Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has revealed his surprise at being awarded an honorary doctorate from the University Of Bath for his ongoing contribution to culture and art.
A Doctor of Arts degree will be awarded to Michael at a special ceremony to be held at the university in December, it was announced yesterday.
[r-zone1]Speaking exclusively to VF, the Glasto head-honcho said: “I suppose I am pleased about it. It’s quite a shock because I always thought I’m a bit of a bad boy. Some of the festivals in the past have been a bit flakey, especially throughout the 80s, with hippies all over the place hanging around in broken down buses. People feared for their children getting involved in drugs and going off in a convoy. I suppose we have come through all that but I can’t believe I have come to the point where I deserve an award. A mate of mine said, ‘God you must have given Bath University a fortune’, but I haven’t given them anything!”
University scholars have praised the Worthy Farm owner for having successfully organising the Glastonbury Festival – the largest rock festival in Europe – since its conception in 1970. The festival attracts more than 100,000 people every year and much of its income is given to charity.
A spokesman for the University of Bath said: “We will be delighted to award Mr Eavis an honorary doctorate. His contribution to the arts, by giving millions of people the chance to see the best of rock music live on stage, has been very important.”
But are local residents coming round to the idea of thousands of festival goers invading Pilton every year?
[l-zone2]Michael said: “I think I might have broken down some kind of barrier with the locals, but I suppose if you’re out of the festival flight path so to speak, as far away as Bath, then you appreciate the Glastonbury Festival a lot more. People do have a great time don’t they? Everyone seems to love it. I always feel a bit guilty about festival-goers peeing in someone’s garden and things like that. In fact, I’m going to see someone this afternoon, who says his fence was broken down by someone during this summer’s festival. It all comes down to me and I take a very hands on approach to things like that, so I’m going to assess the damage and try to work out if it was due to the festival or if it had fallen down anyway.”
The Glastonbury Festival 2005 will go ahead between 24-26 June if an application for its Public Entertainment License is granted.