Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis on getting the Freedom of the town

  • Michael Eavis was awarded Freedom of the Town at a ceremony in Glastonbury

The founder of Glastonbury Festival has been honoured as a freeman of the town award after 52 years of running the event.

Michael Eavis received the honorary position during a ceremony on May 3.

The freeman title recognises an individuals' contributions and services to their town.

The honour is mostly symbolic, but according to tradition Michael now has the right to herd his sheep through the town centre.

Michael told ITV News: "It's a great place, it's a great town and I'm very pleased with the award.

"I've had a lot to do with this town all my life. I started the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza about 25 years ago and its very successful now.

"It sells out most years about 10,000 people and thats good for the town."

Michael held his first festival on Worthy Farm in Pilton in 1970.

Over the five decades since, it has grown into a world famous music and arts event - and the largest in the UK.

The 86-year-old was nominated to become a freeman by Jon Cousins and Serena Roney-Dougal - the mayor and deputy mayor of Glastonbury.

"The festival itself, it's put the town on the map I suppose hasn't it. Globally, everybody's heard of Glastonbury now, and that's mainly to do with the festival I think," Michael said.

The festival will return to Somerset from June 22-26 this year after being cancelled for two years due to the Covid pandemic.

When asked why it has taken so long for Micheal to finally get the freedom award, he said he has "no idea".

"Im getting on a bit now aren't I," he said. "I've been at it 52 years and it took a long time but I'm very grateful to the council and they've been very supportive with my licences throughout the years."

  • ITV News West Country spoke to Michael before he was given the award

In the past freemen held several privileges and often did not have to pay local taxes.

When ITV News asked Micheal if he knows what freedoms he will receive, he said: "Can I park for free do you think? If I can get a free car park then I'll be happy with that."