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Team Glastonbury are planning a Variety Bazaar, but not to replace Glastonbury

By | Published on Monday 23 January 2017

Glastonbury Festival

Every time Michael Eavis gives an interview these days he describes ever more bizarre plans for the future of the Glastonbury Festival. Fortunately he doesn’t give many interviews, otherwise everyone would be under the impression that this year’s Glastonbury was taking place on the moon with the inevitable Ed Sheeran headline set taking place in the International Space Station.

However, following recent chatter to the effect that Michael Eavis had said Glastonbury would leave its Worthy Farm home and rebrand as Variety Bazaar at some point in the relatively near future, the festival’s organiser Emily Eavis has clarified things a little. There are no plans to relocate the Glastonbury Festival, though that previously mentioned ambition to launch a brand new event at a different location is still on the agenda, and that new event currently has a working title of Variety Bazaar.

In a Guardian Q&A with both Eavises, Emily said that the planned new event wasn’t now likely to launch until 2021. Noting that next year would be one of the Glastonbury Festival’s occasional years off, she said: “I think we’re most likely going to come back [to Worthy Farm] in 2019 after the fallow year in 2018, when there will be no event. Then 2020 is our 50th anniversary. And 2021, we may then do a show somewhere else, which we’re calling the Variety Bazaar. But none of this is set in stone”.

If a success, the Variety Bazaar might then take place whenever Glastonbury itself is having a fallow year. But “just to be clear”, she added, “there’s no plan to move Glastonbury Festival away from Worthy Farm or to stop doing those here”. Please everybody write that down and revisit that statement next time Michael Eavis gives an interview and everyone starts saying the Glastonbury Festival is moving to Chester Zoo or Whitby harbour.

Meanwhile, what about that name for the new event, hey? Explains Eavis Senior: “There was a shop in our local town, Shepton Mallet, years and years ago, run by three sisters, which sold all sorts of stuff – everything from knitting to books to cream cakes. And the name of the shop was the Variety Bazaar. I mentioned it to Emily and she loved it”.