Eavis in 2019
Athelstan Joseph Michael Eavis
17 October 1935
Pilton, Somerset, England, UK
|Known for||Creator of Glastonbury Festival|
|Children||Emily Eavis and four others|
|Parent(s)||Michael and Jean Eavis|
Eavis was born in Pilton, Somerset and grew up at Worthy Farm in the village. His father was a local Methodist preacher, and his mother a school teacher. Eavis was educated at Wells Cathedral School, followed by the Thames Nautical Training College after which he joined the Union-Castle Line, part of the British Merchant Navy, as a trainee Midshipman. His plan was to spend twenty years at sea, and return with a pension to help subsidise the income from the family farm.
After his father died in 1954, Eavis inherited the family farm of 150 acres (61 ha) and 60 cows. He worked at Mendip Colliery at Nettlebridge or New Rock colliery at Stratton-on-the-Fosse on the Somerset Coalfield for a couple of years to help supplement the income from the farm.
Eavis and his first wife Ruth had three children, (Juliet, Rebecca and Jane) but divorced in 1964. He next married Jean Hayball, with whom he had a son Patrick and a daughter Emily. Jean died of cancer in 1999, and Eavis has since married his third wife, Liz. In common with his parents and second wife, Eavis remains a practising Methodist.
In 1969, Eavis and his second wife Jean visited the Bath Festival of Blues. Inspired by seeing the performance of Led Zeppelin, Eavis hosted the Pilton Pop Folk & Blues Festival in 1970. The following year a free festival, Glastonbury Fayre was organised by Andrew Kerr and associates, which later developed into the Glastonbury Festival.
After recovering from stomach cancer, Eavis stood as a candidate for the Labour Party in the 1997 general election in Wells, polling 10,204 votes. In 2004, however, he suggested that disillusioned Labour voters should switch their vote to the Green Party in protest at the Iraq War, though he returned to supporting the Labour Party in 2010.
In 2005, Eavis was quoted in The Guardian as being a supporter of hunting. "I don't hunt myself, but I support the people who want to hunt. With all that's going on in the world, it was outrageous to ban it." In 2006, he was appointed as President of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In 2011, Eavis was quoted as lamenting the decline in political activity associated with the Glastonbury Festival. He was guest editor of the Western Daily Press newspaper on Glastonbury's 'fallow' weekend, 23 June 2012.
Eavis invited Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to appear at the 2017 festival, introducing Run The Jewels' set. Eavis supports Corbyn's anti-nuclear and anti-austerity policies, saying "he’s got something new and precious, and people are excited about it. He really is the hero of the hour."
He has apportioned profits from his Glastonbury Festival to support charitable causes, including local projects such as the restoration of the Tithe Barn, Pilton. In November 2008, during an appearance on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs, Eavis stated that the Festival could never lose its licence due to the contribution it makes to the local economy.
Eavis served as vice-president (alongside Rebecca Pow MP) of Somerset Wildlife Trust until June 2018: he stepped down following an online petition criticising his support for badger culling. In response to the petition, Eavis claimed that signatories "probably live in Kensington" and had "never seen a badger".
Honours and tributesEdit
Eavis holds honorary degrees from the University of Bath (Doctor of Arts honoris causa, 2004) and the University of Bristol (Master of Arts honoris causa, 2006). He was awarded the CBE for services to music in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.
In 2009, Eavis was nominated by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University for the Creative Arts.
- "To be Ordinary Commanders of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order". London Gazette (Supplement No. 1). 16 June 2007. p. 7. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "How Ray Charles and Van Morrison helped Glastonbury's Michael Eavis beat bowel cancer".
- Smith, David (19 June 2005). "Far-out man". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
- Benson, Richard (22 June 2014). "'Why haven't you booked me for the Pyramid stage?': Michael Eavis answers famous festivalgoers' questions". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Norbury, Suzanne (6 September 2016). "Glastonbury Festival's Michael Eavis joins former coal miners in Radstock". Somerset Live. Archived from the original on 7 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Smith, David (19 June 2005). "Far-out man". Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- McGrath, Nick (7 June 2013). "Michael Eavis: My family values". Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Duncan, Amy (27 June 2016). "People are worried Michael Eavis just retired after singing My Way at Glatonbury". Metro.
- "Wells Constituency". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- Yates, Victoria. "Michael Eavis". Leader Values. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Topping, Alexandra (30 April 2010). "Glastonbury 2010: Q&A with Michael Eavis". Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Campbell, Duncan (30 April 2005). "Hunt is on for poll scalps but rural vote has other concerns". The Guardian.
- "Business News — Eavis for President". Mendip Times. 2 (7): 8. December 2006.
- Davis, Rowenna (18 June 2011). "Glastonbury's radical roots will return, says Michael Eavis". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- "Michael Eavis: Glastonbury Festival's year off is about rest, regeneration and action". This is Somerset. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Jeremy Corbyn to appear on Pyramid stage at Glastonbury festival 2017". The Guardian. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "Michael Eavis talks". BBC Somerset. BBC. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
- "12th Century Tithe Barn Restored with the Help of the Festival". Glastonbury Festival. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
- "Glastonbury licence 'is assured'". BBC News. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
- "Into Somerset Launches New Online Celebrity Film". Into Somerset. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Glastonbury boss Eavis quits Somerset Wildlife Trust". BBC News. 22 June 2018.
- "Michael Eavis – Honorary Graduates – December 2004". University of Bath. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Bristol University | Public and Ceremonial Events Office | Honorary degrees". Bristol.ac.uk. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Rushdie and Eavis lead honours". BBC News. 15 June 2007.
- "Time magazine Eavis Listing". Time magazine. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- "UCA – News".
- Train to Glastonbury named after festival founder Michael Eavis NME 23 April 2015
- Wrong IET set at Castle Cary for Glastonbury event founder naming The Railway Magazine issue 1418 May 2019 page 106