Queen’s Brian May: “I wouldn’t play Glastonbury Festival because Michael Eavis supports badger cull


18 April 2016 by Tristan Cork

Brian May - a badger - Michael Eavis
Brian May – a badger – Michael Eavis

Queen legend and Dorset animal rights campaigner Brian May has changed his mind about his dream of playing the Glastonbury Festival – and instead would refuse to appear because of the badger cull.

The badger cull activist has consistently spoken of his desire to play Britain’s biggest music festival – he’s never appeared with Queen or as a solo performer – and as recently as last May was confirming he would love a new Queen line up with American Idol winner Adam Lambert to appear at Worthy Farm.

Back in 2009, Mr May spoke of how much he wanted to perform alongside Robert Plant, after the Led Zeppelin frontman was touted for a Worthy Farm appearance.

But now the badger cull has changed all that. Earlier this week, Mr May told the Evening Standard that he’d fallen out of love with Glastonbury because of the badger cull.

Festival founder and champion dairy farmer Michael Eavis is, like almost all cattle farmers, supportive of the cull of badgers by the Government in a bid to curtail the spread of bovine TB. The dairy farm context for Worthy Farm has already put paid to any hopes veteran animal rights campaigner Morrissey would make an appearance any time soon, and the badger cull means Mr May would give it a miss too, if he were ever asked.

“I have a problem with the organisers’ attitude to animals because of the badger cull,” said the guitarist,“so I wouldn’t get involved with them.”

Queen have never played Glastonbury – they were way to mainstream stadium rock during their heyday in the 1980s – although the band did play the controversial Sun City venue in apartheid South Africa in 1984 and were blacklisted by the UN and fined by the British Musicians’ Union.

Singer Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991 put paid to any appearances during the 1990s, and a resurrected band called Queen + Paul Rodgers, with the former Free singer were never asked during the 2000s.