Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn has insisted that Michael Eavis was "wrong" to say that festivals "are on the way out", launching a robust defence of the state of the industry.
In an interview with The Times last week, Eavis had claimed that Glastonbury “may only have three or four years left,” due to public apathy and the economic climate, claiming that the festival only sold out due to the “huge headliners” they were able to book every year.
However, speaking to BBC Suffolk at last week’s Latitude festival, Benn, whose company promote the event, as well as Reading & Leeds, and also assist with Glastonbury, claimed that festivals were part of “UK cultural life.”
When asked about Eavis’ comments, he replied: “We’re very good friends and one of the great things about [that] is knowing when he’s wrong,” he said. “At Glastonbury we work on more of a four-year cycle, because there’s normally four years on and then a fallow year, [and] I guess Michael is looking at it in that context. “
“I promote more festivals than anybody else in the UK so I guess I’ve got some right to think that I should have a view too, and it’s very different – festivals are the most incredible value for money for the amount of bands that you can see. “
“Latitude sold out last week, Reading will sell out, Leeds will sell out. It’s a tough economic climate but I think the festival industry is booming.”
Benn also revealed that discussions had already begun about booking acts for next year’s Latitude.
“Myself and [Latitude music booker] Jon Dunn were talking about headliners for next year and have already been chatting with a couple of people – and I talked to someone today about the Sunday lunchtime slot for next year,” he said.