Sir Michael Eavis ‘better than ever’ at 88, says daughter after Glastonbury set

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis has said her father Sir Michael Eavis’s voice sounded “better than ever” as the 88-year-old appeared on stage again to sing a series of classics.

Festival founder Sir Michael was met with rapturous cheers by a crowd of thousands as he appeared in a wheelchair on the Park stage at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset.

Performing a set of just over 20 minutes at around 4.30pm on Thursday, Sir Michael sang Frank Sinatra hits including Love’s Been Good To Me and It Was A Very Good Year, as well as Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds.

“It was wonderful,” Sir Michael’s daughter told the PA news agency.

“It’s the best start for me to see him on the stage and his voice sounded better than ever.”

Performing with his band, Sir Michael was aided, as in previous years, by a singer who had the job of turning his pages of sheet music as he read the lyrics.

Asked whether there were any concerns about whether the performance could go ahead given Sir Michael’s age, his daughter said: “No, he was raring to go.

“He’s had a few rehearsals and he was really up for it.

“It’s just so good to see him out there and receive all that love.”

Sir Michael Eavis
Sir Michael again performed Frank Sinatra and Evlis Presley hits (Ben Birchall/PA)

Shouts of “we love you Michael” were heard from the crowd, as well as a chant of “oh Sir Michael Eavis” to the tune of the White Stripes’ 2003 hit Seven Nation Army.

“Thank you very much, that’s fantastic, thank you,” Sir Michael replied to the crowd.

Sir Michael’s daughter and a large group of family and friends could be seen singing along and clapping at the side of the stage as he performed.

The crowd swayed their arms in the air as he gave a rendition of Sinatra’s My Way, before closing his set with Elvis’s Because I Love You Too Much Baby.

Thursday’s night festivities will include a tribute to the late DJ Annie Nightingale on the BBC Music Introducing stage.

Glastonbury Festival 2024
Festivalgoer Emma Orange, 39, from Cheshire, at the Glastonbury Festival (Yui Mok/PA)

Nightingale, who died in January at the age of 83, was the first female presenter on BBC Radio 1.

The stage had been set to see Groove Armada on Thursday night, but due to the size of crowds expected, the electronic music duo have been moved for other DJ slots.

Announcing the news on X, the festival’s official account said: “Instead, we encourage you to take in their sets at the larger capacity Glade on Sunday at 8.30pm and B2B with Eats Everything at Levels on Saturday at 6pm. Thank you for your understanding.”

The evening’s music will also include sets from singer and DJ Shygirl on the Levels stage and British singer Sonique on the Lonely Hearts Club stage.

The main stages at Glastonbury will open on Friday with pop acts Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA to headline the festival this year.

Among the other performers playing across the many stages this weekend are pop rock artist Avril Lavigne, Irish rockers Fontaines DC, Afrobeats star Burna Boy and Canadian singer Shania Twain, who will be playing the coveted Legends slot on Sunday.

On Thursday BBC journalist Ros Atkins revealed he would be performing a drum and bass remix of the BBC News theme for his DJ set on Saturday at the Stonebridge Bar.

On X he wrote: “A few weeks ago, I got a message on social media suggesting we do a Drum& Bass remix of the BBC News theme for the set I’m doing at Glastonbury. There’s an idea, I thought. First, I messaged @davidlowemusic2. Then @crissycriss. To my delight, both said yes…”