Michael Eavis honoured with Freedom of Glastonbury

Michael Eavis
Photo: Jason Bryant

The founder of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival has been made a Freeman of Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Town Council has voted unanimously to honour Michael Eavis CBE.

Mr. Eavis was nominated by Mayor of Glastonbury, Councillor Jon Cousins, and deputy mayor, Councillor Serena Roney-Dougal, in appreciation of his services to the town and the local economy.

Born in 1935, the celebrated dairy farmer held his first Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton in 1970.  52 years later, Mr. Eavis has been listed by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.

Following the Freeman vote, Cllr. Cousins said: “I can think of no one more fitting of receiving this honour.  This is an opportunity to acknowledge that, as founder of the Glastonbury Festival, Michael has helped to promote Glastonbury for over 50 years – both nationally and internationally – a true life-time’s work.”

Cllr. Roney-Dougal was delighted with the outcome.

“The festival makes a significant contribution to our local economy, as well as providing year-round employment locally and support for many local organisations, community groups, and charitable causes – and, on an international scale, raising money for such truly ‘Worthy’ causes as Oxfam, WaterAid, Greenpeace, and CND,” she said.

“Our town’s high regard for Michael is clearly shared by others throughout the country and establishment.

“He has received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bath and Bristol, an Honorary MA from the University of Creative Arts, and – in 2007 – he was appointed CBE for his services to music in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.”

In the past, a Freeman held various privileges, and often did not have to pay local taxes.  But these days the award is mostly symbolic – however, according to tradition, as a Freeman of Glastonbury Mr. Eavis has now been conferred the right to run his sheep through the centre of the town.