Michael Eavis has been awarded the Freedom of Glastonbury, meaning he can now run his sheep around the town centre. The 86-year-old was nominated for the honor despite years of clashes with authorities over the Glastonbury Festival.
It was proposed by councilors Jon Cousins and Serena Roney-Dougal – the mayor and deputy mayor of Glastonbury. The nomination was in ”appreciation of his service to the city and the local economy”.
In the past, freemen held several privileges and often did not have to pay local taxes. The price is now mainly symbolic, but according to tradition, Mr Eavis now has the right to run his sheep through the center of town.
The much-loved dairy farmer, born in 1935, held his first Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton in 1970. Following Freeman’s vote, Cllr. Cousins said, “I can think of no one more apt to receive this honor.
“This is an opportunity to recognize that as founder of the Glastonbury Festival, Michael has helped promote Glastonbury for over 50 years – both nationally and internationally – a lifetime’s work.”
Clr. Roney-Dougal was delighted with the result. She said: “The festival makes a significant contribution to our local economy, as well as providing year-round employment locally and supporting many local organisations, community groups and charitable causes – and internationally raise money for such “worthy” causes like Oxfam, WaterAid, Greenpeace and CND.
“Our city’s high regard for Michael is clearly shared by others across the country and the establishment. He received honorary degrees from the universities of Bath and Bristol, an honorary master’s degree from the University of the Creative Arts, and in 2007 he was made a CBE for his services to music on the Queen’s Birthday.
Glastonbury Festival is set to return this year after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s Pyramid Stage headliners have been confirmed to be Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar.
Diana Ross will occupy the place of legend on Sunday afternoon. When the line-up was announced, Glastonbury Festival co-organizer Emily Eavis, daughter of Michael, said: “We are very pleased to bring you the first shortlist of artists from the main stages of Glastonbury Festival 2022 – and, if you can believe it, there’s even more to come!
The festival will take place from Wednesday June 22 to Sunday June 26.
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