Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis to receive knighthood today

Rock

Glastonbury’s founder Michael Eavis set to receive a knighthood later today (April 23) for his services to music and charity.

The 88-year-old is among a host of stars including Shirley Bassey, Ridley Scott, Leona Lewis and Emilia Clarke who have been recognised by King Charles.

It comes after he hosted the first edition of the festival on Worthy Farm in Somerset in 1970. Since it began, it has gone on to become the largest greenfield festival in the world, and draws in an annual pull of around 200,000 people, as well as some of the biggest names in music.

Eavis is set to receive the honour from the Princess Royal in an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. It comes after he previously received a CBE in 2007.

He receives the honour for his services to music and charity, and it will highlight how Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid all receive donations from Glastonbury every year. The event aims to raise around £2million for charity per year, and the funds raised for the non-profit organisations also go towards helping hundreds of local causes.

As highlighted by BBC News, last year the festival donated more than £3.7million to a variety of charitable causes and campaigns. These include the homelessness organisation Centrepoint, the food redistributors Fareshare, several refugee charities and Mind, which supports those struggling with mental health.

Speaking of the honour, he explained that it was his daughter Emily that had brought him the letter about the knighthood.

Festival founder Michael Eavis waves from his red Land Rover Defender as he tours the site at Worthy Farm, Pilton on Day 1 of Glastonbury Festival 2023 on June 21, 2023 in Glastonbury, United Kingdom. The festival, founded in 1970, has grown into one of the largest outdoor green field festivals in the world.
Festival founder Michael Eavis waves from his red Land Rover Defender as he tours the site at Worthy Farm, Pilton on Day 1 of Glastonbury Festival 2023 on June 21, 2023 in Glastonbury, United Kingdom. The festival, founded in 1970, has grown into one of the largest outdoor green field festivals in the world. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

“Emily came up with the official letter. I was really surprised to see it, actually. Why did they choose me I wonder?

“What can I say, really? I’ve done quite a lot of stuff in my life and I’ve always been fairly sure that I was doing the right thing.”

On Glastonbury’s success he added: “We started with 500 people in 1970 and we’ve finished up with millions wanting to come every year now. That’s quite extraordinary isn’t it?”

Eavis also said he was looking forward to the ceremony. “Last time I met [King Charles], I got a suit especially. And he said, ‘Why aren’t you wearing your shorts?’ But I think William might do the ceremony. He’s made a few mentions of wanting to come to the festival. So I’ll probably take a couple of tickets in my pocket!”

Emily Eavis celebrated by posting an archive photo of her father from the ’70s with the message: “So proud of my dad today.”

He was previously crowned Godlike Genius at the NME Awards in 1996, while his daughter also received the same accolade in 2020 in the festival’s 50th year, following in the footsteps of the likes of Blondie, U2, The Cure, Coldplay and the Pet Shop Boys. She also became the first non-performer to win the Godlike Genius gong in almost 20 years.

More than 1,227 recipients are honoured on the main New Year Honours list, 48 per cent of whom are women and 13.8 per cent are from an ethnic minority background.

The bulk of the Glastonbury 2024 line-up has been shared, with Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA set to headline the iconic Pyramid Stage. Shania Twain, meanwhile, will perform in the coveted legends slot. Check out the rest of the bill here.



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