hype.

I would also question why on earth you would want a younger audience. Having spent five days in a field mainly populated by teenagers at the Reading Festival last year, I’m not sure it’s such a good idea, to be honest. Largely because they are pretty irresponsible and enjoy setting fire to things. They also can’t handle their drink or drugs. I should know. I went to Reading as a teenager.

Having said all this, I realise I’ve never been so don’t really have any experience of the festival. I might register for tickets this year though, if any of my friends are organised enough to do the same. After all, I’m probably old enough now…

Finally, may I close this letter by making a suggestion? If you genuinely do wish to attract a younger audience, perhaps making Neil Diamond the first act you announce is not the best idea. Just a thought.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Heidi

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10 thoughts on “An open letter to Michael Eavis

  1. To all concerned – I am aware there’s some dodgy punctuation up there but I can’t be bothered to battle with WordPress to edit it. So there.

  2. *nods sagely in agreement to the above*

    I would add too, that charging £150 per ticket makes it pretty unappealing to a lot of younger attendees and also the requiremet to plan so far ahead – when I was 17/18 I didn’t know what I was doing that evening, let alone in June!

    Also – you need not fear the druids – they all disappear off to the furthest corners of the site away from all the fun. I’ve not seen one in 6 years there. And Jay-zee and Neil Diamond aside, I’ll be doing everything I can to get my hands on a ticket this year.

  3. Although the Reading Festival is just as expensive… That said, when I was a teenager, I really resented the cost. When I went last year I found it entirely justifiable. After all, it’d cost you a hell of a lot more to see all those acts individually (I am definitely getting old…)

    Thank you for the reassurance though. I’m really very tempted to register for a ticket. But I’m not sure that any of my (other) friends will be. If I do and we are both lucky enough, would you mind JH tagging along with you??

  4. It’s a little exciting that I’m so high up on the google search but even more exciting that someone else has written the same letter as me. Although admittedly, theirs is based on experience of the festival…

  5. Never used to resent the cost as I was one of those that ended up paying a Scouser to borrow his ladder! But Glastonbury suffers the same as many events that were once “on the edge” of legality who then have to get their acts together to be able to get passed the more stringent conditions of getting an entertainment licence from the local council.

    I think Glastonbury’s move towards a younger audience is due to the claims of gentrification of the festival last year. But when I was a teenager Glastonbury was the festival to go to.

    D”Love on the Rocks” is a great tune though! “Love on the rocks ain’t no surprise / Pour me a drink / And I’ll tell you some lies”. Mind I wouldn’t pay £150 to see it sung live!

    And don’t knock Billy Bragg – he’s a Glastonbury institution!

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