Over The Moon attended this years Event Show at Olympia in London.  We’ve been to the Showman’s Show for a number of years but this was our first visit to the Event Show.  For tent related suppliers it was disspointing and there was not as many trade stands as at The Showmans.  Where the Event Show scored was on its speakers and this year (as they did last year) Michael Eavis, promoter of the Glastonbury Festival, was speaking for an hour and a half on the history of the festival, plans for this years 40th year anniversary and answering questions.

During the course of the session Eavis revelaed that 2009’s Glastonbury Festival donated £2million to charity.  A big increase from first year Eavis donated his profits away that was in 1981 and he gave £20K away to CND.  His genorisity was costly as he then faced a £7K tax on the gift.  He revelaed that security costs £3.2 million of which £1.2million is for the Police.  There will be no Glastonbury in 2012 as the Police are busy with the Olympics and cannot cover it. This is a shame as 2012 has a lot of resonance with the end of the Mayan calendar.

Eavis also revealed the event cost £25m to put on each year, with most of the money going to securing the perimeter.

Each year seven local farms are taken over to produce the festival, which is again expanding in size this year to accommodate people’s appetite for larger tents. There are also discussions to ban large flags at the event in an area in front of the stage. Eavis said he was keen to clear a line of sight for the sound desk but his daughter, Emily, who also runs the event, wanted the flags to stay.  Eavis thought they did add to the spectacle of the event especially for TV.  For my pennie’s worth I thought they were great for a sense of pageantry and atmosphere when Springsteen played on the Saturday night.

Eavis has a jovial, stuttering delivery and couple with his ancedotes and self deprecating humour  makes him very endearing.  I liked his description of the security fence having a ‘rat catcher’ overhang like on hayricks to prevent people/rats getting access.  Eavis claims Glastonbury’s appeal is in its long history which has run concurrent to lots of social change and the Festival reflects that history.

There were quite a few prospective festival organisers in attendance and they did not miss an opportunity during the Q&A session to mention this and to ask for advice.  Eavis claimed that the small scale of the event and it not having a lot of  H&S issues to deal with helped a lot to get it off the ground.  It took 11 years to make a profit. He believes a festival needs integrity and a hook to attract performers and punters.  One organiser was exasperated at trying to get Travis to play at his Scottish community festival so Eavis offered to call the band on his behalf!

Michael Eavis

Eavis’s revealed his personal touch extends to always having the farm’s phone answered 24 hours a day all year round.  Though he says he wonders why when he gets people ‘off their heads calling at 2am’!  When asked what were the best three things they have found on the site over the years he stated that

  • No1 was a Massey T20 tractor which was left behind;
  • No2 was a wooden wheel abandoned by the couple wheeling it all the way from John O’Groats to Lands End. The couple called years later to ask for it back, and then moaned when it was in a bad state!
  • No3 False Teeth

He said that it was probable that Stevie Wonder will headline the Sunday (27) night.

Over The Moon will be attending Glastonbury Festival again this year providing stretch tents to the Glade area.