Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis on misogyny and motherhood

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis

Emily Eavis co-organises Glastonbury, one of the world’s biggest music festivals. So why are some male music execs reluctant to deal with her?

A week before Glastonbury 2019 kicks off Emily Eavis has spoken about dealing with misogyny and motherhood in the music industry.

Eavis – whose father Michael started the festival in 1970 – revealed on Desert Island Discs her struggle to be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry.

“I would go to meetings of tables of men,” she says. “Some were great, some would just refuse to accept that they were dealing with me.”

Things are improving, says the former teacher, albeit slowly. The equality battle extends to getting more women on festival line-ups. This year, about 42% of the festival’s 3,000 acts are female.

“I’m always totally conscious of the gender balance being right,” she says. “Every day when I’m booking, I’m thinking about that and I’m cajoling the stage bookers to be on board with it. Some of them have been here a long time so it’s a little bit of hustle.”

The family business

Glastonbury runs in Eavis’ blood; she grew up rubbing shoulders with the likes of Van Morrison and even played the violin on the Pyramid Stage as a small child.

She is now raising her own family on the farm where the event takes place, and admits it is a challenge juggling the demands of three small children and the world’s largest music festival. (We can’t imagine what it’s like having 200,000 music fans drop in for a few days).

Some of these challenges however are not your average working mum scenarios. In 2011, for example, Eavis missed seeing Beyonce perform live because she had to rush her ten-day old son to hospital with a suspected case of meningitis.

Luckily baby George made a full recovery, and she got to catch a little bit of Queen Bey’s performance on television in hospital.

Fancy gigging at Glasto? Here are Emily Eavis’ tips on how to get a gig at Glastonbury.

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