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Glastonbury plan to take fallow year in 2026, says Emily Eavis

Eavis also discussed how the festival almost stopped in the 90s.

By Will Richards

The Park Stage at Glastonbury Festival (Picture: Harry Kay)

Glastonbury Festival is planning to take a fallow year in 2026, according to organiser Emily Eavis.

The festival returns to Worthy Farm later this month, with Dua LipaColdplay and SZA set to headline the Pyramid Stage.

In a new interview with Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac on their BBC podcast Sidetracked, Eavis discussed plans for the next few years at the festival.

“I have a vague idea of who might be headlining next year, and then we might do a fallow year after that,” she said.

Eavis expanded: “We are due a fallow year. The fallow year is important because it gives the land a rest, it gives the cows a chance to be out for longer and reclaim their land. And I think it’s important it just gives everybody a little time to just switch off. And the public as well.

“I know we’re in the middle of it but it is a lot isn’t it. And they you go away for a bit and it feels lovely when you come back.”

Glastonbury Festival 2016
Glastonbury (Photo: Czampal/Wikimedia Commons)

Elsewhere in the interview, Eavis discussed how the festival almost ended in the 1990s, saying:

“Do you know what, the festival was always going to end ‘that year’. In the 90s, my parents were like; ‘this is the last one’. And it wasn’t some stunt to sell tickets, they genuinely were like we probably won’t do another. So that was lovely because it kind of felt like there was this fresh, amazing appreciation of each year, because it’ll probably end. And then we used to decide at the beginning of every year and go on sale in April, and book all the bands…”

She added: “It was all so condensed into this couple of months. And then it was only really when my mum died in 1999 that I came back to help. I was at Goldsmiths studying to be a teacher and I came back to help my dad then. And then he was like, I think I might need the festival now. Because they were going to retire and go on long cruises but my dad was like listen, let’s keep it going for a couple more years. I said yeah I’ll help you. Never did I think… so here I am a few decades on. But it’s lovely because now we felt like it would be a lovely thing to continue other than for it to end, so it’s changed the mindset. And it’s been a lifeline to us.”

Last week, Glastonbury announced its full 2024 line-up and details of stage times. Over recent weeks, the festival have been sharing stage-by-stage announcements, including the news that the festival’s towering Arcadia spider will be replaced by a giant dragonfly, that the Genosys stage will return to Block9 and the end of The Rabbit Hole after 17 years at the festival, replaced by new venues The Wishing Well and Scissors in The Park.

Elsewhere at Glastonbury 2024, the lauded NYC Downlow club will host its first ever Downlow Day Party on the Saturday of the festival, hosted by François K, while Katharine Hamnett will join forces with Block9 for an initiative encouraging attendees to vote in the UK General Election, announced on Wednesday to take place the week after Glastonbury.

The festival will also host a series of celebrations honouring the life of late radio legend Annie Nightingale. Nightingale, who was the first female presenter to appear on BBC Radio 1, died at the age of 83 at her home in London this January.

Shania Twain will occupy the traditional Sunday afternoon Legends’ Slot. Others to take to the iconic main stage will be LCD Soundsystem, K-pop band SEVENTEENBurna BoyPJ HarveyJanelle MonáeOlivia Dean and more.