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Michael Eavis: Glastonbury Festival's year off is about rest, regeneration and action

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: June 23, 2012

  • Michael Eavis is the guest editor of today's Western Daily Press

  • The Glastonbury Festival site

  • The cows have been let out on to the fresh pastures at Worthy Farm in Pilton

  • A bicycle is pushed through a soaked Glastonbury Festival as Worthy Farm

  • An aerial view of Glastonbury Festival

  • Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during day two at Glastonbury Festival 2011

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The fallow year for Glastonbury Festival is about resting, regeneration of ideas, and being able to sit back and get off the treadmill, writes Michael Eavis.

There is a time for everything; there is a time for planting, there is a time for harvesting and there is a time for resting – which actually is biblical. We are looking at the ideas we have had over the last 42 years and making sure we are going down the right path.

It’s a rest for the countryside, for the kingfishers on the river, the owls in the oak trees – they too get a breather – and the fallow year was the best thing I ever did. It gives value to our integrity, shows we are not all about cash and the public respect that we are not always grabbing from them.

The festival has to fit into the lifestyle of the farm. It is an extension of Methodism, music and Wells Cathedral School that I was weaned on – to be socially concerned; no man is an island and each one of us needs other people.

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In every community there are people and clubs which are part of the rich tapestry of life and for me to be involved in the lives of people in Pilton is important. There is a richness there you cannot quantify. You cannot put a price on it.

Those communities need to be supported. Every child care facility needs members, the school needs children, local businesses need employees and by giving support in your community you are helping to make it sustainable.

David Cameron talks about the Big Society. Here in Pilton we are a Little Society and it works. People throughout the village are involved in what we are doing, they are part of it and they are proud of it.

I passionately believe in community and people getting involved to work with and help each other and through the Festival we are continually trying to do that, too. Many come to the Festival as volunteers and raise money for their clubs.

And I’m pleased that in today’s Western Daily Press you are discovering more about the charities supported by the Festival, the community it has helped and hope you too will be inspired to take a step – even a small one – along the road to sustainability and harmony.

There is only one world and it is the role of all of us to help look after it, which is why I’m delighted to support this newspaper’s quest to find local unsung heroes – the people who are taking action, often in their own time, to help others but so often go unrecognised.

The Festival cares and the people who come here do, too; I once saw someone who didn’t quite have enough money to buy bread at a stall at the Festival. The fella next to him broke his bread in two and gave the other chap half and walked off.

It was brilliant. It was so impressive – he hadn’t done it to be applauded, he had just done it. It would be wonderful if actions like that could be replicated more often

Looking back over 42 years, the Festival is a series of moves I have made in my life – some I have got right, some I have got wrong. It has been trial and error but I don’t regret any of it.

Long may it last.

To read all the stories in the Western Daily Press Glastonbury Festival special, click on the related content to the right of the headline above, or visit the This is Somerset Glastonbury Festival channel.

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