Sarah Ford meets Emily Eavis as she prepares for Glastonbury Festival co-organised with her father

PUBLISHED: 12:36 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:02 20 February 2013

Emily Eavis on site at Glastonbury

Emily Eavis on site at Glastonbury

Join Sarah Ford as she asks Emily Eavis a few questions as she takes a break from her preparations for this year's Glastonbury Festival, which she co-organises with her father, Michael. Photo by Mike Alsford.

Join Sarah Ford as she asks Emily Eavis a few questions as she takes a break from her preparations for this year's Glastonbury Festival, which she co-organises with her father, Michael. Photo by Mike Alsford.

Tell me about your earliest memories of the festival.
Worthy Farm was a very special place to grow up. It was, and still is, a very different atmosphere depending on the time of year. I loved the way the farm would slowly transform into a festival site, and the energy is something I really remember. Lots of faces, lots of knee-height views, and being carried round by my parents when I was tiny.

What was it like as a child having this event take place at your home?
There was a period when I was about five where I couldn't stand it. The imposition of it all, and the fact it was so different to what any of my friends had in their gardens. When you're a kid, you don't really want to stick out! But that was pretty short-lived, and I soon realised what an amazing thing it was. I have huge respect for my parents for sticking with it. It was seriously hard work and it was all on their shoulders, and there were some very tough times.

Was it surreal meeting well-known performers when you were young?
Well actually, as a family, we have always avoided the backstage area and I still feel quite uncomfortable in that environment to be honest! So I've probably met less people than you think.

I believe you planned to become a teacher?
Yes, that was the plan. It's something I may well go back to when I'm older. I love working with children.

Why did you join your father as co-organiser?
When my mother died it was a natural thing for me to support my dad as it had always been run by the two of them. They supported each other throughout the years and her role was crucial to the festival's success. I started answering the phone and before I knew it was dealing with all sorts of problems. That was ten years ago, and each year since my role has grown.

What's it like working with your dad?
It's great. He is more energetic than anyone I know of my age! We work well together and have some good debates on all manner of things. Neither of us are afraid to speak out to each other, but I also know when to back down, as he has the ultimate knowledge and experience.

Do you think your mum, Jean, would have been pleased you got involved?
Yes. She was an amazing mother, and it's nice for me to continue the love, energy and care she put into the festival; that's an inspiration to me. I think she would like to know that I was looking after my dad too!

Would you say the local community is proud of the festival?
Yes, I think so now. There have been some tricky times, but most people now can see that the good outweighs the bad.

How important is the festival to the local economy?
Hugely important. A firm, on behalf of the council, worked out that the festival brings 78 million into the local area each year.

What worthwhile causes does the festival support?
I think 1 million has gone directly into local charities in recent years. My dad does so much work locally, there's something going on every day of the year. He has also done two major housing projects for local people in the village. The idea is to provide housing so that village families can continue to live in the village in spite of inflated house prices.

I am working with the White Ribbon Alliance at the moment, which campaigns for support for women in pregnancy and childbirth. If you want to you can join to lend your support.

What happens at Worthy Farm after the festival?
It is a thriving dairy farm, with 400 cows. The farm has always been the number one priority for my dad.

What is your favourite part of Somerset?
I keep discovering new parts all the time; it is such a diverse county. Recently I have been exploring the Levels and watching the otters and birds in the morning at the hides by Shapwick. It's an amazing wilderness down there, you could be in South Africa. Then you've got the Quantocks and the Mendip Hills as well. What more could you ask for?

What can you tell me about this year's line-up?
It is an amazing line-up this year; we are hugely proud of it. Some music legends who we never really thought would be a possibility are attending. So we are over the moon.

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