Michael Eavis, the dairy farmer who turned a small concert on his property into the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Music Industry Trust’s Award.
Eavis will be recognized for his “outstanding contribution to the U.K.’s live music industry and many charitable causes” during a ceremony Nov. 3 in central London.
Glastonbury, held at the Worthy Farm site in Somerset, is the grandaddy of U.K. festivals. The first Glastonbury concert took place back in 1970 with Marc Bolan on the bill. Eavis splashed out free milk for the 1,500 ticket-holders (entry was £1). Now, the event is one of the largest greenfield festivals in the world, attended by more than 175,000 each year and raising millions of pounds for charities. The likes of David Bowie, Radiohead, R.E.M., Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Beyoncé, Jay Z and The Rolling Stones have graced the Glastonbury stages.
“Through his tireless dedication, Glastonbury has become an important landmark in the cultural life of this country, with its influence spreading well beyond these shores,” notes David Munns OBE, chairman of the MITs Award committee.
This year’s Glastonbury fest runs June 25-29, with a bill featuring headliners Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian and Dolly Parton and many more.
The 78-year-old Eavis is no stranger to awards ceremonies. He was inducted into the Music Managers Forum Roll of Honour gala in 2006, he earned a Gold Badge Award in 2007, and a Midem Green World Award in 2009. Eavis was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list.
Previous winners of the MITS accolade includes Sir George Martin, Ahmet Ertegun, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Lucian Grainge, John Barry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Sir Harvey Goldsmith, Jools Holland, Gary Barlow and Annie Lennox.
The award, now in its 23rd year, has raised more than £4.5 million ($7.5 million) for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and the BRIT Trust.