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Glastonbury given green light for September event at Worthy Farm

The regular Glastonbury Festival usually takes place in June and attracts around 200,000 people (Yui Mok/PA)
The regular Glastonbury Festival usually takes place in June and attracts around 200,000 people (Yui Mok/PA)

Glastonbury Festival organisers have been given permission to host a special one-day event at Worthy Farm in September.

The annual music and arts event has been cancelled for two years in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic but Mendip Council has given the go-ahead for a scaled-down concert later this year.

The licence allows for up to 50,000 attendees but they will not be allowed to camp overnight.

The regular Glastonbury Festival usually takes place in June and attracts around 200,000 people.

Glastonbury Festival 2016 – Day 1
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis (Yui Mok/PA)

Earlier this week, co-organiser Emily Eavis told NME the event would be a larger version of the Pilton Party, an annual fundraising concert for villagers, workers and local residents, and would be called Equinox.

However, she did not provide information on the intended capacity, line-up or ticketing.

Sam Phripp, chairman of licensing at the council, said of the decision: “With a view to Covid-19, of course, any event would have to be Covid-safe, and Mendip Council will work with other organisations and the organisers to make sure that’s the case.

“We hope that, Covid-depending, this event will be a success, and we look forward to welcoming music lovers back to our corner of Somerset this autumn.”

Glastonbury Festival 2011 – Saturday
Chris Martin of Coldplay at Glastonbury (Ben Birchall/PA)

It comes after the festival was cancelled for a second consecutive year due to uncertainty around coronavirus restrictions.

Instead, the festival is this weekend hosting Live At Worthy Farm, a livestream event featuring acts including Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and DJ Honey Dijon.

Appearing on BBC Radio 6 Music, Eavis did not address the potential September event but said the livestream would show the farm as it looks outside of the festival months.

She said: “The thing we are trying to do is capture Worthy Farm in its purest, most rural state, with these bands which are very kindly giving us their time for free.

“We have got Damon (Albarn) doing the Stone Circle and we have got Idles doing Joe’s Yard.

“We have got many, many other incredible artist performing scattered around the farm. The way in which it is being shot is really beautiful. It is a work of art really.”

Eavis said the festival was now looking towards the 2022 edition and had begun booking acts.

“We are going to throw everything at ’22,” she said.

“We are so excited to come back. I feel now in a very different place to where we were a year ago. The light is coming in.

“We are able to move out of this very awkward time and just plan to be back in fields again and to be watching live music and camping for five days outside with 200,000 other people.

“That is now a possibility and it is looking highly likely that that will happen next year.

“We are booking bands for that. We are ahead on next year. It is really, really good. It is hugely reassuring to be able to actually plan something that might happen.”

Worthy Farm will also operate as a family-friendly campsite this summer, although live music and sound systems will be banned.

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