Emily Eavis thanked Glastonbury Festival attendees for their participation in the event, saying that she believes “the best people in the world come here”.
The 42-year-old co-organizer of the event spoke a day after the festival opened its doors for the first time in three years after being canceled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s music offering features headliners Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar, with Diana Ross filling the Sunday Teatime Legends slot.
Eavis told local festival newspaper Glastonbury Free Press: “We offered a refund, but so few people agreed to it.
“The commitment that people have shown us is absolutely not taken for granted and it meant so much. I sincerely think that the best people in the world come here.
“Bands always say that this audience is the most generous, respectful and interested crowd. Therefore, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and been with us over the past three years.
“Now I just hope you all have a great time.”
Festival-goers have already been warned to pack just in case and take their wellington boots to Glastonbury, where light showers are predicted on Friday and Saturday, with more rain on Sunday.
Weather warnings are coming as late arrivals could lead to new traffic disruptions due to another rail strike due Thursday, likely to exacerbate traffic problems revelers face due to poor driving conditions and flooding on the roads.
Eavis said having to cancel Glastonbury in 2020 and 2021 was “a very sad and quite traumatic thing to go through.”
She added, “Especially when you’re canceling and don’t really know when you’ll be back. But there is no escape from the pandemic – to one degree or another, it has affected everyone.
“And at the end of the day, it’s just a festival; more important things were happening in the world. But being able to open the gate again and bring people together for pure joy is so wonderful.”
As the festival’s second day begins, attendees “may have to take shelter if they can” as thunderstorms sweep across much of southern England, a Met Office meteorologist said.
Players can swap out sunscreen for umbrellas at Worthy Farm as the weather promises to turn from “wall-to-wall sun” and high temperatures on Thursday morning to “heavy downpours with thunderstorms” in the afternoon.
Speaking earlier about the money lost as a result of the cancellation, she said, “We have definitely gone through some financial difficulties.
“It was very hairy. People forget that we are still an independent festival.
“We have a long way to go after the last two years, but the important thing is that we are back. And it’s so great to focus on exciting things again.”
Fewer than one in five trains ran on Tuesday after Union Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) members Network Rail (NR) and 13 train operators staged the first of three strikes, with strikes occurring on Thursday with others scheduled for Saturday.
Glastonbury isn’t the only music event set to be derailed by strikes this week: The Rolling Stones are playing the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park on Saturday, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are due to take to the London Stadium stage on Saturday. Sunday.
There were last-minute changes to Glastonbury’s line-up, including rocker Terry Reid dropping out of his Sunday afternoon Acoustic Stage slot. He will be replaced by Glenn Tilbrook, lead singer and guitarist of Squeeze.