HowTheLightGetsIn – Michael Eavis and the Paradise Hunters

The sun is out and it makes it somehow even more appropriate to head over to HowTheLightGetsIn, the fringe festival that sprang up in Hay four years ago.

We’re in the more bohemian surroundings near the centre of the town to hear Michael Eavis, Hilary Lawson and Melvin Benn talk to Mary Ann Sieghart about Festivals.  Lawson is the founder of HowTheLightGetsIn, Benn is the man behind Latitude and Eavis, well you know who Michael Eavis is.

We begin with a short history of the beginnings of Glastonbury.  A little over 42 years ago Eavis attended the Bath Blues Festival and decided he could do something similar.  T-Rex was on the bill for the first Glastonbury, entry was just  £1 and Eavis gave away free milk, illegally as it turned out as the  milk was not pasteurised.  Clad in tweed jacket and denim shorts Eavis also talked about the bleaker years of the festival such as 1985 when a bunch of barrier jumpers attempted to set fire to Michael’s house.  Despite some ups and downs Glastonbury holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who has been there.   Hilary Lawson thanked Michael for “many years of wonder”.

Lawson spoke of the great community that characterises the best festivals and their levelling nature.  Benn spoke about how he set out to create a  live version of a Sunday review section with Latitude. All of the panelists talked about the tough economics of the festival business.  There was agreement across audience and panel alike as to the special experience you get at festivals.  How wonderful  to be at one, in the sunshine.

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