The Glastonbury festival could move away from Worthy Farm, which has been the festival’s home since it began officially in 1979, in 2019 to allow the ground to recover from the damage inevitably done by over 100, 000 music fans descending on the usually quiet Somerset countryside. According to The Guardian, the festival’s founder Michael Eavis has identified a potential site in the midlands, roughly 100 miles from Worthy Farm, although he has not revealed exactly where it is. Further, he has speculated that this could become a regular move, possibly once every five years.
Speaking to the BBC Eavis explained the decision, ‘I am arranging for one year off, say every fifth year or so, to try and move the show to a site that’s more suitable, I have to say. But it would be a huge loss to Somerset if it went there forever, would it not? We’ve got a wonderful product, what we do, and we can do it almost anywhere. I love my own farm … I might have to move it eventually. Most people are on side now and it’s a wonderful, wonderful boost for the whole of Somerset and beyond as well.’ That ability to do it ‘almost anywhere’, apparently included Longleat Estate, with whom Eavis had ultimately unsuccessful discussions earlier in the year. Eavis does ultimately want to keep the festival based in Somerset though, insisting, ‘I don’t want to lose it for ever, no way.’ It seems something will have to be done though, according to the Oxford Union twitter account, Eavis told an audience that, ‘it’s nothing short of a miracle that we’re still going’, given the fact that, ‘Glastonbury is now so big we need to rent land from 22 other farmers.’
However, the solution may not be as simple as it at first appears, Eavis’ daughter Emily spoke to the BBC when Longleat was being considered as a possible site, and insisted that any change if site would also mean a change of name. She said, ‘It’s going to be the whole team behind the Glastonbury festival but it’s not going to be called Glastonbury. The main thing to set straight is that Glastonbury festival itself will always be at Worthy Farm.’
The festival already takes a regular ‘fallow year’ to ensure that the ground has time to recover. With the next fallow year scheduled to fall in 2018, it means that the 2017 edition of the festival could be the last at Worthy Farm for three years, making it even more highly anticipated than usual. The festival will take place between 21st and 26th June next year, with the main stages providing music between the 23rd and 25th. Radiohead are the only act officially confirmed to headline the festival while rumours continue to swirl about which other acts will appear on the bill. The Sun reported last month that Ed Sheeran had been confirmed as a headliner but there is no official word on this as yet. Foo Fighters were also rumoured to be on the bill at the same time, but again, Radiohead remain the only act written in pen on the bill. Also among the favourites to be the next acts confirmed are Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Guns N’ Roses, Kasabian and The Stone Roses.