Drone Shows, Disco Barbers And A Genius App – Emily Eavis Tells Us What’s New For Glastonbury 2024

We caught up with the Festival Queen

Emily Eavis 2020 by Emma Hardy

by Hanna Woodside |
Updated on

It’s mere days now until the gates open at Glastonbury, and festival co-organiser Emily Eavis is ‘functioning on very little sleep,’ she says. ‘Everyone's working all hours, literally until it gets dark. I think we're all running on adrenaline and excitement but the atmosphere on site is something special.’ As Eavis and her team get ready to welcome 210,000 revelers, she told Grazia what’s she most excited about for this year’s festival…

It's another incredible lineup – who are you particularly excited to watch live?

‘It's an amazing thing to have SZA here, because she's never played Glastonbury before. It's always a different set of challenges, when you're bringing someone who hasn't been before – but it's also super exciting when they're really on board, and they've got loads of brilliant ideas, and figuring out how it's going to fit onto the Pyramid stage.

‘And to have Coldplay and Dua too. Dua is Glastonbury through and through; she's always in Block9 if she isn't performing, so it'll be really good to have her here headlining. It's like she's almost grown up here; she's had so many ideas, I think, throughout her creative life, building up to this moment.’

What’s new for 2024 that you’re particularly proud of?

‘We do this big opening ceremony on the Wednesday when everyone has arrived and settled in –

a big fireworks display and some fires from The Kings Meadow along to The Park. I started doing it about 10 years ago, and now it's an established part of the festival, a kind of ritual. This year, we are adding a drone show into the mix, which you can watch from the Pyramid field. We've been working with Patrick Woodroffe, our lighting designer – he did all the lights for Elton last year – and it’s incredible.

‘Terminal One on Williams Green is an exciting new venue. And we've got another new venue called Scissors, which is a queer venue in The Park, which is going to be a barbers as well. So you can get a haircut and disco with a cocktail at the same time. There's quite a lot of fresh venues: The Wishing Well is replacing the Rabbit Hole – it’s pretty much the same team but they’re changing it up with a new era in The Park.’

Over the years, you’ve played host to some of the biggest music acts in the world – what’s the strangest rider request you’ve catered for?

‘One year somebody asked for like, 100 pairs of socks – one of the headliners – which was quite interesting. I'm a big fan of socks at festivals, I think in the evening it’s quite a key item – I’d almost say it's one of the most essential items just to keep your body warm at night, especially if you’re going to stay up to see the sunrise, you need a hat and good socks. But a pairs?

There’s so much to discover and explore at Glastonbury – what’s the best way to make the most of it?

‘We have by far the best app we've ever had this year. The Official Glastonbury App 2024, powered by Vodafone, is now linked up with Spotify, so you can listen to the music from all the different stages, including the smaller acts; it's a great way to explore and discover new music.

‘The app also has all the food stalls you know, that's something that we added this year. So you can, literally, map your way around the feast of world cuisine that is on offer here. Or if you really fancy something niche, you can look it up, and the app will tell you where you can find it!

‘Sharing pins is another thing we've added this year, so you can tell your friends where you are, or mark the location of your tent. I mean the number of people that used to get lost in the 80s and 90s looking for their tents all night. It's a sort of game changer for festival life.’

Can you tell us more about the Vodafone everyone.connected Glastonbury pledge?

‘Last year Vodafone pledged to help 75,000 people and businesses across the South West to cross the ‘digital divide’ by the end of 2025 by making sure everyone has equal access to digital life. So far they’ve helped over 42,000 people and business. With the ‘Rent on, Give one’ inititative, people attending the festival can help out too: if you rent a powerbank from Vodafone’s Connect & Charge tent, Vodafone will donate a SIM, device, or their skills a charity in the South West who are helping digitally excluded people.’

Finally, is it true that a local cheesemaker provides you with the weather forecast for the festival?

‘That is true! It sounds made up, but there's a lovely man down the road who gets a very reliable forecast, and he's always right. There are so many different messages going around, but he's always right. I'll know tomorrow what his forecast is…’

 Vodafone is the official Connectivity Partner of Glastonbury Festival

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