Eavis Online From TGE

One of the highlights from this year’s The Great Escape was an interview with festival chiefs Michael Eavis and Rob da Bank, which UK newspaper The Guardian brought to a wider audience by setting up an online Q&A session.

The Glastonbury founder and Bestival head were at the Brighton conference and showcase festival May 11 for “The Great Festival Conversation.”

Eavis demonstrated his casual dry humour answering questions on why he’d chosen 2012 as “a fallow year,” or one when the festival doesn’t happen and the farmland site and the organisers get a break.

He was also asked who’d be his ideal choice as headliners, corporate sponsorship, various green issues and why certain genres of music – particularly rock and punk – aren’t featured as much as others.

“Well, we used to have Hawkwind and all that heavy stuff, and the Hell’s Angels, but they did once set fire to my father’s favourite horse drawn cart, and that upset me,” Eavis explained.

“So, I’ve associated that music with that type of behaviour. But we have had acts like that, and I love a band like Rage Against The Machine. And I think we will soon book one of those big acts. We’ll do it. Only not next year,” Eavis said.
There have been reports that the 2013 headliners are already confirmed, but they’re unlikely to be announced until next year. The Rolling Stones and Dolly Parton will be among many people’s guesses after Eavis named them as his ideal bill-toppers.

Rob da Bank, who has helped grow the Bestival crowd to 55,000 since the event started in 2004, fielded questions on the cost of headliners.

“Nine years ago I was booking acts for £3,000 but Stevie Wonder is a lot of money,” he said. He did add that he’s never felt “ripped off by any headliner.”

Wonder is playing this year’s Bestival (Sept. 6-9), heading a bill that also has New Order, The xx, Sigur Rós, Orbital, and Friendly Fires.

The GTE conference, which drew a record-breaking 1,600 delegates, 1,000 more than last year, also had contributions from the likes of Lol Creme, Trevor Horn and Ash Soan, who talked about the 200 or so hit singles and albums they’ve produced between them.

In a panel called “Heroes & Villains,” Horne, legendary music mogul Seymour Stein, Alex Hardee from CODA Agency and Aaron Curnow from Spunk Records discussed the best and the worst of the artists they have worked with.

The 300 or so acts at the showcase festival included The Temper Trap, Maximo Park, Alabama Shakes, Dry The River, Loney Dear, Ren Harvieu, Spector, and The Mystery Jets.

The Great Escape was in Brighton May 10-12.