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.