Glastonbury unlikely to move to Longleat thanks to warring aristocrats

Glastonbury’s future has been thrown into doubt because a fall-out between Longleat’s aristocrats means it probably won’t be shifted to the country estate.

Festival founder Michael Eavis is reluctantly looking at relocating the 45-year-old music calendar highlight in 2019 because land ownership issues are making it impossible to keep staging it at Worthy Farm.

It seemed he might have found a new home for Glasto on the Longleat estate with his childhood friend the Marquess of Bath, but now that the aristocrat’s son Ceawlin has vetoed the plan, arrangements are back in turmoil.

According to the Daily Mail columnist Sebastian Shakespeare, Michael said: “Longleat probably won’t happen any more. Lord Bath is really keen. I went to him because I knew him when he was a boy.

“But he and his son aren’t agreeing, and they don’t speak very much, so it’s hard to make decisions. I haven’t been able to sit down with all of them at the same time.”

Lord Bath and Ceawlin’s stormy relationship was documented in BBC programme All Change At Longleat last year, with the eccentric 84 year old and his son, who has the title Viscount Weymouth, arguing over issues such as the younger man wanting to bin a number of garish murals his father had painted for him and his sister when they were children.

Michael, 80, enjoys a much more harmonious relationship with his own daughter Emily, who co-runs the festival with him, but it seems their plans to move have hit a stumbling block.

He continued that the viscount and his wife had visited Glastonbury this year, but had an issue with one crucial part of the experience: “Ceawlin and Emma don’t like the mud. They saw the mud at its worst. They were supposed to come and see it all cleaned up on September 1, but they didn’t turn up.

“They let me down gently about their decision. I went round to their house and we had a very long discussion. They said to clean up all that mud they’d have to restrict the whole of the operations at Longleat for about three months, and it’s too expensive.”

Lord Bath, despite still being married to Ceawlin’s mother Anna, is nicknamed The Loins Of Longleat for having had 75 “wifelets”, or mistresses, over the course of his life, and keeps portraits he has painted of 71 of them on a staircase in the house.

More in this Section

Electric Picnic tickets to go on sale MondayElectric Picnic tickets to go on sale Monday

Strictly Come Dancing’s Graziano Di Prima sets new world recordStrictly Come Dancing’s Graziano Di Prima sets new world record

Here's who's on the Ray D'Arcy Show this week Here's who's on the Ray D'Arcy Show this week

Doctor Who star talks about ‘terrifying and dangerous’ filming momentDoctor Who star talks about ‘terrifying and dangerous’ filming moment


As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner