In this post, there are notes so that you can understand the BBC radio 4 Desert Island Discs interview with Emily Eavis. Aggie and I are currently creating a podcast and it will be launched on 11th October!

You can hear the Desert Island Discs radio programme here:


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1.02   The largest greenfield festival in the world

1.13    a settlement the size of Oxford town centre with the infrastructure to match

1.13 She hadn’t intended to take on the family business

1.12 she gave up her studies

1.33Attracting some of the biggest stars on the planet

1.47 The biggest misconception, she says,  is that my dad and I are sitting around the kitchen table with goggles and test tubes creating the ultimate concoction for each year.

Glastonbury  - the size

2.10 So Glastonbury 2019 is imminent

2.11 the numbers involved are mind boggling

2.22 it’s a huge logistical task

2.30 It’s a vast operation

2.38 we have 10 bordering farms that are part of the site.

Highs and lows

3.08 every year there are real highs

2.24 what about the lows….you mentioned mud

3.28 notoriously muddy (LL about going in ‘97)

3.34 we ended up just driving home wearing bin bags and our pants! (LL)

3.49 Her and her dad drove around trying to persuade people to stay - people were saying ‘I can’t cope - it’s just too much)

3.57 there’s normally a crisis every couple of minutes

4.03 we had the lightning strikes a few years ago

4.05 we had to shut down all the stages

4.18 there were acts that were half way through their sets

6th generation of Eavis’s on the farm

4.26 The 6th generation of Eavis’s on the farm

4.30 once the festival starts, for you ..is that you’re on call 24 hours (LL)

2016  Just had third child - breastfeeding in bed - 3am - the police called - crazy situation

5.43 each year has a different musical soundtrack  - it’s really hard to pin it all down to 8 tracks.

1st track - Van Morrison

6.06 he was the one consistent artist for us through the 80s

6.23  Would go and pick up Van Morrison from the train station   and you’d be in the back of the car ‘chipping in’.

Her childhood

7.09 You once said of Jean and Michael, I want my parents to be straight ….

7.43 I wasn’t that into the festival in the 80s, I wasn’t that keen on it

7.53 it was all-encompassing

including or covering everything or everyone; comprehensive.

"an all-encompassing package to combat global warming"

8.18 I just thought...Oh God...this is quite intense

8.32 My mum was just the kind of anchor to the whole family

9.58 Mummy - my legs feel like jelly - playing her violin on stage

10.05 dim the lights - they just kept giving me encores

10.38 I was shy…..a bit dreamy

10.52 I was always on a hip

The festival grew as I did - we went through our teenage years together.

Second track - Radiohead

11.34 it was really wet….you could just see the sheets and sheets of rain falling in front of the white lights

The beginnings of the festival

Early 70s

They built a stage ...free milk… a hog roast

13.38 I remember that edgy atmosphere on site myself

13.47 we live in a really rural part of the country

14.03 there was quite a lot of conflict in the 80s

4.17 it felt like we were part of something really controversial

15.01 It kind of geed him up

Third track - Bob Dylan

Mum’s death

15.45 it kind of shook us in just such a way...I don’t think 

15.55 I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to pick up myself

16.34 the festival became a real lifeline

17.56 it feels like you are in freefall and I was just clinging on for any kind of solid land

18.06  I was projecting that I was an adult

18.15 I had no idea how to cope

18.23 I was lucky to have some really good friends...they just turned up

18.46 I was at a kind of crossroads then

19.00 I never once thought I would make it my life

19.15 there were so many tributes to her on site

19.29 it was the first time that I felt the festival crew were like a family

Everyone in silence - the Pyramid stage

That element is really important to me - the welfare side (she was always looking after people)

Bob Marly - High tide or low tide

-it’s very about loyal friends

21.19 You were still going between Somerset and London in the early noughties

21.24 you started putting on charity gigs in the capital

Trip to Haiti

22.03 I got really bitten by it (the whole charity thing)

22.25 this is when you would have been sharpening your skills (LL)

23.05 we did a string of gigs and raised loads of money and it went straight back into these projects.

Meeting husband - he was the manager for the chemical brothers - he gets it - her dad says ‘Thank God for Nick’

25.46 I remember worrying about you and how much you had on your shoulders (when LL met her)

25.56 it feels like another limb...it’s so deeply ingrained in my DNA

26.05 I’m just going to follow my instincts

The live music world - so male dominated.

27.09 I think we’ve really found our groove now

27.25 he’s really hands on (grandfather)

Health and Safety

-People will know about the fence - that famously went up (early 2000s)

Became so dangerous

Robin Hood mentality - we used to just go and collect them from outside the fence and put them in the back of the landrover! ‘Jump in otherwise you’ll hurt yoursleves!

28.44 A completely different era in terms of health and safety

29.00 Part of that is your mum’s legacy - looking after people

6th Disc - Frank Sinatra

2008 Booking JayZ

30.09 I lay down, collapsed on the grass

Felt like an out of control storm

32.08 People were ready to vent their anger

32.40 we normally sell out

32.56 they’ve lost their minds

33.32 it’s sometimes hard to tell what the public think….the noise of social media is really loud and really extreme.

34.08 He was like he was going to battle - all the crowd were like we’re behind you

34.22 he totally took it on

34.30 everyone’s going to be dissecting the headliners this year

34.55 People read up about it

Gender balance

36.42 we’ve really taken it on and I’m totally conscious of the gender balance being right

36.46 I’m cajoling stage bookers to be on board with it

36.54 some of them have been here for a while so it’s a bit of a hussle 

The spirit of the festival

37.04 It’s about creating a parallel universe


Son got ill - went to hospital - tiny TV (put coins in) - missed Byonce (tried to get her for ages)

Will quite enjoy the peace

Carpenters tool kit… nice veranda